I’m working on an older project now that I got excited about after taking up my new “follow the fun” approach to game development. It’s a tile based HTML5 game where I’m attempting to create procedurally generated quests that are actually interesting. Some games already do this, but I wanted to see if I could create something where the quests were nuanced enough to make the game fun. To be honest, it’s an ambitious project that I’ll probably not be able to finish because I a) won’t have enough time or b) the AI won’t be feasible to do in the browser. I may end up having to make a backend for this one (in go cuz I do go now.)
I’ll try to post what I’ve done so far (which isn’t much) but for now here’s a screen showing the opening:
There’s two basic strategies I can think of for personal project development:
Heavy disciplined, all free time goeth the way of the hobby
If it isn’t fun, stop and do something that is fun.
Which is better? Which is more rewarding? Which is more fulfilling? Well, I guess I have to try each and see. That’s what I should do I think. Knowing this will be it’s own reward, right? So, the question now is, how long should I do each for?
Let’s look at some different durations. Some are obviously wrong, like an hour, or a year. So.. somewhere between those? Yeah I think we can keep going. One day? No. One week? Still a little too short. Nine months? Seems like too long. Six months? Still seems too long but it is in the feasible range. So, between one week and six months? What’s in the middle? Three months. After three months, would another month matter? I really don’t think so. If I am not able to come to a conclusion after three months then I probably won’t be able to at all. One month can go by fairly quickly in terms of actual time spent on a hobby project. So, three months seems like a fair amount of time to know what’s good and bad about the above two methods.
I feel like taking the disciplined approach will yield a better end result, but I really won’t enjoy myself, and the reverse will be fun, but I won’t have anything to show after the three months. I’ll probably end up with about 20 unfinished projects.
I’ll do the fun part first, because the way my life is right now I think I need it. The rules are as such: I only work when I want, and I only work on things that are interesting. The goal is to let my interest in a project serve as the motivation to work. When I don’t feel like working I’ll do something else, or nothing at all. However, I will always document what I do. I’ll keep that discipline. Three months from today ends on November 29, 2018. I’ll write posts every 30 days as well just to track my progress and do a basic check in about my overall happiness/stress level (that’s in addition to posts when I actually work.) I already have something I want to work on so I’ll probably write a post about that as well. Maybe tomorrow.. heh.
So, I’m realizing now I don’t have the time to finish this project the way I want. I tell myself to spend those five or ten minutes (that’s a joke) I spend on Reddit working on the game, but after a while of doing this I get stressed out to the point where it affects my “real” work which isn’t the point of doing this. I’m a creative person, so I believe these projects should be a sort of haven where I can let myself do what I want. Part of me things I’m not being as patient as I should be as well because my life won’t always be this busy. Being busy makes you feel important, but I hope I don’t end up having to be busy to like myself.
Anyway, I need to dial this stuff back, and regroup I think. I don’t know if I’ve proven I can’t keep to a schedule or devote time to this project as well. Elon Musk says if you work twice as hard, you get twice as much done assuming you have the constitution he does. He doesn’t know if he has something others do not because he can’t jump in someone else’s body (hopefully) and compare their level of frustration after working for 12 hours straight to his own. I’m not giving up, but I want to know the answer to this. If I were to adhere “perfectly” to a schedule, how long should I maintain it before giving it up if it proves too stressful? Or, if I keep going, do I get stronger? More resistant to stress? Will I end up this way regardless, or do I need to put forth the effort. If someone doesn’t work out, they won’t get stronger, right? I need to answer these questions somehow.