The hardest part of game development
February 28, 2013, written by Simon Game Development

You often hear that making games is very hard. Coming up with good ideas, building an engine, designing a coherent art-style and possibly marketing your game are considered to be very difficult. Though I strongly believe these things are no problem at all compared to something that all game developers have experienced during lots of their projects.

This thing is demotivation. If you’ve ever made a game you know what I’m talking about. At the start of a project you most likely have a cool idea that gets you exited to work on. Then, when you’ve worked on it twice as long as you planned with no end in sight, demotivation starts to kick in. I have a lot of firsthand experience with this kind of thing. I have at least half a dozen unfinished games lying around. Most of these games were fun to make, yet at the point where the game was kind of done but needed a lot more content and polish I’d really had it with the game. Mainly because there was only dull work ahead, and since I’ve been working on it for so long I didn’t see why the idea of the game was cool to begin with anymore.

A lot of things can get you demotivated in the process of game development. You could have a way cooler idea than the one you’re working on right now, a lot of boring stuff to do, finding out things you did will need to be redone, personal matters like relationship problems. All these things are problems I have experienced in the past.

So what to do when you get demotivated?  I have a few things I do which might work for you too. If the project is getting boring, start playing games similar to yours, it tends to make you exited again for the original idea. Do something else entirely for a while; most game developers are creative in a lot of ways apart from developing games. You could make a cool drawing, or make music, it’s important to take as long as you need with this. Yet my most important piece of advice would be: make unrealistic deadlines. Knowing your game is going to need another six months is much worse than believing that if you really put your back in it you can have it done in just two.