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LonelyBond #61- A Wasted Month


Hello once more! We meet again in this weekly LonelyBond dev-blog update where I'm about to tell you about all the struggles and decisions I've done in this passing week... and how much of a fool I've been for this past month or so.

So on June 3'rd I've made this blogpost where I've addressed a big problem I've had with the game - it's lack of big hooks. I've come to terms with stopping developing the first chapter of the game, scrapped a lot of work and jumped head first into the unknown of restructuring the game.

In the time since, I've been able to do a lot of work on that restructure. I've decided how the game ends and how it should play out for each ending, and I've decided how many chapters there are (5), what happens in each (in general), and planned some of the fine details of some of them.

But on June 17 I've made another post describing some of the struggles creating the details of the conflict on the first chapter. It's not easy to admit, but getting stuck like that is demotivating. I've done my best. In the following weeks I've tried breaking through my problems by working hard on them, consulting with some friends and family - and I did make some breakthrough that are solid - but there are still some problems left to solve, so I could not advance on creating that first chapter.

What am I to do in this situation? Well, I've stuck with it, but also tried working on some other, less burning tasks (such as an input system, follow system and so on). Don't get me wrong - these are stuff that needed to be done, but my lack of motivation from not solving the wall in front of me slowed me down. I've lost my momentum.

So what have I done this week then?

I realized I acted in a stupid and wasteful manner. I put a lot of mental energy into solving that chapter when I really needed to leave it alone for a while and work on something *important* that I *know* how it plays out already.

Hence my decision - I'm bailing on the first chapter of the game, to work on a complete 3'rd chapter.

It has some downsides:

  • I have to tell playtesters how to play since they won't start with the tutorial

  • Playtesters won't have narrative and character-connecting context for what they are playing

  • It limits some of the things done before that chapter / things will need to change after the chapter is finished

But honestly? These downsides are not worth a month of development lost.

So what am I doing now?

I'm breaking the chapter down to small tasks, each assigned to a deadline that should motivate me and help me recover my work discipline. I'm also doing something that needed to be done for a while now and I'm getting a new PC so I can get rid of some bottlenecks I have when I'm programming, it's an expensive fix, but an expensive fix that I need to make already.

Next week, I'd like to share more of what's planned for this chapter, deadlines, and whatever else that I can show for the progress I'll make. I'll do my best to make it good.

And that will be it for this update - see you all in the next one :)

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