As I work towards completing my own game, I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing projects in general. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of talented developers out there that have trouble finishing games. Truthfully, I’ve left a long trail of unfinished games in my wake… I think everyone has. Not every project is going to pan out, for whatever reason. But if you find yourself consistently backing out of game projects that have a lot of potential, it could be worth taking a step back and examining why this happens.
We’ve all had that feeling about at least one game, comic book, movie, etc., that comes out: “Gee, I could do better than this! This is overrated.” But it’s important to take a step back and realize that, hey, they put in the time to finish a project and I haven’t. That’s at least one thing they might be better than me at, and it’s probably why they have the recognition I don’t! If you treat finishing like a skill, rather than simply a step in the process, you can acknowledge not only that it’s something you can get better at, but also what habits and thought processes get in your way.
I don’t believe that there’s a right way to make games. It’s a creative endeavor, so there are no hard and fast rules that can’t be broken at some point. But as a game developer who has discussed this problem with other game developers, I feel like there are some mental traps that we all fall into at some point, especially when we’re starting out. Being aware of these traps is a great first step towards finishing something. (Between you and me, codifying these ideas is partly my way of staying on top of them, too!)
So without further ado, here is a list of 15 tips for finishing a game:
So, I wrote a book… And after a thorough examination of the many self-publishing avenues available to me (most notably Lulu, Smashwords, Kobo Writing Life…), I decided to go with KDP Select.
Now, why self-publish? When I could easily send hundreds upon hundreds of query letters to randomly selected agents who would just end up “not looking for” what I have presented them? Simple. It felt foreign; intriguing enough for me to want to try it for myself. It was a scary prospect, yet way too exhilarating for me to pass up. Besides, I wanted the freedom to do whatever I wanted with my book. Well… “almost” whatever, since there’s kind of an exclusivity clause to signing up for KDP Select… but more on that later.
After thousands of hours of editing, I was finally done writing my novel, and I decided to publish it with no prior marketing whatsoever. Which was on purpose. Thing is, I had the crazy idea of going in and rely solely on KDP Select’s marketing power (and everything that gravitates around it), my ultimate goal being to create enough momentum for word-of-mouth to take off. I’d obviously done my homework, and my strategy was based on the many articles I’d read all over the internet about the subject matter. Call that a calculated risk.
For those of you who don’t know what KDP Select is, it’s a platform set up by retail giant Amazon where one gets awarded five days of free advertising when one agrees to a three months long exclusivity period with the program. As an indie author, I found that proposition totally worth it (at least for a test run); and after eight full months of weighing the pros and cons, I signed up without blinking.
The key is to know how to best use those free days. I’ve stumbled upon some blogs blaming the Amazon algorithm change back in May for being unfavorable to new KDP Select signees, stating the disappearance of the infamous “three-day-bump” syndrome, while others stated the contrary, which made me realize that it was all completely relative; what works for one author might not work for another (although someone else’s results can clearly be of tremendous guidance). The only way of knowing what works for you is to try it on your own.
And so, my plan was to figure out what would work best for me… and log it on my blog. I’ll be sharing the results of my experimentation at an ulterior date. In the meantime, if you’d like to check out my time-traveling novel and be part of the experiment, feel free: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094P9OY0.
See you in 365 days :)
Despite all your darkness, you remain my light… And roses need light in order not to wane… You’re my stand, the shoulder upon which I know I can cry on… The arms inside of which I could find shelter… I’ll do the same for you. I’ll be there… Because you’re my “other”, and because of a plethora of other metaphysical reasons I don’t always comprehend…
Mesmerized by the grace of your words,
The sempiternal song which emotes from your being,
I stand unclad at the edge of your world,
Knocking for an audience with the king of your being…
Prose in Pink
The sun rose, the wind froze
A pink shade tainted the clouds
It was quiet, I was alone
Feeling morose, my heart necrosed
A sound arose, it was sucrose
I stared aside, heeding its call
A primrose rose from the limbos
A pink rose, acerose
A single gaze, a single touch
I was sclerose, my mind above
My soul ashen, the pain benumbed
Proselyte, I wrote this prose
So, I keep dreaming about this girl. It’s the craziest thing. And it’s so excruciatingly annoying that I feel like jumping off a ten story building just to free my mind a bit.
Quick sidebar: in case you worry about my well being, don’t. I wouldn’t die from the fall. I’d bounce right off and go on running and screaming like a crazy person across the interstate.
So, this girl… I just… I don’t know “why” this is happening to me. And it’s been happening for a while, mind you. And did I mention that it’s killing me?
The worst part? Each dream is one of the best I’ve ever had. Yeah, that awesome… When I wake, I’m in such a state of celestial bliss I feel guilty for enjoying it, and once I realize who the subject of the dream was, I feel like seppuku-ing myself. Why do I feel like seppuku-ing myself? Good question. I’m wondering the same, really. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like I can’t even “think” rationally when it’s about her.
Before you start getting all giggly no, I’m not in love with her… Not that I know of… Nope. Not in love. I don’t even like her… Okay, just a little tiny fraction of a bit. Fine, I like her, sort of… Holy mother this is killing me!…
Okay… Just relax… You’ll be fine. You have nothing to worry about. No one’s coming to get you. Or maybe they are. Actually, they should. Nothing better to get toxic thoughts off your mind than a bunch of groping aliens… Okay, scratch the groping part. I like my body too much… I just wish I’d stop dreaming about her though.
Those dreams, they always take me by surprise. She’s just a friend, anyway… And I haven’t seen her for years. To be more precise, I’ve only “seen” her once, and that was years ago, which is why I find those dreams to be so facetious in nature. Ever met someone and just “clicked” with them? Like you’ve known each other forever? That’s kind of how I felt the day I met her. I couldn’t get my mind off her the following days, but I hated how I felt, even though I didn’t know exactly “how” I felt. Wait… I’m getting a weird vibe here… Was that… Was I… lovestruck?