Indie dev fatigue
I have no idea if it’s common but I find the part where your game is feature complete but still not ready for release is the most “difficult” time to be motivated. That and add busy days at work + summer.
It’s frustrating as I can see the game, it’s all there but I also see the million tiny things I still must do. I can sit for twenty minutes in front of the code only to realize later that I got distracted and haven’t done a thing.
I’m not bored with the game. I still like the game. It’s just fatigue due to various reasons and it’s starting to be really annoying that it creates even more fatigue.
A big part of this is that I’ve become really pessimist with time. Well I have always been but it’s worse. I’ve been through more than once the cycle of imagining something, creating it and then releasing it in total indifference with little or no monetary repercussion that now I’m always thinking twice of what to do with my time. It’s nice outside? Maybe I should spend some time with my wife instead of working on that game that may or may not get some success … That kind of stuff.
Oh I still think the game can do well and that’s the best game I’ve created so far but that big dark cloud still hangs over my head anyway. You know, just in case I’m wrong. Not really a healthy way to approach the whole thing I guess and I’m trying to fight it but I can’t lie to myself either. I felt the excitement before, being proud of what I just created and then … Then nothing. The thing to do after you fall is to get back on your feet but after falling a couple of times it’s possible you’re not that excited to get up again as you only think of the next time you’ll fall.
People make games for various reasons but to me it’s to try to create my own job. Just making games is nice but I’m still missing a part here. Or at least I’m not seeing part of the results I wish for. My previous games don’t make any money now (haven’t for a long time) so even though I know building a business is not easy it often feels like it’s just a foolish dream. Like opening a donut shop and not seeing any customers for years.
But again, I think I’m getting better, I think I found a good project with potential. It’s just some kind of reflex that tries to kill the mood because I don’t know what it is like to succeed. Again, I’ve been through that before and been proven wrong every time so that’s all I’m familiar with. Hope is still there otherwise I’d pack my things and call it a day but let’s say it takes more hope than before to get the work done.
Day job also seems to drain me more than before recently. When it’s time to sit and work on the game I’m already exhausted and just end up doing bad work. I usually just accept it, take a break for a few days and return but now I’m really having a hard time to stop the break. Well it’s not a true break as I keep doing small stuff on the game but I know I should be doing much more at the moment.
Of course it’s a “first world problem” but I guess that’s why I titled this post “Indie dev fatigue” and not “Cancer cure frustration”.