Help staying motivated?

(I’m not quite sure if this is the “right category”, move to wherever is best if it isn’t)

I keep doing this thing where I start stuff but never finish and it’s really bothering me

I’ve started at least 3 different game projects with actual progress and I even started one of them much smaller in an attempt to actually finish something. And that’s just the stuff i’ve made by messing with GBStudio and not counting things like RPG Maker and small game hacks.

This usually isn’t so bad for me with other things like art because I end up coming back to them eventually and at least chip at it until I finish. But I keep coming to dead stops with games I work on and often lose motivation before even a whole week of work.

Is there any advice to avoid this?


we did have a similar topic before

it was more general improvement but the gist is the same for games. I think the reason why you can chip away at art but not games is because you have gotten over the “beginner hump” with drawing but not game making. also games take a lot of time to make which makes it hard to finish something and scope/feature creep is a bitch to deal with.

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I know the feeling all too well…a couple years back I was really into making (non fetish) rpg maker projects. I probably started around 6-9 with variing degrees of refinement or seriousness, and the only one I ever finished was a short one shot test to try out an action combat plugin…after a while I just stopped because I lacked the time. A bit later I started modding my favourite game (As in, creating mods myself) and while I initially had my fun with it and did a couple things with it I ended up moving on from that as well. I then modded a couple other games in minor ways, before kind of dropping that ^^’.
Couple years later, with some time on my hands I decided to actually make a semi professional mod for my favourite game, got all the basics done, even started to get into pixel art to draw some custom sprites buuut…that mod was never finished either.^^’ I got into drawing a bit after that, but because of other stuff I dont really do that anymore…though I do pixel art a bunch atm since I need it for my current project at uni. And as for the most recent thing I got myself into, Ive started looking into 3d modeling…which I’ll probably end up dropping sometime as well.

Its important to not try to make your first ever Project your dream project, especially when it comes to making games, because it wont work and you wont finish it. Try to view these initial projects as stepping stones and once you find an idea that really sticks, keep working on that…and if you get burned out on that project, take a break but dont forget to remind yourself to get to it again…doubt my advice is of much use here, especially since I fail at adhering to it myself but thats my thoughts on the matter. Good luck!

Do things at your pace and if you start to burn out or lack inspiration, set it aside and do something enjoyable

It felt like most of the advice in that other thread amounted to “make smaller things”?

Which is perfectly sound logic but,
I keep trying that and it feels like it makes the problem worse? Because now I’m getting roughly the same ratio of stuff done but the project is smaller so now I’m out of motivation and I feel more guilty than the last time. Obviously going for something bigger wouldn’t help but the smaller size feels like it’s not helping in the first place??

I generally get motivation for a single project lasting a few days and it never returns even after several months of doing… absolutely anything else. Which bothers me because I could take a break from something I don’t even like (say, playing piano) and still have at least a little bit in me to work at it again.

basically it’s hard for me to use general pacing advice when i don’t seem to have a pace at all for games? just 3-4 days worth of “i should do this” that dies out just about completely no matter how i space it and whether i actively use it all up or not

i feel like i’ve worded this poorly but i did my best

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Yes it happened lot of time to me to start something and lose motivation, then.

Something I advise is to focus on the “core” of your mod/game/art, make something easy to do but essential, and then when it’s totally finished and usable/playable, to add things around.

Still do small advancements, on a project and finish them is more rewarding than work on a dream project and do nothing useable.

I find that waiting for motivation basically never works. I just have to start working on a project I’m doing and hope that motivation comes later, but if it doesn’t I just have to work without it. after I have managed to force myself to do it, it becomes easier the next time until working on the project is just a daily routine

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If I do that I start forcing myself after a while, which starts to burn me out until my interest in the project is pretty much dead. ^^’
So sad to say the method doesnt do it for me.

Well for me I try to focus on something else to sort of get my energy back, and take a break here and there. I will admit I still have a game project (text adventure) that still needs additional polish but I haven’t finished the update (November and December drained me), but I am feeling up to it to finish it up.

Another could be is to set some deadline for yourself to get it ready, like say if you have a Thanksgiving game then perhaps set the release date on Thanksgiving to that so you have to work on it to make it a better impact.

I echo the sentiment that you can’t wait for motivation to find you once starting a project, because a project is work and not all aspects of that work are going to be interesting and rewarding to you.

  • Motivation comes and goes. Keep your phone or notebook handy to jot down your thoughts in moments of clarity or realization. This is the time I use to plan, and that could be stepping out of the shower, taking your break at work, or sitting on the toilet.
  • Schedule about an hour of your time dedicated to taking the next steps in your project. When that hour hits, you’re on the clock. This time isn’t for planning, this is time for enacting that plan.
  • When you encounter a problem you don’t know how to solve, take that scheduled time to learn how to solve it or fix what you broke.

This is my approach to specifically getting myself in front of my project. It isn’t exactly the same as “being motivated,” because in my opinion if I let my motivation guide my work ethic I’d be all over the place. I’m sorry for those who’ve tried this method and still haven’t completed their project, I know too that it’s not 100% effective. Burn-out is a real problem and then you get all these cool ideas in your head… but you have to shun them! Or better yet, implement what you like about those cool new ideas to some extent in your current project. This doesn’t account for scope creep, though - that’s another conversation I think.

Motivation is fluid, and what you need to make a project is structure. To use an analogy, I guess it’s like a raft on a river. Sometimes you’re paddling for miles, and other times you’re carried by the rapids. I obviously prefer the excitement of the rapids, but paddling will get me there.

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I find for myself, making the task smaller helps. And I don’t mean making the project smaller just the little bits I’m working on, like if I say to myself “I’m going to work on my game” that’s too vague and I’m likely not to start on anything, but if I say “I’ll work on the item balancing,” that’s different it’s a smaller task, even better would be , “How do i keep bombs from being too pricey/overpowered,” and work from there. Make the task small enough you can bang one out in twenty minutes and not feel like it was a drag.

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For me, usually getting feedback sometime helps. If you can show something off and people like it it makes me want to continue, or improve if they point out a flaw.

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I have a folder full of my favourite art pieces.
Not only furry or gaming related - classic paintings too.
From various, different categories… Whatever inspires me.

The same applies to songs and some game trailers… There are just some creations that strike this certain type of determination into me.

Oh and nice words, of course! It’s truly great when someone cheers for you, although too much cheering can become something of a slight burden.

I started doing that years ago, its been great for coming up with new ideas. Not really too helpful for motivation, but its something I can look through and generate lore from if I don’t feel like doing anything else with my project.

As for motivation, the trick of trying to do a little something each day, I find, helps. Even if its just writing down a single note, you’re still one step closer.

And I’ll go ahead and give a take not many people are going to be thrilled about: don’t make a discord. That’s where projects go to die because talking about your ideas before they’re implemented (at least for me) is a great way to kill any motivation I had to finish the project. Its a psychological thing where you get the same satisfaction from talking about a project that you would have gotten from actually working on/completing it. That isn’t to say that discord can’t be useful for coordination, but when you open it up to the public, I think that’s where the danger starts.