Game Development? You Can Do It! …But Please Balance Your Meters.

Game Development? You Can Do It! …But Please Balance Your Meters.

Let’s Be Real

On some level (ha!– pun!) you’re either a considering, budding, struggling, or conflicted indie developer, and it’s WAY TOO EASY to listen to the voices that tell you can can’t/shouldn’t make a game (including especially your own). Some thoughts, internalized or verbal, immediately stifle and shutdown creativity and progress…and they royally suck.

Whether aimed at yourself or others, you’ve heard or considered these nay-sayings before:

  • “But why– or how? You don’t have the necessary skillset.”
  • “You have little or no experience.”
  • “Sounds like a waste of time.”
  • “Aren’t games like…for kids? Isn’t it about time you grew up a little?”
  • “You know games are hard to make, right?”
  • “Who would want to play your game?”
  • “Does the world really need another game in this genre?”
  • “You’re an artsy person, you can’t even code. Games require coding.”
  • “You’re a programmer, you couldn’t be artistic to save your life.”
  • “Engine X is terrible. You have to use Engine Y or people won’t like your game.”
  • “It’s the Indiepocalypse!! Get out now!”
  • “You’ll never finish this.”
  • “You can’t do this. Give up while you’re ahead.”

All of these are unhelpful, negative garbage. They’re complete 💩 . That’s not to say you won’t stop hearing them, or let them weigh on your mind, but they’re tragically uninformed, severely unempathetic, and often just mean-spirited.

News Flash!

  • You don’t have to be The Indie-game Flash, blazing through tasks at light-speed.
  • You don’t have to be a “super producer”, pushing massive output gains constantly. 
  • You don’t even have to finish projects, or massive chunks, in tragically quick and unrealistic timeframes.

..sure if you’re naturally gifted, bravo. 👏 These certainly help, but they’re arguably not sustainable for the average (or even above-average) person.

Meters? What is this, a game?!

The thing is, you have a few invisible meters hovering over you (around you, in you, whathaveyou) at all times, silently weighing on the thoughts and actions of any given day. These meters apply to your psyche and your body. To put it into a game-like perspective, these are essentially your own personal energy/stamina meters. Everyone has at least two of them to combat  *cough* I mean— work with in order to get anything done: Mental Energy & Physical Stamina respectively.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! You also have supporting & conflicting meters that lower/raise your Mental Energy and Physical Stamina, such as: Caffeine, Sleep, Stress, Hunger, Hydration, Alcohol, etc. This isn’t even including the potential ‘DLC’ meters forced upon you; if you’re one of those lucky enough to suffer from depression, anxiety (👋), PTSD (👋👋), so on and so forth.

Meter Management and You

Yes, you can march forward by ignoring or overdoing any of the aforementioned “meters & counter-meters” as they waver from full to empty…but make the attempt to be mindful of those you should be maintaining healthily.

This is a learned skill and practice, I’ll freely admit it, but try implementing a little self-awareness in regards to the above– BEFORE you take on your next great project/idea. It will greatly affect your immediate and long-term content output, general productivity, and overall enthusiasm. These things are easy to neglect, but the mindfulness alone will pay dividends into getting your project that much closer to completion.

Final Thoughts

Remember, you can be as hopped up and enthusiastic for your ‘totally awesome indie-game idea’ as a small child riding a pixie-stick & cocaine wombo-combo (don’t do drugs, kids)…but that doesn’t mean a thing if your drive for working on your project incrementally isn’t steady and consistent.

If your mind or your body are unwilling to sustain obstacles and limitless scope creeps due to improper “meter management”, you need to consider being honest with yourself, or even better, learn how to iterate, and take the incremental approach to your project/s.

How? Through a little thing called Project Management; which we’ll be covering in an upcoming post…

…stay tuned! 😉

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