Stay Strong through Endless Change

Posted on Posted in Motivation

Game development is extremely iterative by nature. Many game developers create dozens (or even hundreds) of versions of their game before it is finally complete. Simple games need to be played at least 100 times before they’re considered complete. For more complicated games, that number is closer to 1,000 or more.

Game development isn't a path from A to B. There's often a lot of detours.
Creative work isn’t a path from A to B. There’s often a lot of detours.

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It’s easy, in the abstract, to shake your head to these numbers. “Sure, I can test my game 1,000 times.” It’s easy in the same way that running a marathon is – all you have to do is keep moving your feet for 26.2 miles. Don’t fool yourself. Staying motivated throughout the seemingly endless iterative stages of game development requires a lot of commitment and care.

It might seem like I’m dumping a cold bucket of water on your head when you need a warm blanket. Please understand: I’m trying to help you set realistic expectations. Bill Gates once said “most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

Endless change is a gift. Iterating your work until it is right is a gift. There is a meditative bliss in staying with an idea until it reaches the beautiful state you always wanted it to be in. You’d be amazed what you can do with hard work, time, and effort. You’d also be amazed just how much hard work, time, and effort it takes.

Practice begets mastery. Tenacity begets practice. After a while, baby steps start turning into leaps and bounds. Those baby steps are hard, purgatorial steps that feel like tiny eternities on ground that’s ready to give way. Push through it. Get stronger. Get better. The power to create what you want to create exists within you, but it is through persistence, patience, and iterative change that you will unlock it.

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