Personal: Snowballing Mothballs

It’s funny the urge to confess on here.  A few weeks ago I posted that I was doing a course on Unity because I’d always had a hankering to create my own game (& something more than the little things I’ve created in Scratch). I was full fuss I really wanted to commit to this and create something – even if it took years. But where am I now? Well I got rather carried away using something called Fungus in Unity. I have so many stories in my head and I thought I would use Fungus to make some interactive adventure/visual novel type games. But weeks later I have just deleted one would be children’s game (about an orphaned chick on a farm trying to make friends with the other animals!), finally given up for good a murder mystery/thriller  that I have been striving to create in various formats for years & completely lost the will to live in regard to a school mystery adventure where you have to figure out out which of the teachers is an alien! I did create a tiny little game in Corona using Lua which basically gives points for shooting cookies before they reach a big red mouth in the middle of the screen (I thought it might be an interesting diversion for people on a diet- in fact the game is tedious beyond belief). So I’m starting to think I was mistaken. Maybe actual game development isn’t for me. I’m overwhelmed by the work involved in all the visual novel adventure games. I find myself fiddling  for hours on end with the graphics, camera views and music and getting nowhere with the actual story, characters and player choices . And when I do start on them I realise the amount of work it will all take and I visibly wilt.

It’s my fault I know. Whatever I’m doing seems to start small and then snowball. And while I know mobile phone/app type games could be done as smaller projects, in truth these are not the sort of games I like playing – so why then would I create them? I’m also coming to realise that what I actually like doing is learning the computer language/game development software (reading the tutorials, trying it all out, seeing it work etc.) but I don’t like working on anything generated in my own head! So for example I’m enjoying the Roblox videos I’m making for Geeks & Geeklets where I’m basically following the Roblox Wiki tutorials to learn more about Roblox but I’m less interested in pulling it all together to make an actual game (although I will do this at the end of the Roblox series as that’s the goal of the series).

But all these mothballed projects make me feel so guilty. And it’s even worse when I think about my writing. Sometime ago I wrote a scifi/parallel universes book (it was originally a NaNoWriMo project). For awhile I made it available on Amazon (together with Book One of a would be fantasy trilogy, a compilation of some WoW writings I pulled into a book and a non fiction humorous (well I thought so anyway!) book on improving your brain. I pulled them all off Amazon ages ago. I just did not like seeing these supposedly finished projects up there when I knew there was still so much more I could do with them if only I had the energy to do it. And I simply didn’t have that energy. So I have an 80% finished Part 2 of the trilogy sitting untouched in Scrivener while Part 3 exists only in outline. It all torments me when I let myself think about it. So I try not to most days.

So all this stuff is mothballed and it looks like the games I have part created will be mothballed too.  In truth in terms of creativity the only thing that seems to endure is my poetry on my Sullen Craft and Seatown site and my posts on this blog. I’m also writing more for Geeks & Geeklets (see here – I’m very much enjoying being a part of that site and community).  Maybe it’s a small doses thing. I can keep doing some stuff as long as it’s short and sweet. But if it snowballs it ends up being mothballed –  sad but true.


4 thoughts on “Personal: Snowballing Mothballs

  1. I am currently taking a break from mopping the actual floor, rather than guiding my intrepid adventurers through Africa. Now when I started those stories, I designated them to be my way away from life in general, which means it has to be, for all concerned, a pleasant experience. Turning it into work, I decided, would be counterproductive. It’s dedicated not-work. I’ve started on Book the Third now, but inspiration is failing me, so it languishes. I’m distracting myself with tiny little ficlets, 2000-5000 words or so, in an entirely different setting, while letting my opus magnus et ferox bubble along in the back of the shed like a vicious strain of homebrew ale.

    I’ve got my fair share of things just taking up space in my “Stories” directory, including one story that has been quietly growing in my head literally since I was a teenager. I should definitely write more in my Sysadmin Diaries series. I should get my butt in gear and get my Algernon stuff going again. I have the makings of a non-fiction book on the joys of system administration. Oh, and I should get some kind of social life.

    But it’s text files on my computer. It’ll keep. What’s important is that I enjoy doing them at the time I’m doing them. If I never look at them again, there will be no harm done, I’m not GRRM with a million fans baying for the next book.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! You’re right – it’s meant to be fun & time away from real life demands and concerns. I like things in neat and tidy boxes but life is never like that is it?!

  2. It can be really hard to get motivated about something. I’ve had many story ideas bouncing around my head over the years but so few of them actually make it down onto paper. But you had published at least one book already so you’ve gotten further than I ever have.

    As for looking back on your old creations and not liking the quality of them, I’ve been there a lot with web design. There have been many sites that I created and was proud of at the time, but I’d look back at them a year or even a few months later and realize how amateur they were. But you know what? That’s okay because it helps me see that I’m doing better with the next one, that I’m still learning and constantly improving. And hell, I make websites for a living. Sure I’ve made some crappy stuff in the past but I’m getting better all the time and it’s better than never doing it at all.

    1. Yes you’re right- it’s better to do something that nothing at all, and we’re always learning & developing. If we never started we’d never improve. Thank you for commenting. I feel better 🙂

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