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Declaring a project dead - when is it time?


Sjonsson

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Hello everyone!

Before I jump into this whole declaring a project dead thing I'm gonna talk some background on why I made this topic. About three years ago (in the SC2 Beta) I started working on a StarCraft 2 mod as a long-term project. It got halted from time to time due to lack of energy to work or the usual getting another idea that seemed better. The years passed and the day came when I needed to make work for my portfolio. I decided that since I know the SC2-Editor so darn well I figured that there is no reason not to make a portfolio piece in it.

I managed to wrap up the project into a very rough beta-state but never got it further than that. Now it's a side-project and I have revised quite a lot and made some new design decisions but I've found myself going in circles. I cut old stuff to add new, over and over.

How do I know when I should declare this project dead? How do I know  when I should just put to waste something I've spent several hundres of hours if not more? Or should I stay focused and wrap it up?

Right now I feel like I've spent to much energy and time not to finish it. I need guidance, share your wisdom!

This might have been the wrong forum section, if so - sorry! :)

Thanks in advance!

Sjonsson
 

Edited by Sjonsson
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Do you want to continue working on it?

 

Whatever your reason might be for wanting to continue, this is the question you have to ask. Is it fun to work with? Do you learn a lot by working on it? Do you think the finished project could be of value?

 

Don't fuck without a boner, man.  :)

Fun to work with? Naah I have things I'd rather work on. Do I learn a lot? Not really, I'm working in an engine I know better than my kitchen. 
If the finished project could be of value? I'm not sure anyone who looks at it will fully understand how much work there is behind it so I don't know - if it blossoms on the SC2-Arcade and gets many players it will be worth it.

 

 

It's like in marriage, sometimes it's better to leave or somebody will die.

 

Haha, so what you're saying is that maybe if I take my mod out for dinner and bring it choclate and flower I can push a few more months maybe? ^^ I get your point, but right now it feels like this marriage end with me killing the mod or the mod killing me - it ain't a good one.

 

Right this second. That's when.

But... but.. should I make a post-morten out of it or just dig a hole in the yard and leave it for the worms?

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I see it a bit like gambling. Once you invest enough, just quitting feels crazy because you have to get something out of it rather than just admitting you wasted loads of money. So then you waste even more money, and more still, until eventually you're dying in a hospital bed with alcoholism and no family or friends, and have probably become a rapist too.

 

The approach I took to personal projects some years ago is to just work on what I feel 100% motivated to work on. Go with whatever technology, technique, or inspiration is calling out to you. If your interest starts to wane, work on something else — only return to it if your interest comes back. Have like 10 projects going at once if you need to. Some will get finished, some won't. But whatever the case, you'll end up with a lot of cool shit and will have learnt a lot.

 

The key is to just not become attached to projects. Personal ones don't really matter, nobody's going to fire you for not getting them done. You must learn to be OK with throwing away work without despairing over it or you'll just feel bitter towards your hobby, and when you have free time to do some cool work you'll probably just think 'Fuck that, I can't be bothered with <shitty project I'm bored of> so I'm just going to go play games instead'.

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If the finished project could be of value? I'm not sure anyone who looks at it will fully understand how much work there is behind it so I don't know - if it blossoms on the SC2-Arcade and gets many players it will be worth it.

 

Don't value side-projects based on how many people could potentially play it. It's like winning the lottery out there, so many distractions... so many mods/games to play. You'd be lucky if someone played it at all. If I made 1 person happy creating something it's usually worth it to me because like Puddy said... first and foremost you're doing it for yourself, it has to be fun.

 

I'm assuming pretty much all people here will have a shitton of unfinished projects. My game dev folder on my desktop has more unfinished stuff in it than finished but I'm cool with that. Lots of research, tests and whatnot that helped me be where I am now and I'm still doing it. It'd be cool to share some stuff once in a while but meh, as long as you don't HAVE to do it (create a portfolio to find a job) just do what you want, life's too short!

 

It might also just be that you overscoped, make something you can finish in a couple of weeks perhaps if you're losing focus that fast. Cos from a portfolio standpoint it's obviously better to finish stuff and move on.

Edited by Chimeray
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I see it a bit like gambling. Once you invest enough, just quitting feels crazy because you have to get something out of it rather than just admitting you wasted loads of money. So then you waste even more money, and more still, until eventually you're dying in a hospital bed with alcoholism and no family or friends, and have probably become a rapist too.

 

The approach I took to personal projects some years ago is to just work on what I feel 100% motivated to work on. Go with whatever technology, technique, or inspiration is calling out to you; if your interest starts to wane, work on something else — only return to it if your interest comes back. Have like 10 projects going at once if you need to. Some will get finished, some won't. But whatever the case, you'll end up with a lot of cool shit and will have learnt a lot.

 

The key is to just not become attached to projects. Personal ones don't really matter, nobody's going to fire you for not getting them done. But you must learn to be OK with throwing away work without despairing over it or you'll just feel bitter towards your hobby, and when you have free time to do some cool work you'll probably just think 'Fuck that, I can't be bothered with <shitty project I'm bored of> so I'm just going to go play games instead'.

I can so much relate to the fact that lack of interest can really be a bummer and how many times I post-poned personal deadlines due to it. I think I will try your approach and just work on whatever I feel appealing.

 

 

 

If the finished project could be of value? I'm not sure anyone who looks at it will fully understand how much work there is behind it so I don't know - if it blossoms on the SC2-Arcade and gets many players it will be worth it.

 

Don't value side-projects based on how many people could potentially play it. It's like winning the lottery out there, so many distractions... so many mods/games to play. You'd be lucky if someone played it at all. If I made 1 person happy creating something it's usually worth it to me because like Puddy said... first and foremost you're doing it for yourself, it has to be fun.

 

I'm assuming pretty much all people here will have a shitton of unfinished projects. My game dev folder on my desktop has more unfinished stuff in it than finished but I'm cool with that. Lots of research, tests and whatnot that helped me be where I am now and I'm still doing it. It'd be cool to share some stuff once in a while but meh, as long as you don't HAVE to do it (create a portfolio to find a job) just do what you want, life's too short!

 

It might also just be that you overscoped, make something you can finish in a couple of weeks perhaps if you're losing focus that fast. Cos from a portfolio standpoint it's obviously better to finish stuff and move on.

 

I can't say anything but that you are right speaking of how many people that played my mod. I guess it's just that it got over my head with "finally making something that shows up in the lists" as I've been around for so long in the SC2 modding community but never really finished anything. Everyone keeps saying the same thing, if it isn't fun it isn't worth it.

Maybe it's time I put this project into the history folder as well. Finally, you are entirely right, I made a scope that was waaaay to big.

Now, after all of these replies I'm ensured that it's time I go on and make something new and fresh. I've been thinking about this for longer than I can presume is good. My next project will have a smaller scope and timescale.

Thanks to all of you! This is actually a big deal for me. :)

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I'm ensured that it's time I go on and make something new and fresh.

 

I'm trying to do the same but anything fresh I can do is post cat gifs :) As Rick once wrote: "mapcore folks are too tired after a day of work to do anything but post pictures of dogs". If you have time then there's no barriers, take it while you can!

 

Here's one for you:

wlgmQUb.gif

Edited by seir
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Haha, I've seen this quote in someones signature quite a few times! And yes I feel like I don't have those barriers today so I better take the chance indeed!

That is one helluva strange dog! ;) (Also, best cat gif I've seen in a while, haha! xD )

Edited by Sjonsson
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Haha, I've seen this quote in someones signature quite a few times! And yes I feel like I don't have those barriers today so I better take the chance indeed!

That is one helluva strange dog! ;) (Also, best cat gif I've seen in a while, haha! xD )

 

That cat is actually me getting feedback for meshes that are not yet finished ;)

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