Burnout (and how to recover)


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AC is probably another unfinished project which I'll probably won't finish because of lack of proper motivation.

My RPG Maker project - suspended (may return to it, but it's doubtful).
My webcomic - almost on permanently hiatus (from time to time I post something, but rarely).
My MC server - last time online was month ago.
Adventure Cavern - guess.

Everytime I start something I have internal fire that keep me going for a while, then something happens and game/other project is scrapped or (rarer) released as unfinished demo. I am sick of it. I am so sick of it. But I guess it's my nature.


Please help me, I need that. Oh and if someone lost his/her motivation, you're free to hijack this thread as I know these problems are often and by helping others you'll help me as well.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 09:37:36 pm by Jon »

There are no impossible things. There is only lack of skills.
Don't click this if your computer has less than 641 kilobytes of RAM.
Stencyl stencyling stencylish stencylers :D


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  • Posts: 2774
Take your time, do something else, and one day perhaps you might get your motivation back? I'm facing the same problem since the beginning of the semester, but if I let that stop me (more than it has already), I'm screwed. So just keep on moving, I guess...
My Stencyl resources are available here: https://luyren.itch.io/
Cutscenes, RPG Elements, Particles, Map System and many more.


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  • Posts: 3127
I'll extrapolate my own experience to yours: the motivation is gone because the real objective was a challenge/goal masked by the project itself. Once the challenge has been cleared, the project as a whole becomes less and less meaningful.
"Find the fun"


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  • Posts: 1268
If your problem is just making a game, it's mostly a temporary burnt out. Too much work. Getting stuck with something and cannot progress.

If it is me, I'll go ahead and do smaller tasks that have a higher success rate and a more focused goal.

1. Maybe a day game from start to finish. I can think of so many ideas.
2. Maybe volunteer to do some level designs for other projects.
3. Since you are a coder, maybe a resource pack that can be broadly used. Look at coleislazy explosion pack. I see it being used everywhere including my last game.

I think you need to create something for the community we can all use and then that fire will burn again. Oh suddenly, I feel like I am a shrink here.


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Believe me or not
i'm in the same situation

kinda loose everything , four years ago , i was broke , no money , no jobs , no girlfriend  , loose everything , all my life , needed to move and change country before something bad happens.(i'm not even joking)

After that i tried to save the situation by making animations, webcomics etc
nothing really worked ,everything bombed badly on the net ,  even nowadays i kinda lost motivation and happiness but i suggest you to make a project at the same time

Open and working on a lot is not a good thing.
Work on a single thing and maybe do something else to change and clear mind but concentrate on a single stuff.
and finish it , once it will done , the motivation/money/happiness etc  should be here again.


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i tend to idk how to put it "loose interest or motivation" in a project and it ends up take space up on my hard drive lol


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Hm, yes, I lose motivation quite often too. I'm fired up and pumped, and my wool will be bristling when I start a new project, and then after a while, I start to think about things more, and realize that it might take more than I can put in for the deadline I want to hit. Therefore, most of my projects are scrapped. Though to ease your lack of motivation, think of it as a school assignment, not a hobby. If there's one thing that you're really not good at such as art or music, try to do those first so that you can get a more realistic idea of how difficult your project will be.

Just a site that is created by someone who also has some motivational problems. Though his are very extreme.
Hail The Llama
"Play the games" ~ The Grand Llama

It's my life goal to rickroll as many people as possible


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  • Posts: 3127
i tend to idk how to put it "loose interest or motivation" in a project and it ends up take space up on my hard drive lol
Delete it.
"Find the fun"


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  • Posts: 1228
Here's a thought:
Pitying yourself because you think you should have more motivation is a complete waste of time and energy, I know because I've spent a lot of time trying to "fix" myself and grow a work ethic. You only have a limited amount of energy so don't spend it on something so stupid, either work on whatever it is you want completed or do something else entirely. Don't dither or procrastinate.

Here's another thought:
Maybe it is unnatural to spend countless hours on one project. When you eventually don't feel like working on it anymore then that does not mean that there's anything wrong with you. Do something else, start new projects, and maybe you'll have the energy to revisit the big ones and eventually complete them. What's so terrible about making a lot of different games at once? It's better to be continually interested in creating things than to beat yourself up and shut down.

Instead of thinking about how much you DON'T want to work on whatever project and thinking you have to FORCE yourself, do the opposite and hype it up in your head! Don't think about the amount of work but about how awesome the game will be, just like when you first started the project and were most motivated and productive. Daydream about the completed game and play it in your head.


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You know cancelling a project can be a good thing. Programmers like to stick on one big engine, but most artists tend to lose motivation after a while. Personally it can be because my codes get messed up when the project is big (I' such a bad coder), or because I got a new idea, a new flame I want to create. This is not necessary a bad thing. Also, some projects are going to fail and it's the best thing to put them down so you'll learn when to kill them or when to kick yourself in the butt.

It brings me to the two most important points when making games.

-Start with prototyping before being too ambicious. Make sure YOU find the game fun to play before making it a full project. Play around with your concept and make it evolve until you know it perfectly. But careful: When it's fun you will start playing the game more than you work on it and it can bore you out of it. Work on the core gameplay, if you get lost in the details you will lose all your courage.

-Don't do anything too ambicious. Making games is a tough task, and even small games takes a while and can grow into a bigger game. I'm sure you learned that from RPG maker. Making a full game is a lot of work.

You will get experience as how to effectively finish a project, and also find methods to make sure you have fun making your project while progress fast. Sometime you have to make compromises of what task are important and which are fun. Find the balance between them and you'll end up addicted to developping your game.

Believe me, I have finished less than 10% of my projects, and I litterally started over 100 game projects. But it's so much fun and satsfaction.


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  • Posts: 10
i tend to idk how to put it "loose interest or motivation" in a project and it ends up take space up on my hard drive lol
Delete it.

but then i come up with an idea or something for it haha and go back to lose motivation again its a never ending cycle :S


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  • Posts: 1400

everyone looses interest and motivation if there is no feedback from players and not the feeling of doing something which is worth doing.
Imagine Asteroids without high score. Not fun!

A lot projects (no matter a song, game or something physical) will never be finished because they dont reach they point where the creator finds out if its fun.

Do something simple. Check if the game core loop and the action you do over and over again is fun.
This prototype can look like shit but you will find out soon if its fun.
Test that with players, leave your ego out and take their feedback.

Your first tester will most liekly give you a 2 out of 10.
Work on it, make it better and you will most likely see success.

Try to find the fun in a very short time.
Than make it beautiful and nice.

All the best!


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Bombini, I appreciate your suggestions, however in AC case (search Adventure Cavern in WIP category of site) none of your suggestions is valid (but still may be valid for someone else). In my case I just lost ideas for new levels. Even those I made aren't very long. My game also was enthusiastically welcomed by stencyl users (see game's thread, should be under Announce game) and on NG. Also even on Kongregate it made good comments.

The another problem, that I believe someone mentioned earlier is that now I'd rather sit and play it rather than actually make it.

There are no impossible things. There is only lack of skills.
Don't click this if your computer has less than 641 kilobytes of RAM.
Stencyl stencyling stencylish stencylers :D


  • Posts: 430
I just finished my first stencyl project a few days ago, or so I thought. I'm having way too much trouble with this one simple section. I asked a question over forums. Now, as I'm waiting, I'm working on another game. I think that's what you should do.


  • Posts: 305
Things that help me:

- start projects you believe are achievable in a good time frame
- enjoy the process, not just the result
- focus on your successes not your failures (!!!)
- "if you have to eat 3 frogs, don't eat the smallest first"
- break the task into small chunks then focus on the step in front of you, instead of the entire marathon