Getting burnt out?

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Post: #16
I'll have to read those dexterity articles. Thanks for the links.

I've been burned out since uDG 2004. Between my job and my family I have very little time left over. The only way I got three uDG entries done at all was by giving up tv, reading, movies, and computer games for the duration of the competition. That hurts, particularly when I'm extremely busy at work.

I've been thinking about my burnout and I think it's because I am growing discontented with what I did for the last 3 years, namely develop a little game for release it for free. Such things are quickly forgotten. I feel like I need to try to develop a more professional game and try to market it. That probably means spending 6-12 months of my free time instead of 3 months. Also I'd need to learn to work with an artist. I just can't face it right now.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Nibbie
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Post: #17
Wow, this must be really universal with coders. I believe that this must happen to everyone on a fairly regular basis. I have found that if I take time off, the longer I take, the more drive there is to return. The only downer is that I've coded 3 days in 2 months now, and I can't return for another 3 because of school. There is just no way to keep my grades up and devote time to coding. I find that talking to someone about what I'm going to do, then going on the iDG chat room and bragging about it somehow gives me the drive to actually do it. And if everyone rejects the idea with good cause, thats even better, I save wasting time on something not worthwhile.
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Post: #18
Those Dexterity articles are awesome! I've actually read one before in a different context (after looking over them) but the others are really good too.

Joseph Duchesne Wrote:Wow, this must be really universal with coders. I believe that this must happen to everyone on a fairly regular basis.

The weird thing for me on this whole burnout topic is that I haven't really experienced this so much before (though occasionally for short periods of time)... then for a window of about a month there, I was working on Feet of Fury like, to borrow some words from Weird Al, a pack of starving crazed weasels. I can't insert the sound effects here that go with that, but listen to his some Albuquerque and you can get an idea. Grin It was like I was goin' manic, it was harder for me to stop working on it than to keep working until 2AM... Ever since then I've hardly been able to maintain even a normal level of hobby coding. I'm working on figuring out what was driving me and getting back to that a little. Or perhaps cure the now-burned parts of my brain Wink

Heck, maybe I really was on a manic kick Wacko

Cryptic Allusion Games / Cryptic Allusion, LLC
http://www.cagames.com/
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Post: #19
I am unstoppable.

Surely you all know this by now.
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Post: #20
JustinFic Wrote:Releasing a prototype or alpha that people can play and give you feedback will motivate you too.

I actually find the opposite happens. I put the effort in to release a new version and then get back no feedback at all. When I am relying on the feedback to push me into working on it again and nothing appears then burn out sets in.
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Post: #21
Andrew Sage Wrote:I actually find the opposite happens. I put the effort in to release a new version and then get back no feedback at all. When I am relying on the feedback to push me into working on it again and nothing appears then burn out sets in.

Maybe us burnouts should make a point of giving feedback to those of us who are not? Then at least we'd still be contributing SOMETHING to the community, and who knows, seeing someone else produce something interesting can itself be a motivator.

For example, every year I'm too busy with my own uDG entry to play many of the others, let alone give feedback. If I sit this year out I could finally participate in that side of the contest.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #22
And then with no warning it hits you like a bolt of lightning and you are suddenly you are motivated again.

This just happened to me today. For a project we were looking at OpenGL and I happened to have my Viao with me which had some OpenGL stuff on that I worked on years ago. I had tried to get it working again last year when I got the laptop but all the textures were not appearing. After a bit of lunchtime poking around I got it working and it is 100% relevant to work Smile

All this means my motivation for this project is back and it may even leak over to me working on a Mac port and looking at Mac OpenGL for the first time in 3 years.
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Post: #23
Maybe just talking about burn-out has a catharsis-like effect Wink

Last night I was able to actually get some good work done too, but for a different reason. I set myself some goals -- an hour of non-interrupted working on my game projects each night. Worked for me last night, we'll see if I can keep it up.

Cryptic Allusion Games / Cryptic Allusion, LLC
http://www.cagames.com/
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Post: #24
Good plan. I used to not even bother unless I could get 3 hours of solid time... but... that didn't happen too often! So, I've had to adjust to programming in smaller blocks.

Routine can be very good. Sometimes, though, you'll want to just... NOT STOP. At that point a ton of work can get done very quickly Grin ... you might lose your job/friends/spouse, though. Blink

(How are you guys getting the icons to pop up in the subject? edit: Don't know how I missed those! I was even looking for them!)

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #25
aaronsullivan Wrote:(How are you guys getting the icons to pop up in the subject?)

Beneath the reply box is a set of Post Icons. I'm using the red forum so I do not know if it is in the Aqua one. I just hope they stay and do not disappear like stuff has a habit of doing here Wink
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Post: #26
As is obvious from my recent lack of dev-related posts here, I'm in extreme burnout mode right now. It's almost to the point that it seems I have completely lost interest in coding. :-o
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Post: #27
After completing Offender (my first and only complete project) I set out to learn OpenGL, after having been frustrated that my game ran so nicely on hardware 50-100mhz faster than mine. I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't play my own game - I got frustrated with losing frames. I got completely bogged down in OpenGL, which is a far cry from the friendly Quartz + Cocoa combination. Just the sheer number of options in window managers, et al, in addition to everyone's opinion about paths to take - it's boggling.

Recently I've started programming again, after about a year hiatus. I've started work on a program to manage my citations, and it's going quite nicely. In 1-2wks I hope to show off a tech demo of the basic working technology. I expect this to really motivate me.

In my experience, the open source motto to "release early and often" is the best tack for not losing motivation. Praise and encouragement from your peers beats any other form of motivation, IMHO. If iDevGames had some sort of SourceForge-like system set up for active forum members, I think that would really aid this type of development. That's a bit off-topic, though.
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Post: #28
I find that the biggest cause for burn outs for me is simply the nature of my favorite programming "topics". Basically, every project I start is just a wrapper for some technology I got curious about, and that by the time the "core" I actually cared about is done, the remaining tasks to make it a full app or a full game seem really easy by comparison. But, invariably, they are not and take up as much or more time than the "hard" stuff.
Case in point, Okugai, my entry for uDevGames 2004. First 2 1/2 months playing with the engine, refactoring everything every week for no other reason than the pure joy of reducing the line count, increasing readability and sometimes getting a 1% increase in performance. Annoyed
Finally, it was time for the easy stuff... a basic scoring system, a health bar, a menu system, ...

Thanks to the easy stuff I stayed awake every night until 5 AM Wacko

As anyone on the #idevgames IRC knows, that's been my bed time since then... but until recently, I didn't code anything C++ or OpenGL related Sad

After the last build of my game, I took a one month break from programming, but after that, I double clicked that little blue Xcode icon and... 5 seconds later pressed cmd-q.
That break didn't help at all.
What did help was starting a project in a completely new IDE (breve), a completely new language (steve), and running into it's limitations. That caused me to fire up Xcode to write some simple applescripts (again, something new to me) to work around some of those limitations (no urge to "press cmd-q" this time Smile ) and later, to download and compile ODE to work around some internal bugs in the app, which uses this lib (again, no urge to "press cmd-q" this time Grin ).

What I'm saying is that not doing anything wasn't the solution for me, doing something completely different but still programming related was, and brought me back to my old friends/enemies: Xcode, C++ & OpenGL, with no hard feelings Wink
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Post: #29
to reinforce something aaron said:

I got burned out in november. I have coded less than 500 lines since then. I picked up World of Warcraft, and it has consumed me (not to mention my total destruction of my relationship status, but that is a more personal and tragic story).

but for those getting burned out, realize: the less you code, the more you forget how to code.
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Post: #30
skyhawk Wrote:but for those getting burned out, realize: the less you code, the more you forget how to code.

I have to disagree here. Coding is like riding a bicycle - you never forget how to do it.
You may forget the odd bit of syntax here and there but that is what documentation is there for. If you are any good then you should be able to pick up something years later and continue work with it without any problems.
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