As I have been chipping away at my upcoming game Enduring Dreamers™: Freya for 3 months straight—I can’t help but feel the need to do something else to reset my mind.
The development is going great, I’ve been building various tools to maintain control over my code and to speed up the development. However, I believe I have reached the point where all that’s left is labor and more labor.
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the process! But sometimes when you chip away at the same rock day after day you kind of feel that you are not getting anywhere because of how slow the progress is. I believe many developers get discouraged when they get to this point, so they end up hopping over to another project.
This is really a bad practice—if done incorrectly and for the wrong reasons. There is a difference between taking a fresh breath of air to re-energize versus hopping out the window to run away from challenges!
The problem I am currently having is that I sometimes get stuck while thinking about a solution. Sometimes I can stare at the problem for hours without noticing the time ticking away. To combat this I start up a video game or watch a movie to let my brain digest the problem and come up with solutions. The game or movie in this case represents the passage of time which help me stay active and not get lost in endless deep thoughts/meditation. And this has been working great, I highly recommend it if you know what you are doing and have the discipline/self–control.
But I think the better option would be to work on something else. This way I can be even more productive! I already have a couple of projects so the question is: “do I really need more projects to work on?”. The answer is yes!
I’ve reached a point where I no longer see work as WORK, but more as an enjoyment. I am literally enjoying my job! Having multiple projects is like having multiple dishes served at a restaurant. I grab a bite from each dish in whatever order I feel makes me enjoy the food the most. Similarly—at least what I have noticed in my case—I feel more productive and less stressed by having multiple projects to work on.
There have been cases where I have been stuck on a project for days because I simply didn’t have the knowledge for how to solve the issue. The remedy was to work on a different project while watching tutorials in the background. After a couple of days of doing this I managed to solve the problem, but also—as a consequence—I managed to do a lot of work on the side project itself!
I wish I knew that this was the route to go for me. In the past I used to give up when I got stuck, and instead dwelled on the idea of seeking out that feeling of “inspiration”, waiting for the perfect moment to resume work. But it only led to abandoning the project for too long, so stupid!
That type of mentality is THE MOST COMMON mentality and approach among creatives. You have no idea how devastating it is to your productivity to think like that.
The moment I threw away such thinking and practice I immediately became more productive. And funnily enough, the best way to avoid falling back to that behavior is by having multiple projects.
Another positive thing from working on multiple projects is that everything transfers. What I mean by that is that things you do in project X can sometimes also be used in project Y.
Solving a problem in project X might be the trigger that inspires you about how to go about solving problems in project Y.
I know it can be intimidating to switch your brain from one project to the next, and you shouldn’t do that if you feel that way. It is only when you feel you have exhausted your brain for one project that you should switch to a different project.
This is important too. Don’t switch to a different project if you are on a roll! Make sure you pour out everything that’s in your head first! Then as you work on the side project, your thoughts will begin to fill up again about ideas and solutions for the main project.
However, I understand that this workflow is not for everybody. It is best suited for abstract thinkers who easily get bored and burned out once a project no longer stimulates their mind. Multiple projects revitalizes your mind and makes work more enjoyable—just like how different dishes cleans the palate and makes the food taste better.
So what is this new franchise I am working on?
I won’t discuss too many details right now. But I have always wanted to make adventure games, where you explore horrific secrets and whatnot. The first game I tried to make was just that as well, back in 2016-something. And most recently I tried doing it again as a livestream series. But livestreaming has not gone well for me. Of course I should have put more effort into it, but I feel it isn’t the right medium for me.
Anyhow, I will be recording the process while working on this new franchise and make video development logs from the recordings. Hopefully this will also lead to an increased interest in the games and in my brand in general.
Peace & GOD bless!