Thursday, June 6, 2013

My future development / blogging strategy.

TL;DR: I’m going to start blogging about all the technical hurdles I encounter in my game development, along with solutions, in order to prevent hurdles from killing my motivation.

I am a pretty lazy person.  Even if I finally gather the motivation to start working on my game project(s), I’ll run into a brick wall any time I’m challenged technically.  This is probably not a good trait for a programmer to have, but it’s what I’ve come to live with as someone who wants to make games.

Of course, it’s especially worse after a long day of work / lack of sleep.  The thing is, I’m a very goal-oriented person, and I quickly become frustrated at anything that stands in the way of that goal.  I’m likely to just give up altogether if it looks like there will be a ton of hurdles in the way of my goal.

To resolve this, I’m going to try to use this blog to alleviate some of those problems.  This has helped me several times in the past.  For example, when I had a completely obnoxious coworker who would infuriate me several times each day, I started blogging (anonymously) about him, humorously sharing all the annoying things he did each day.  Suddenly, his daily offenses magically converted to “completely frustrating” to “fresh new material”.  My entire outlook was changed and his behavior didn’t evoke the same hatred anymore.

As another example, in solving various technical challenges at a previous job with little to know guidance, I found myself regularly extremely frustrated at how many hurdles I had in the way of accomplishing my tasks at work.  So, I took to blogging about all of these.  Not [just] to complain, but to illustrate the steps I took to try to solve it and the ultimate solution (with a summary for readers in a hurry).  I thought to myself, “If this was so frustrating for me, there have got to be others with the same issue.”  This simultaneously happened during a time in my career in which I was feeling pretty worthless and undervalued.  I was beginning to think that these sorts of frustrations were something that only I experienced.  So I figured these blog posts would either elicit hateful responses of “Duh, that’s totally obvious, n00b” or else reveal that I wasn’t alone in my frustration.

Thankfully, the latter happened—more than I could have imagined.  I had random posts describing how to solve annoying errors in MS SQL Server or Wacom Tablet software, and almost every one of these got responses from people thanking me profusely.  It felt really good to be that very welcome search result which solved someone’s issue.

So, with that in mind, when I run into technical hurdles as I try to develop my game, I’m going to go through the hard work of solving them, and blog about the result.  The beauty of this is that it effectively creates a new, singular goal.  Each “hurdle” thus becomes a goal in itself.

I truly hope this will help others in the future.