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AbsorbedHatch

How to motivated to making larger projects?

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Just out of curiosity, what do you do to stay motivated to creating huge projects, like Daedaleus with Complex Doom, SGT_Mark_IV with Brutal Doom, and other people with large projects.

I have trouble committing to large projects (and even some small ones), and I wanna know how to stay motivated long enough to create something good.

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As I've said before in a different thread. I listen to this:



In all seriousness. I don't really have motivation for making a project, beyond making something creative or something I've wanted to see done. I'm on my computer every day, so I balance my time out with school, level designing, playing different wads, and death matching, so I don't get too exhausted. Every level I make starts out with an idea, and I brainstorm the rest, and try to make it work. Plus if people like it, that's enough for me to want to make more. If people don't like it, I keep trying and fix what was wrong.

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Try to avoid committing to large projects unless you really know what you're doing. Commit to a small project with a readily achievable goal, and expand it when (if) you reach the goal. Iterate.

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Sgt Ender said:

I have trouble committing to large projects (and even some small ones), and I wanna know how to stay motivated long enough to create something good.


Just do what you wanna do --- if it's commiting to a large project then go for it, but if it's not and you're trying to force it then don't -- just do what you wanna do.

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I was told that you shouldn't view your project as just one goal ("finish it!") but divide it into hundreds, if not thousands of little goals so that every day you can accomplish something and then begin working on another part. Supposedly that way it will feel more rewarding and refreshing or something. Dunno, personally I was never able to keep my interest in a project much more than for 3-4 days. Maybe people like us should just accept that large projects are not for us.

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I make and contribute to large projects, and I still don't know.

Probably explains why pretty much all of them are unfinished. :P

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Fredrik said:

Try to avoid committing to large projects unless you really know what you're doing. Commit to a small project with a readily achievable goal, and expand it when (if) you reach the goal. Iterate.


This. Don't bite off more than you can chew. You can always expand the scope later.

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Doomed in Space is stagnant as fuck at the moment, but even with UAC Rebellion and rot90fix, which were rather huge for one-man projects, I had the vision before I began the work. With smaller stuff like thedevilzwork and sin7, I opened up Doom Builder and let the vision come to me as I went along. My apologies if this sounds wanky, it's the best way I can think to describe it.

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Fredrik said:

Try to avoid committing to large projects unless you really know what you're doing. Commit to a small project with a readily achievable goal, and expand it when (if) you reach the goal. Iterate.

kuchitsu said:

I was told that you shouldn't view your project as just one goal ("finish it!") but divide it into hundreds, if not thousands of little goals so that every day you can accomplish something and then begin working on another part.

These are two sides of a very valuable coin.

If you want to make maps but don't really have any ideas, start small. If you have a master plan for your grand idea but don't have the experience, start small. Very small.

Test singular ideas. One map can be as simple as two plainly textured box-shaped rooms connected by a door, or a set of stairs that rises when you walk into a room, or an exit door blocked off by pillars that can only be opened with a switch, or a room with a monster closet, or a room that you use to practice texturing, detailing and lighting. Figure out the basics and get comfortable with the tools. They won't be interesting maps, but they will be important.

Then, when you are comfortable with the tools, start weaving those singular ideas together. A detailed room with an exit door blocked off by pillars, connected to a second room with a hidden monster closet, which contains the switch you need to lower the pillars and reach the exit.

Prototype simple ideas, then chain those simple ideas together to make more complex ideas. Build a graveyard of prototypes, successful and failed. Fuck up a lot. Move on to the next idea if the current idea isn't working, and come back to it later. Add your first custom texture. (And fuck that up too. It's okay, it'll happen.)

Playtest. Playtest often. Playtest when you've made a big change. Playtest when you've made a small change. Playtest when you've decided to place three imps in that monster closet instead of two, or when you think that a small stimpack will be better than a big stimpack, or when you wonder if a corner will look better with a lamp or a torch.

Start with small ideas, and build up by tying smaller ideas together. It's okay to aim for larger ideas, but make sure you're judging them against your own skills. Then try anyway. Doesn't matter if you fuck up trying. The earth will keep spinning, so just keep trying to make maps. You'll find your motivation.

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personally my ambition and imagination flares up far beyond the range I actually have with the editing tools lol

gradually reality sets in and I whittle stuff like "32 levels with full original sprite and sound track replacements" down to "2 levels with one track I wrote and then one I stole from Daggerfall"

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Dunno, imo playtesting too much eventially kills your interest in your map. There are only so many times you can replay a map until you get sick of it. Think about it, even your favorite level in the whole world you probably haven't replayed more than 15 times or so. If you had to play it 150 times, you probably would end up hating it.

Personally nowadays I don't load my map at all until the first playable version is done. That way I sometimes can stay excited about it because I really want to see how it actually feels and plays.

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Divide the project in parts, don't worry about how long you are going to finish it, sometimes is good to take a break so you can have new fresh ideas. In the beginning, though, it is better to start with smaller projects and, when you start feeling confident, start something big.

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