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Answers to "how do you decide to commit to a project?"

Started by droqen, November 13, 2021, 07:34:51 PM

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"At worst, [polish is] aesthetic minutiae that only the creator cares about."

"focus on a [bigger] game [..] anything smaller I make isn't nearly as fun. the bigger one already is, just needs content" - how do you know? what content? 'content' as shortcut word as if the problem has been identified.

"following my own energy. I used to think many parts of the process had to be pushed through, but that was me doing it in a way I didn't like."

- intuitive motivation - just a feel for the ideas that have promise as a larger project, and which seem possible.
'motivation to have it wrapped up into a complete experience'
'i want to turn this into several levels and have people play it'
which ideas are 'likely' and 'exciting'?

inverse answers came more easily. red flags: what NOT to commit to

- "Minigames" was just a trap to let me off the hook for designing the core gameplay right away (don't procrastinate fundamental problems.)
- Stop ranking (ruminating), "just do it already"
- "following my own energy."
- Don't use tools I don't like
- Don't polish something that's not fun
 *** I asked more about this one. "If something shines with a rough prototype, you've got something that is going to glisten when polished. That benchmark is entirely subjective // Polish is best when it reinforces design signalling or affordances. At worst, it's aesthetic minutiae that only the creator cares about."

quotes from responses to these 2 tweets and privately
tweet 1
tweet 2


droqen's takeaways

*** Be careful about falling into traps that let you off the hook for solving fundamental problems. e.g. If something is NOT FUN, making it MORE ATTRACTIVE or MORE RESPONSIVE (i.e. "Polishing" it) is not (generally speaking) going to make it fun. To solve a problem, solve the problem.

*** Don't ruminate on best solutions when you could just be working on solving the problem.

*** Follow your own energy. What does that look like in detail? Don't use tools you don't like. Extrapolating on that: Don't do tasks you don't like, and don't do them in ways you don't like to do them. Solve the problems you like to solve. Solve them in the ways you'd like to solve them.

*** Look ahead (this requires experience) to determine how much 'motivation' you have for a project. !!!

*** Look ahead (this requires experience) to determine how realistic a project's scope is. !!!

(!!!) Dig way deeper into these two. What makes a project realistic/likely? What makes motivation tick? This is extremely core to the whole thing. It's also extremely difficult to get specific about.


Takeaways, ubersimplified, but in conflict

1. Ask something between:
1a. Will I be able to work on this until it's finished?
1b. Will I want to work on this until it's finished?

2. Solve the biggest problems first. Don't procrastinate. Common forms of procrastination: solving smaller problems; or ruminating on "how to best solve this problem" forever.


Right, but... the ubersimplified takeaways version isn't why I asked the question in the first place. I wanted to get the temperature of what people think works. I guess my conclusion is: wow everyone is pretty different! I need to paint with a broad stroke to see if there's some undercurrent about what people agree on.

Motivation is important.

People are very good at procrastinating - VERY good at it. It's a hard lesson people need to learn. Short projects help you skip past that: a small project has less places to hide.

Hmm so conclusion: Finish things. But not because "finishing things is a skill." It's not. Finishing things is a goal, an accomplishment, perhaps a habit; anyway IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE IT YOU MUST DEVELOP A TECHNIQUE. But everyone will use different techniques. This is why I don't think it's a skill. It's too... big.


I long forgot about this talk.


I'll grab the quote from it sometime but wanted to leave it here. He says something similar: about just not doing the things you don't want to do if you want to have a long-surviving practice. Something about "wearing you down to a NUB" after 40 years.

You want sustainability? Do what you love.

This isn't "Do what you love and you'll never work another day in your life." It's work. But it's not gonna kill you