Henlo. I finally have a reason to use Zonelets. I am an (aspiring?) gamedev and like a lot of (aspiring?) gamedevs I have this problem, where I have this super ambitious dream project. And like a lot of us, I would be biting off wayyy more than I can chew by trying to realize it.
I've been working with the Godot Engine for a little over a year, getting familiar with it, learning some coding etc. And I finally can say that I can implement most features myself without the help of hours of watching tutorials, which deliver only a half-assed solution. Anyways, the ONE advice that EVERY somewhat successful game developer keeps talking about (the one about making smaller projects and all that boring shit) wouldn't leave my mind. Which sucks, because I really don't feel like shitting out a bunch of half-assed games instead of investing that time into my big project. I think many people starting out feel similar.
However, after reading this advice for the 1000982769th time in a Tweet by Tyler Glaiel (The End is Nigh, Aether), my self-doubts grew too big for me to ignore. Okay. fine. whatever. Let me just put everything I worked on for the past year on hold and start making 10 shitty little games. I still have no idea how remaking the same crappy platformer makes any difference, but I'm happy to be proven wrong. I made the decision to work on smaller projects at the end of January 2021. And by god, I hope I won't lose more than a year with this. So if everything goes well, I will be a very legit™ gamedev by the end of this year (if there's even a civilization by the end of 2021)
This blog will be about all the cool shit I'll be learning during my quest.
If you're a beginner, MAKE A BUNCH OF SMALL PROJECTS before attempting your giant dream project— Tyler Glaiel (@TylerGlaiel) January 20, 2021
Elaborating on why in this thread
The 10 games quest: Rules, Expectations, Sorrows and Hopes
I will try to loosely stick to the following rules during my endeavor
Rule #1: 10 games. no less, probably more.
Okay, so 10 is the golden number, however only games that are dedicated to the specific purpose of making 10 practice-games for THIS exact project count as entries in this series. That means: No game jams, no collaborations, no passion-projects. This rule is to prevent me to cheat, by just saying "alright, ima just participate in 10 of the billions of game jams, take 48 hours out of my time and get it done". Also (because there are plans to collaborate with other devs on projects) it is not allowed to have other people actively work on my game. The absolute majority of code, assets and design have to be done by myself. It is okay to use plugins and foreign code (this already happened for my first 2 entries, lol), but no one except for myself can do work specifically for my entry.
Rule #2: Genuine Effort
Even though I really hate to grind through projects I don't really want to make, I still try my very best to make games that I can be proud of in the end. No half-assing, no lazy work practices. I want to make these games like I would make a project I genuinely want to see succeed.
Rule #3: Self-care
Look. I don't like myself and I don't care about myself. Therefore I tend to burn myself out and push myself to work in really unhealthy ways. However, the 10-game-quest will not only help me gather experience in gamedev, but also be a way to fix my deeply sick work-ethics. win-win? Not really. I hate self-care, because it's annoying. But I also get that it's kinda stupid to burn yourself out over this, so no pressure
Rule #4: 1 Week - 1 Month-Rule
No matter what I will have planned for any of the 10 games: I will take at least 1 week, but at most 1 month to get it done. If it looks like the game needs more than 1 month to get everything done, I have to cut features. Simple as that. This is to prevent me from getting stuck in any of the 10 projects and acts as a guideline to really be done with it in under a year. Also, the time I have to take off for self-care reasons don't count as active work-time. So Rule#3 outweighs Rule#4.
Rule #5: Original Concepts and Experiments, no Clones
To prevent myself from making anything boring, uncreative or generic (which I would hate myself for), like the 1000th take on a shitty platformer or whatever which everyone has seen before. I'm not just gonna "make Tetris" to get an entry done. The plan is to "to make Tetris, but the twist is that X". I want to use each little project as an opportunity to explore game design concepts, experiment with mechanics and weird ideas. It's okay to take risks, because the game will be shit anyways. The 10-game-quest allows for an insane amount of failure, because the stakes are low. I should use that to my advantage.
I hope that this won't be wasted time, that I couldv'e invested in my big passion project. It took me a lot to convince myself to put that on hold, so it better be worth it. And I hope to gather a lot of experience and skill, new solutions to old problems and, most importantly, a library of reusable scripts ;)
Well, most obviously, I might fucking die. I know it's weird, but that used to motivate me to work on my passion project. What if I die without ever getting this done? Would suck. The likelihood that I die without ever getting to finish my passion project is one of my biggest irrational fears.
What if I find out that I'm just not made for game development? That's a smaller one, because I probably will always doubt myself and honestly, who cares. I just wanna express myself, why shouldn't I be good enough for this?
What if it's a waste of time? Yeah. I don't know. But nowadays nothing really seems to matter. It's probably better than working at a job, lol