The more I have explored creative work and game development over the past few years, the more I have realised this can be the most difficult part of creative pursuits but is always the most important part.
I don't remember having too much trouble with this on early projects but I can definitely feel the challenge in later projects as the scope has increased. You come up with the idea, you start the thing, it's exciting, you're motivated, you get to the point where you need to just get your head down and crack on...hang on, how about this other idea!?
I remember reading/hearing somewhere that fantasizing about about the plaudits, the money and the fame releases the same hormones in us as actually doing the thing. We get the same thrill just thinking about being a best-selling author, shredding a guitar solo in front of thousands or having 1000s of 5* reviews for our new release. That can satisfy the appetite, hard work gets in the way and we don't do it.
The advice can be "fail fast, fail forwards" or "make it bad really quickly" but you know what you're not going to do first time? Your masterpiece (Probably...). If you want to make something, you need to finish something. If you want to make something really good, you probably need to finish a bunch of somethings to get better and learn what it feels like to finish the thing.
The best advice I can give for making a game is use something simpler like GB Studio, Pulp for Playdate or Bitsy to make something small (Links below). It's not going to be your masterpiece but it does give you a better chance of finishing and releasing something than if you try to learn Unreal engine to release that open world game you've always dreamed of making.
I can't claim to be an expert on this but I have released a few games now and the feeling of getting something finished, out there, maybe making a few $ and getting feedback is great. Then you can start something else, finish that thing and grow towards your future masterpiece!
So make something small and rubbish, write a short story, create your first YouTube video or podcast and put it on the internet. If it's bad, no one will care. If it's good, maybe you'll get some feedback. But...you would have finished the thing!
- GB Studio: https://www.gbstudio.dev/
- Pulp: https://lnkd.in/eFFtVF9J
- Bitsy: https://bitsy.org/
- You can also find great tutorial resources for all of these on YouTube!