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Why I made the crappiest game I could think of to motivate myself
by Ryan Andrew Smith on 07/05/14 08:11:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Stop me if you've heard this before: "I'm putting the project on hold because ___".

Well obviously you can't stop me because I'm writing this, but I know you're out there. I know you, and I know your reasons.

The game isn't good enough. The engine isn't good enough. The art isn't good enough, the music, sound, level design, nothing about this is good enough. I'm starting over. I have a much better *other* idea!

I've been making games for many years, and it wasn't until this week that I actually made something that I released. I've been project-hopping for so long, I've started so many games that I've forgotten half of them. I was frustrated, angry and upset with myself. It got so bad that this week, after a 10-hour work day, I came home, grabbed a couple of beers, and forced myself to hammer out a game in 5 hours. I completely removed myself from caring. I thought to myself "This is going to be the worst game ever created, but by Golly, it's going to be *finished*, and I'm going to *release it*."

And so I did. And you know what? These past days I've been *euphoric*. My head is clear again, all of the self-doubt, the insecurities, the inner voice telling me that "You haven't even released a single game yet, you suck!", all of that is gone.

The game is terrible, of course. The game has the simplest mechanic, graphics and sound I could think of. It doesn't even have a menu. It's a one-button, one-mechanic game, and I'm kicking myself for not having done this sooner.

Because aside from the self-motivation it's given me, it also has forced me to dilute an idea down to the absolute essential gameplay element. Not only was this an excellent creation for my self-esteem, it was also a great excersise in game design - as game jams often are. There is no story, no hidden meaning, just a toy to be played with. And the absolute best part? I made it with the full expectation of it being terrible. My first game that I released *sucks*.

And that's *good*. That means it's all uphill from here. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing that's "not good enough to show". I have a floor to stand on now - even if that floor is sub-terranian, it's certainly better than just aimlessly floating through the void waiting for that "perfect spot" to land on. I have a benchmark now. Everything I do from now on *will be better*.

So to those of you out there who are struggling with motivation, with ideas, who are afraid about not being good enough, my suggestion is: Why not just go out there and make something terrible? The Android market is already overflowing with terrible games, so there's nothing negative about throwing another little thing at the pile. But the positive feeling of seeing something you released, and *FINISHED*, online, and seeing your name next to it?

Priceless. Go make something terrible to motivate you.


If you want, you can check out my terrible game on Google Play or online with the Unity Player.

Both are completely free and without ads, though I'm afraid the rest of my website is down at the moment.

I hope this little write-up can help other people motivate themselves to take that super-difficult first step of actually *finishing* something. Excelsior!


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