A no holds barred article detailing common project stoppers and attacking them.

I'm here to address one of the most absolute annoying, disappointing, and counterproductive flaws of the entire game making community.

Let's get to the point; the amateur game making community is plagued with people giving up on their projects. And I don't mean starting an unnamed project, and going "Yeah this sucks" 2 days later. I'm talking about projects with 2 demos, an established fanbase, and a noticiable presence in the community, and one day the creator comes out of nowhere; 'HEY THE GAME'S CANCELLED', or even worse, the creator completely falling off the face of the earth to never be seen again by anyone.

I'd like to curb that shit. And while I could have made a really cheesy, run of the mill 'Let's get motivated guys!' yes-man topic that everyone would nod their heads and completely forgot they read two days later, instead, I think it's time to step on some toes and hurt some feelings. I'm going to attack and dispel lame ass reasons why people give up on their games, and probably am going to offend a lot of people because these reasons are often cited and they seem pretty legitimate. Not today they aren't! Let's roll.

Why did you give up on your game?

1. I don't have time! I have a life you know!

Poor excuse, because guess what? Everyone has a life. Everyone has shit to do, everyone either has a job to go to, friends to hang out with, classes to study for, hos to pimp, bills to pay, chores to do, kids to take care of, whatever. Barring a major lifestyle change (i.e. being elected for President), you knew what your timeframe was going to be like. You knew you were going to college, you knew you were getting/needed a job, and you knew you had friends before you started this project that you got everyone looking forward to. So, you didn't know these things, or rather, you didn't know how much time it would consume out of your project? I say to you; time management! Seriously, it's not too hard to balance a game making project with even a busy lifestyle. Yeah, I know people like to go 'how dare you tell me how much time I have! Hmph!', but as a full time college student with a job, I'm pretty friggin busy, but with a little planning, it's not hard to work on a game if you're serious about it.

2. My project was erased from my computer!

Honestly this is one of the most bullshit excuses there is nowadays, because with all the data storing options out there, from CD's, online storage, to flash drives, getting your data completely wiped off the face of the Earth is your stupid, stupid fault. Do you have a project you've invested over a month in? Store that shit. Burn it on a CD, host it or store it somewhere, or buy a flash drive (seriously, you probably already have one, and if not, they're like 30 bucks, el cheapo). Losing a years worth of work was a common excuse maybe about five years ago, but it won't fly now. Besides, complete hard drive wipes don't happen that often. You ain't slick.

3. My project isn't what I originally envisioned it to be!

This is perfectly valid if you're just messing around in the program, showed a few screenshots, and maybe had a ten minute demo and you decided this. That's all well and good. But if your project has been ongoing for like a year, has a solid two or so demos, and you have legions of people actually waiting for your game and you pull that, you're an asshole. Plain and simple. That is a dick move. Don't do that. If it took you a year, a ten page hype topic, and a dedicated fanbase to figure out your game suddenly isn't what you wanted to be, you're an asshole. Yes, you have the right to do that, but you're still an asshole.

4. My project sucks and nobody likes it!

Now this depends on how much it 'sucks'. Does it really objectively suck? Does it suck on a developmental, graphical, and gameplay aspect? Do all of these areas suck? Because guess what; you can always get better. You can get better at mapping/graphics, you can get better at gameplay design, and you can get better at writing. These are malleable skills that can mature and grow. You may not be the best at any of them, hell, you may be just okay at all of them, but getting all sniffly because everyone pointed out the gaping flaws in your first game is just whiny. Instead of getting angry when people point out your shitty grammar for example, get better at it. It's really not that hard. And if you game doesn't really suck, and you're giving up because what, one or two people didn't like it; grow up. That's life.

5. This is too hard!

That's understandable to an extent, but guess what, even things that we do to dick around can be pretty challenging. A lot of people can't wrap their heads around a hobby actually being...dear me, hard, and they bail with the reasoning 'I DO THIS FOR FUN IT SHOULDN'T BE HARD'. Once again, I view this as a bitch move. Sometimes things are hard simply because you're working too hard instead of working smart. Address it. Sometimes things are too hard because you're not managing your time correctly. Address it. And sometimes things are too hard because they just are. Suck it up. I say this because amateur game design really isn't that hard. At least not hard to the point where the only way out is to completely give up. There's always an easier way.

In conclusion, many of the 'valid reasons' I've heard throughout my years to justify giving up on a longstanding project are pretty much bullshit. Now is there to say there is no valid reason for giving up on a game? Of course there is; after all, this isn't life and death. For example, you really, seriously may just not have any time at all (all of a sudden). But in the event that you do regrettably have to completely abandon all hope of finishing a project, do not just vanish off the face of the earth and refuse to be contacted by anyone. Have the guts to put yourself out there to the community and say; 'I really apologize, but I absolutely cannot finish this project. My deepest apologies to the fans and the people that helped me along the way, but I do thank everyone for sticking with me and I thank everyone who helped me out'.

Sometimes there really are valid reasons for giving up on a game. But if your game has been eagerly awaited by many, has an established presence, and probably won a Misao or two, you better think long and hard about it. While you, me, or anyone else is under no moral code or anything to finish a game making project, doing so for a lame reason, including but not limited to the above, you're probably going to make an asshole out of yourself that bitches out on projects.



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I'm bringing this world back for you and for me.
Once again you lay down reality and use the gritty truth. Nicely stated.
The cheers at the end kinda ruined it. For me anyway.
This is a really good article Feld. You made some good points.
Nice, it actually inspired me to work on my game more often. (although the fact STILL remains that I don't have a fanbase XD)
I agree with this article fully, and though I do have somewhat of a life myself, I plan to follow through on any game demos that I put out (and I'm hoping to get some stuff rollin).
Reading this made me realize that Brickroad's reason for canceling KC was, probably, one of the most stupid, bullshit reasons I've ever heard of. What a shame.
I blame MMORPG addiction over everything.
Resident Nonexistence
This...is an epic win..
(dammit..I don't have reasons to cancel my projects >.< ... jk..)
The erasure is the only thing that would stop me. I typically work 5+ years, and have in fact had the file itself go corrupt on me. Crappy game? See my game. I didn't let a few designer flaws stop me. Public interest? They kinda hated it, that didn't stop me. The project pretty much has to be what I envision it to be, but I know it also has to be DONE.
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