It happens to everyone. You sit down in front of your epic masterpiece and you just can’t seem to get anything done. Or you don’t even sit down at all. What used to be fun is starting to look a whole lot like boring drudgery. If you’re starting to lose enthusiasm for game-making and can’t stay motivated, check out our list of tips to beat laziness and keep going when the going gets tough.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
Tips to Stay Motivated
Are you lazy…or bored?
Big difference. You can always re-energize your passion. Laziness is a lot harder to beat. If you’re bored, try switching to a different aspect of your game to work on and see if the situation improves.
Identify timesinks and get rid of them.
We all know social media will steal away all your work time if you let it. Disable wifi and then work on your project. No, seriously. Turn it off. Completely.
Go for a walk and ponder your project. Turn on some music that fits your story and think about it. Seriously, this works.
Be positive about your work.
Turn negatives positive. Every failure is a chance to go back and appraise what went wrong so you can do better in the future.
Be kind to your projects.
If you’re growing to dislike your work…remember that it’s just a stage. It will probably pass.
Concerned about opinions?
Don’t let “what-ifs” hold you back. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to. Be true to your project and the spirit that originally started it.
Set aside a certain block of time every day to work. Try it for a month. They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Make it a habit and soon you’ll find yourself naturally gravitating toward it when it’s time to work. A note, be sure to pick times that you actually WILL work. Don’t try to force yourself into an unnatural schedule. Because let’s be honest, you just won’t do it. Work with what DOES work for you.
Put on some music and make a music video of your game in your head. This works too. You just might come up with some new ideas.
Just five minutes a day.
Dedicate just five minutes a day to work. If you’re like me, once you get started, it quickly becomes more than five minutes.
Join a jam. Enter your game script in something like NaNoWriMo or whatever writing competition you like. Make a 30-day challenge. Make sure it’s achievable and tell everyone about it to help you stick to your goals.
Small goals for the current day.
Try to find a certain point you’ll achieve for that day. “Today, I’ll finish this cutscene.”
FIND INSPIRATION EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Play other games. See what they do right and wrong. If it’s the same genre as yours, you might discover another approach to your situation that works better than what you’re doing right now.
Don’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun.
Too wound up about doing everything perfectly? Relax a little. There’s always time to polish later.
Remember why you’re making a game in the first place.
Visualize the end goal of having a complete project. It will be awesome.
Work on a different aspect of your game, go get inspiration, ask yourself if the current way you’re doing things needs to change. Your game might be too long and involved. If you’re bored, your players may be, too.
Discuss your project with someone who’s interested. Get an accountability partner who’s willing to help you stay motivated.
When you reach a goal, have a reward system. Go out and get ice cream. Buy a new game for yourself. Whatever works for you.
Rest a while.
If you’ve been working hard lately, give yourself a break and try again. Staying rested is important to proper progress.
I mention this frequently, mostly because this did happen to me, but consider that you may have a health issue. Take a good multivitamin and get plenty of exercise. Talk to a doctor if you feel like you might be veering toward depression, which seems somewhat common among creative types.
What do you do to keep going when you can’t stay motivated and feel too lazy to work? Comment below!