I'm looking at all these games and demoscene-type creations on the board, and I'm feeling really demotivated, because all these things are better than anything I could ever hope to achieve, even the demoscene stuff. Does anyone else feel like this?
EDIT: Thanks everyone who responded so far, this has been very uplifting. Once again, good luck out there.
I used to feel like that but about a year ago I realized there's no point in being so self-critical. Every skill requires practice and I think that the work of others should be perceived as inspiration, not competition. If you have an ambitious idea, write it down and come back to it when you feel more comfortable with it.
Just keep trying and remember there's no need to rush, there won't be an exam next week ;P
Ok, I took a walk, and really thought critically about this. I asked myself things like "Why do I make games?" and "What am I missing?". I came up with this conclusion: making games is (for me, atleast) about having fun, and making something other people can have fun with as well. Thus, I need to make games that I feel are worth investing time and energy in. This is where I always trip myself up. I end up making games that I don't care about, or don't feel inspired to do, simply because of external motivators (ie making a clone of x game is how you get better at game development). I need to be doing this for the love of the game, and the love of the people who play games. Not so I can "improve my skills", but to present not only myself but others with an interesting and engaging challenge.
I don't know if anyone else is going through this, but know that, as former Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata put it "Games are meant to be just one thing: fun. Fun for everyone."
This may sound corny as all hell, but yknow what? I don't care. Work hard, make the games you want to make, have fun. And know that it isn't always easy, but it should always be a good challenge. Good luck out there.
Also remember, when comparing yourself to others, the difference between how you could, for instance, do math, or write a story, or draw a picture, when you were five years old. If you had the capacity to be self-critical at five, you would have thrown your hands in the air to see what a professional scientist, author, or artist could do, versus what you could do. Pretty much all of us would have, if we had only known we sucked so much.
However, the nice thing about being five is that we don't know we're unskilled, uneducated, and overall just plain incompetent. Instead, we're foolishly confident that we could be anything, and, as long as we don't talk ourselves out of the notion at some point, we're generally right.
Channel that confidence you had at five. You can be anything you see others being, or more. You just have some growing and learning to do, that's all.
Dude, I we've all been there. No matter what you do, there are people better than you...but there's also people behind you. It can be discouraging but for me, here in Pico8 land, I looked at the "pro" games and told myself, "look what's possible" - I chose to take it as motivation.
My own games might be simple right now but they can be complex...there's proof. I just need to learn, should I want my games to be that way. A lot of the top games you see on here are made my people that have had years of experience in other game making, well before Pico8 even existed. Me? I make web apps for living, not games. I'd love to be kick ass at this right away but I can't compete with years of experience...but then again, this ain't a competition.
I've made some games, which I didn't think were very good, but I put them out there anyway. The nice thing around here is, people will play it no matter what and give their thoughts. You can get input or get better unless you make something. Don't worry about making the end-all-be-all Pico 8 game...don't even think that at all. Like Matt said, just do your own thing.
Myself...I love shmups. So those are the games I'm making. They're not the most popular genre but I love them, so that's what I make. Other shmup fans will come along and play them too.
Hell, I made a game for the Pico Jam last month that I thought was pretty crappy but people seemed to like it - it even got nods on a blog - boy was I surprised! Just went to show me that you never know and thus, you should just keep putting stuff out there because you never know what will strike a cord with people.
Just because the game is polished doesn't mean everyone loves it. You seen that Celeste game that gets a lot of attention and lots of people have starred? Yeah, well, I don't like that game. It's a great looking game but it just ain't my bag. And vice versa...even if I made a beautiful shooter, they're not for everyone.
Bottomline is, I'm doing this because it's fun for me. If someone else can have fun with it too, great but that's really secondary. Sure, we all want our stuff be admired and loved but that's just not how it goes. Take your time, learn and make a game you'd want to play.
Don't forget! Anything posted here is basically Creative Commons use, no? You can download the cart and learn the programming they used to make this stuff, or even copy-edit the code to fit the premise of your game, too!
Even the pro pros have been where you are, and the great thing about having a community like this is that many of them don't mind sharing, and also don't mind giving you the help you may need to figure some of this stuff out.
Not everything is Creative Commons. The ones with the orange CC logo under the inline cart are the ones where the author checked the Creative Commons checkbox during the upload.
Still, even if you can't take code with no CC icon, or modify it and re-upload it, that doesn't mean you can't look at it and learn from it. I think it's pretty clear to all of us that our carts are distributed as source code and compiled at runtime, so while we can limit re-using and re-uploading, we can't reasonably expect to limit access to our code and tricks and ideas and so on.
(Personally I really like that about PICO-8, because it encourages sharing and growth and that can only be good for the platform.)
I've been unmotivated for the past 8 months. Even though I know for a fact that I love making games, I can rarely bring myself to start work on a game and if I do start work on one I usually wind up dropping it later on because of my lack of motivation and willpower. I really don't know what to do. Does anyone know?
Motivation is a hard thing for sure. I always want to make a big ambitious video game and then I wander endlessly, cruch by the quantity of work and how important each decision can be.
But with Pico 8, I find it a lot easier to just start something and go with it. I think it's because of the limitations. Graphics or code can be so simple and yet make a cool game. I doent feel like I will need to spend months on a project when I start one, more like a few hours. So that's why I keep coming back to Pico.
So it's important, I think, to not aim directly at something ambitious. Remaking an old games is a cool way to start, as it give you a clear path. Tweaking a picozine sample or a simple game found here can give you an easier start too.
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