Keywords: design, motivation
Has it really been a whole month already? How time flies!

Over the course of the last month, I've mostly been focusing on speaking to a therapist and psychiatrist about my difficulty motivating myself to do the things I need to do. I make it sound worse than it is, really: it's just typical procrastination, perhaps heightened a bit by my naturally anxious manner, but I've opted to attack my procrastination head on with professional assistance rather than trust to my old devices to overcome it. (I've tried overcoming without external intervention for so long that I've little confidence in my ability to do so anymore, and only professionals really know how to do so in such a way as to do more good than harm.)

I've only seen the psychiatrist once, and I'm not positive she knows what exactly to make out of me yet. (I'm not positive what to make out of me, either!) However, the therapist gave me one piece of interesting advice:

"Moments in which you can make a conscious decision are fleeting. You need to act immediately or you will end up procrastinating again."

Basically, the idea is that conscious decision making is hard, and the brain naturally goes into autopilot simply to save on energy. Thus, if I don't commit to something when I realize I have the ability to make the decision on what to do, I will end up distracted with something else.

It would not be such a problem for me, but I do so enjoy dwelling on things, considering the pros and cons of them, and so on. Whenever a clear cut decision does not quickly manifest, chances are I will have wandered off to doing something else. Just standing up and doing something immediately goes against my grain.

I will say one thing that is somewhat interesting about my motivation: when I have a single idea I find very interesting, I will suddenly have a great deal of motivation to see that idea through.

Prince Blueblood is displeased

For example, over the last couple of weeks, I wrote two fanfics (Blueblood Returns and Blueblood's Redemption) for the current #1 meme on the Internet, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Apparently I'm a pretty good writer, as they've been well-received, so that's something for me to keep in mind. Both of them were something I had to write after I came up with a very interesting idea for both.

To a great deal, this applies to my endeavors in BYOND. While I have always had a desire to see through an open-ended space RPG, the overall appeal to do so is very mild. The trouble is that I've yet to come up with an idea as to how I'm going to implement it that I find very interesting.

On top of that, I believe some of my earlier decisions may have ended up making it needlessly complicated. For example, the idea that the space ship interiors would be in constant use. It's actually a heck of a lot easier to only instance things on the personal level (crew members walking about the halls of the ship) when there's something interesting happening there (such as a boarding action). It's also a heck of a lot easier on the server processor and memory overhead.

So this, currently, is where I'm at with my little multiplayer space thingy. I know that the game would be significantly easier and possibly even better if I pulled back the level of detail a bit. However, until I come up with a genuinely compelling idea of something I absolutely have to realize, motivation remains fairly fleeting.

Now, lately, I've turned to playing a bit of Starflight (the Genesis version). An oldbie, I was there when Starflight was first released on the PC some 25 years ago, and I had seen the Genesis version before, so this was hardly a new discovery for me. It's a relatively interesting model, a clean implementation of station to ship to planet and back, and not the first time I thought it would be better to give the players a whole crew instead of just a single character.

However, the game nonetheless bores me because there's little more to do than collect minerals, sell them, quickly upgrade everything to maximum, and then putter randomly about the universe in order to reach the end game. The dialogue is a saving grace, even though there's unfortunately a relative dearth of dialogue per race, because it fleshes out a massive backstory and provides a bit of purpose to the interstellar geography. However, there's still that sense of something missing.

Ultimately, that certain something missing from Starflight, something heavily related to having adequate meaning to play, is what's holding me back. I'm undecided upon exactly what that means in terms of something I can implement in My Own Net Dream. If I could figure that out then perhaps I would at last a precious enough of an idea that it could serve my motivation to realize it.
Were you procrastinating while writing this huge post?
Were you procrastinating while writing this huge post?

It's a grey area. Writing a huge ass post certainly burns time that could have been applied elsewhere. However, simultaneously, this post could be seen as a necessary point of reference for me to figure out what I should be doing. It could also be seen as a produced end product, a better use of my time than, say, browsing pony.
Writing about what you should be doing is certainly a form of procrastination. However, it can be therapeutic to take your mind off of what's pressuring you and vent a little. It's just another outlet for busy minds.

What you want to do is far more important that what you think you should do.

I've been meaning to talk to the doc about my procrastination problem, but i'll probably wait until tomorrow.
Tsfreaks wrote:
What you want to do is far more important that what you think you should do.

Very true.

My trouble seems to be that while I want to see a game through, I don't want it to be a game that does not excite me to create.

Two and a half decades of gaming is a bit much for there to be many concepts left that excite me at all.
Geldonyetich wrote:
Two and a half decades of gaming is a bit much for there to be many concepts left that excite me at all.

lol, meh. I'm surprised by a few titles every year. Some have tons of money thrown at them but most have been online gems and for the most part, they are just variations on simple themes.

There is no denying that disinterest comes with experience. Most turn to teaching, experimenting, or simply stride into all new experiences.

It's hard to pull the plug on BYOND. You have this ability and you have these ideas and you have this desire to create. It's that it just takes so damn long to finish anything that we keep resetting all the time.

The solution is to figure out how to reduce the time it takes to develop our dream games. We need someone interested in that. Besides me. heh.