The moment of giving up

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Banya
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The moment of giving up

#1 Post by Banya » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:19 am

I'm not sure it's the right place for this, but I swear I'm not opening this to draw attention.
It's just... well, just being curious.
I regret having given up so many projects because of reasons like the group working on it dissolving (leaving me alone with all the work on my shoulders), the artist disappearing suddenly or working on thousands of projects and asking me to wait infinite amounts of time or, last but not least, absolute silence - in the sense of no response, no feedback, no interest, even by friends who generally ask me to review their works. Sometimes I still think 'this is my last project, then I give up', but when I realize I should really give up... I come up with another project. I had a costant determination glowing for years, but then I really wonder what all the efforts will bring to me while I'm struggling in silence.

This topic is for pure talking.
Did you ever give up on projects? In that case, why?
What do you do not to give up when you're working solo (or left solo) in absolute feedback silence for months or years?

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Re: The moment of giving up

#2 Post by Evy » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:04 am

Ah, I know this feeling well. It's kind of complicated.

Right now my only projects are solo, but they'll (at least my main one) need to expand for collaborators later down the line. I already struggle with getting feedback from friends and family. I enjoy collaborating with friends on characters and stories, but they always seem to die out very early on. It really sucks because I often feel like I can't come up with anything interesting without the involvement of other people. Factor in my veritable mountain of confidence issues and it becomes a frickin' mess.

I guess I mostly keep working on my things because of the attachment I develop to my characters, who are essentially my babies. Even if it's something self-indulgent like sketching them once in a while, and not actually working on the project development... sometimes the drive to work on it comes and goes. That's certainly what happens to me, at least. I'm pretty hesitant of offering my services to a team because I'm well aware of how unreliable I can be due to the fluctuation in energy.

As with any other kind of project, there will always be times when you have to scrap and revise work you've already done, and it can be quite demotivating. But I suppose the key to the problem lies within perseverance and discipline. The only real failure is the failure to deliver; otherwise, you can always learn from your mistakes.

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Re: The moment of giving up

#3 Post by Scribbles » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:11 am

I think it's hard for people to get invested in something that isn't finished. From my experience, anyway. No one cared about my novels before they were finished, but I got a lot of good feedback on fanfic I had written and published online ^^;

My advice to sticking with something is to force yourself to work on it everyday, after a while it will become a habit and you won't be able to stop yourself. I honestly feel itchy on days I don't do *something* with my project, b/c I'm used to working on it non stop everyday. (of course that could also be due to some mental illness on my part, but still lol)

I've been disappointed by an artist before(no one here!), it sucks. I just do a lot more research now, and pay by asset instead of all at once upfront. I dropped that project, but it was also more of a "this is my first VN, so lemme just get making something simple and quick".
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Re: The moment of giving up

#4 Post by TheJerminator15 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:16 am

My entire thought process consists of me giving up and thinking I'm awful at writing yet pushing through to try and complete it. So yes I have given up on projects. I've given up on a lot of them, differing circumstances being a factor in most of them. Things from lack of internet breaking down my process so much I lost the will to work on it to pure laziness to my computer breaking down.

I work solely 90% of the time on my project so it's hard to describe. I'm just used to it. I just sit down and do it, the same as when I do work with teams (granted when I'm wih a team I usually work less since I'm having fun bantering with them). If you're working solo I just suggest forcing yourself into a routine. It can feel impossible to work on some days (I can confirm this first hand) but you have to do it consistently and with determination. A day off every now or then is fine, but only one day. Any more than that and you fall into the typical "Oh I'll do it tomorrow, oh I'll do it ext week, oh I'll do it next month" etc.

I do plan on bringing in other people to the project down the line, but I don't believe I have enough content in my story at the moment to justify gathering a team together. Granted, this is a self defeating circle because I finish another part of the story, still don't think I've got enough done, then work on it solo even more.

However, I don't plan on giving up anytime soon. In fact, I'm more driven than ever to work on my projects and complete them. With each failure it just makes me want to punch myself and finish the next one.
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Re: The moment of giving up

#5 Post by Mammon » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:28 am

I never give up on projects, however I don't really have a long track record of projects to say that I won't in the future. I think that making outlines for all the stories I come up with during the development of my current project and keeping those in reserve to pick from once I want to start a new project helps immensely. If you only work on the best 1/20 projects that your imagination comes up with, it tends to yield better results. And I think everyone agrees that the idea you just get out of nowhere one day is better than an idea you get forcing yourself to come up with a premise for a new project on the spot, so stockpile those.
With teams, I can say there's one project that never got of the ground because of disagreements between me and the other person. Neither of us was incapable or lacking in skill or motivation, but the combination was just a poor one. S&Y on the other hand went well despite some potholes in the road.

When we're talking groups I can both say from last month's experience and from hearsay from pretty much everyone; It all comes down to recruiting the right people. People who can do what they promise and do so within schedule. Stalker&Yandere been blessed with the core trifecta of any VN (writing, sprites, coding) all being people who made their deadlines and did what they had to do. If any of those people is someone who doesn't reply or stalls indefinately it can ruin the entire project. The others are also important, obviously, but their work can usually be filled with placeholders so the others can continue for the time being.
If anyone doesn't do what they have to, they can be given additional... incentive. :twisted: If the project manager gets crappy placeholder images for their workload until they do their job and those placeholders make it into the project with their name in the credits, it can work as a charm to motivate them. Just kidding, that doesn't actually work (that well). Good management, clear schedules that the teammates agree to beforehand and a nice team-building enviroment (such as Discord) will help though.

If you're a solodev, then it will come down to focus and dedication. And knowing your own limitations, of course. In between someone who did a sloppy job on everything but their preferred task and someone who'll never finish a project because they keep re-doing, improving and rewriting their work indefinately, you'll need to find a middle ground. And tell yourself to stick to one style without improving until the project is done. If you don't, you can be redoing parts of the project endlessly without ever getting to a release.


If I'd have to give three simple guidelines to increase your chances of success for either solo or team (assuming you're the writer):

1. Write an outline of the story. Not lore, a list of your characters or actual chapters/excerpts of scenes you can already envision. A summary of the story in chronological order with all scenes and important events listed. If you can't make the story without having to worry about pacing, grammar, splitting routes etc., that's a good indication you'll hit the same writer's block x10 writing the actual story. P.S. No one will ever have to see it, so the outline can be in your native language or written as vaguely (to others) as you'd like.

2. Wait at least two weeks after having the idea before you start the project, preferably even longer. If it's a good story you'll still be enthusiastic about it then. If it's a spur of the moment thing, rather forgetable or way too heavily relying on a series you're enthusiastic about at the moment, you might find your interest fading while you're making the project. Not having started yet will be much less of a morale-drop when you find out your initial hype wasn't lasting.
2.2 You are allowed to make an outline right away to make sure you won't forget anything, however the two weeks won't start until you finish/stop writing that outline.

3. Assuming you made that outline, apply Chekhov's gun to everything. Every event, side-plot, character, sprite, CG, BG. Everything that isn't absolutely necessary is best scrapped. It's much more manageable to add a new character (thus a new sprite etc.) later than having a list of more sprites than you end up using. And with CG, those can pile up quickly if you're not careful when writing the story while many can be easily written out.
For S&Y, I wrote the story and then completely rewrote certain parts to scrap assets such as scrappable BGs and CGs. I'm glad I did because some parts were already a problem with the amount of assets we had now. And for second story; one third of the project, I wrote that while not allowing myself to add any more art assets than what we already needed for the first story, thus adding more content without jeopardising the project release.
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Re: The moment of giving up

#6 Post by Evy » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:45 am

Mammon wrote:Schrödinger's gun
Do you mean Chekhov's gun? :lol:

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Re: The moment of giving up

#7 Post by Mammon » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:57 am

Evy wrote:
Mammon wrote:Schrödinger's gun
Do you mean Chekhov's gun? :lol:
Jup, sorry. Schödinger's gun is also a thing but it's something competely different...
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Re: The moment of giving up

#8 Post by Sonomi » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:41 pm

Did you ever give up on projects? In that case, why?

Yep. I try not to obliterate absolutely everything, but incomplete projects do get moved to the back burner if I like them enough to think, "Well, maybe I can get to this later."

Why? Life offline can be stressful. While the entire point of making video games is to give myself a break from that reality, there are occasions when I just can't get enough motivation to do even that, to be quite honest.

What do you do not to give up when you're working solo (or left solo) in absolute feedback silence for months or years?

Absolute feedback silence is what I fear the most, and that is one of the reasons why I'm reluctant to post public works in progress. If I give up or take a breather, no one will ever know about it but me.

I'm only in this to have fun. That's how I avoid completely giving up when I'm working solo. I mean, otherwise I would have deleted my projects folder a long time ago. :)
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Re: The moment of giving up

#9 Post by Banya » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:06 pm

I didn't expect so many replies, but I don't feel lonely now!
Thank you for all the kindness, the comments and the suggestions! Especially the tips, they're a lot useful :)
But my point of the topic wasn't how to stay focused on a game, but how to avoid breakdowns and trashing the project for prolonged silence. I think Evy and Sonomi got really well what I meant, I feel the same, especially about the confident issues ;__;"
Absolute feedback silence is what I fear the most, and that is one of the reasons why I'm reluctant to post public works in progress. If I give up or take a breather, no one will ever know about it but me.
THIS ;__; this is the exact dilemma. I know that if I don't open up no one will know or care, but everytime it's absolute silence (and I'm speaking at least of the fifth attempt) is devastating. I still don't give up, but I don't know if I should be more shameless or more retired...

My problem is not abandoning the project due to lazyness - I work everyday, in general my delays are due to waiting for the art - since I never show anything before I get a demo done, and a demo is at least 30 minutes of playthrough. I generally do all I can, like advertising the game, showing WIPs, etc, but I'd feel too shameless to insist. The problem is... everytime I get no response whatsoever. Not speaking of lemmasoft, of course, since here I have only one WIP presented, but this is a situation that's going on for years: I know people view the messages\topics, yet I can't explain how bad should my work be if no one replies at all. I saw lots of rushed work getting even compliments, while I never got even a critique only silence. I still work for myself, as I always did, but I'm starting to ask if it's satisfying being the only one to play my own games\reading my own stories.
Frustration started kicking in ;__;
Good management, clear schedules that the teammates agree to beforehand and a nice team-building enviroment (such as Discord) will help though.
(Hi Mammon! *_*/)
To this in particular... I became a (almost) solodev because everytime I reminded someone about deadlines they were suddenly ill, or suddenly had a parent dying, or suddenly got a final exam and if I told anything they would accuse me of being heartless =="
Someone looked like it would never tell me "I want to leave the project", but was trying to force me to kick him\her out so I would be the bad and guilty one.

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Re: The moment of giving up

#10 Post by Mammon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:28 am

Banya wrote:Thank you for all the kindness, the comments and the suggestions! Especially the tips, they're a lot useful :) But my point of the topic wasn't how to stay focused on a game, but how to avoid breakdowns and trashing the project for prolonged silence.
Sorry, not good with just venting about experiences, good or bad. And I saw the experience to tips ratio was a bit more towards the tips than I initially intended...
Banya wrote:
Absolute feedback silence is what I fear the most, and that is one of the reasons why I'm reluctant to post public works in progress. If I give up or take a breather, no one will ever know about it but me.
THIS ;__; this is the exact dilemma. I know that if I don't open up no one will know or care, but everytime it's absolute silence (and I'm speaking at least of the fifth attempt) is devastating. I still don't give up, but I don't know if I should be more shameless or more retired...
More shameless, I guess. 90% of marketing is learning to kick the feet from under your humbleness and selling your game as the greatest there will ever be. Also, work with images and pretty colors, not long texts like I do.
When I made Pervert&Yandere and released the Beta, there was no one who commented on it for two months. Devastating. Eventually just posted that Beta as the completed game, and then found out about the problem of tip 1. Now I know you don't want tips, but I'm giving them anyway:
Tip 1: Never post only in Demo's and Beta testing. No one goes there.
Tip 2: Put a link to your thread in your signiature and post on a lot of threads so it'll be everywhere. An image helps too.
Tip 3: Use itch.io instead of Mediafire, you can see how many people downloaded it there (without buying bussiness class).
Banya wrote:To this in particular... I became a (almost) solodev because everytime I reminded someone about deadlines they were suddenly ill, or suddenly had a parent dying, or suddenly got a final exam and if I told anything they would accuse me of being heartless =="
Someone looked like it would never tell me "I want to leave the project", but was trying to force me to kick him\her out so I would be the bad and guilty one.
Had that too in S&Y. I've been persistent in telling everyone that school is more important than the project when they told me about upcoming midterms, but there was also someone who gave excuses I'm pretty sure were false. And there will always be people who won't keep up their organised deadlines and will instead try to do everything last minute, at least until you've worked with enough people (who'll want to work with you again) that you can recruit the people you know don't do that.
Tip 1: When someone presents something whether it's a sketch, final product, or anything in between, always start with a compliment about the average product. Never start with 'This is wrong, that can be better, change that.' If they feel like you're being too picky, even when you're not, it can lead to them wanting out.
Tip 2: Try to get them to show you their sketches, outlines, everything. It's a lot easier for you to ask and for them to do revisions on a sketch then on the finalised product.
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Re: The moment of giving up

#11 Post by Banya » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:20 pm

No, no, Mammon! I highly appreciate that you spent time to read my message and also giving me some advice :)
When I said I wasn't looking for tips I meant that it was more than I expected, I'm very grateful for this!

Now I have a link in the signature too!
When I update old content, I'll have some more... and I'm trying to focus on the pics, even thought atm I have only a few complete CGs to show (I prefer using them instead of the sprites to promote the game), I only miss itch.io... why is it better than mediafire? And what about 4shared?

Btw, it's a pity that P&Y had no reviews at the beginning, I really liked that game! And I don't mind reading your long texts, but this is personal I guess :)

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Re: The moment of giving up

#12 Post by KingDerabs » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:29 am

I try to force myself to complete projects that I think will be either really great or have personal value to me.

Sometimes though it gets really tough and giving up is a creeping feeling that is always present. It's like your shadow following you around everywhere, so I can feel where you're going. The best thing is to keep fighting if you believe in it, but if not, there's betters thing for your time and that's okay.

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Re: The moment of giving up

#13 Post by Sonomi » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:33 am

Banya wrote:I only miss itch.io... why is it better than mediafire? And what about 4shared?
I'm not Mammon, but I can vouch for itch.io.

#1 You get your own dedicated page, and you can customize it with screenshots, links, blurbs about your game, etc. all while hosting the game there for free. There is no intrusive advertising either. It's literally your content and nothing else.

#2 Itch.io is like Steam: it's a website specifically for video games, so you're quite likely to find an audience if you tag your game appropriately. The reason being, players can search for games through tags like [visual novel], [rpg], and so forth.

#3 People host game jams there. NaNoRenO was one, for reference. This is basically free advertising should you decide to join one.

#4 You can earn revenue. They allow you to decide how much of your profit, if any, that you share with the site if someone purchases a game from you. Or you can post your game for free as usual. The third option is a model called pay-what-you-want, where you allow the players to essentially...pay what they want. :) If you have PayPal, itch.io makes things absolutely simple and there is just no reason why you shouldn't give them a go, if only just to find out if you like it.

#5 Not to mention, Mammon already stated that itch.io shows you the number of downloads for each game that you post. In addition to that, you're also privy to the number of views you received, or in other words how many people visited your page. They even give a breakdown of how they came upon your page, if I'm not mistaken.

#6 You have the option of enabling a comment section or mini forum right there on your game's page.

Long story short, it's a wonderful alternative. When I'm looking for new indie visual novels to play, it's easier for me to find them there.

Edit: so many typos..
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Re: The moment of giving up

#14 Post by Mammon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:32 am

Sonomi wrote: #4 You can earn revenue. They allow you to decide how much of your profit, if any, that you share with the site if someone purchases a game from you. Or you can post your game for free as usual. The third option is a model called pay-what-you-want, where you allow the players to essentially...pay what they want. :) If you have PayPal, itch.io makes things absolutely simple and there is just no reason why you shouldn't give them a go, if only just to find out if you like it.

#5 Not to mention, Mammon already stated that itch.io shows you the number of downloads for each game that you post. In addition to that, you're also privy to the number of views you received, or in other words how many people visited your page. They even give a breakdown of how they came upon your page, if I'm not mistaken.
These two, primarily. The downloads was what I meant, but the tipjar/suggested price does allow for a bit more income without going commercial or linking patreon. I disabled payments for S&Y but it's still a tad bit more profitable then a patreon to use itch.io's payment method.
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Re: The moment of giving up

#15 Post by PassiveChicken » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:22 pm

I have absolutely given up on projects. Many, many, MANY projects. I think that's fairly regular for creative types like us. Don't feel discouraged because you've had to leave projects behind, just try and find the resolve to stick with one and FINISH it, which is something few people do, when you come to think about it. Sticking with something, especially when it's difficult, is, well. Difficult.

About things outside your control, though? People leaving the project or going silent, that's unfortunately a reality of making anything that requires multiple people. Sometimes it takes you to be burned a couple times till you learn how to find the RIGHT people for your project. I finally have a team that I thoroughly trust, but I also had to bite the bullet on cost a couple times for artists that seemed good fits and turned out to be unable to fulfill their obligations. My advice for when people don't get back to you in months? Dump 'em, even if it feels like it costs you. Because ultimately it's going to be the better decision.
With a quiver full as this, I'm bound to hit something eventually.

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