How do you stay motivated?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by psihomir, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    Seriously. I've got this problem with most of the design-related things I get into. I'd get this buzz in me, pushing me to do it whenever I can, thinking about it. Then after a while, something else catches my attention and I completely forget about the previous.

    I've finished maps for HL/CS before, but they weren't really big of projects.

    I just can't seem to push myself to finish my current TF2 map. Whenever I start Hammer, I'd move a wall or something, then get bored and close it.

    And it sucks, because I'm so close to finishing it, and I've made so much progress, that I just don't want to let it die.

    I started a new map, hoping that it would get my buzz back... I worked a little on it, but it didn't bring me back to the old one.

    ADD? I don't know. But it's really terrible.

    Do any of you guys experience this? How do you cope with it?
     
  2. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I used to experience this, though doing Graphic Design at University has taught me how to pretty much keep my creative juices going indeffinately.

    But to be fair, you might just be pushing yourself a little to hard. It's a little like food, the first bite always tastes great but eventually you loose that hit and it all becomes rather bland. You just gotta wait untill your next meal to get that first buzz again.

    I suggest you leave it for a while, maybe as much as a week if need be, and then come back to it.
     
  3. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    Well... the last time I touched my map was around the end of September :( Then I moved here to Germany and I've been pretty busy getting my documents and everything else in order, and then my studies began, and now that I've settled down I still can't do much... sigh.
     
  4. Dox

    Dox L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Sometime I feel like I cant seem to get mapping either... I usually find that forcing myself to do it for, lets say, an hour, will get enough accomplished for me that over the next couple of days I actually want to map again.
     
  5. Blindfate

    Blindfate L1: Registered

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    I'm sort of like that, I'm worse though. I got half way through writing a novel. I haven't really worked on it in over a year. With mapping I just go a little bit at a time, get an idea and work on it, then do maybe an hour a day until i get that done.
     
  6. russtolium

    russtolium L1: Registered

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    I find that incorporating your mapping activities into a daily routine helps tremendously. I've been working on my second map ever, and my first in Source, a TF2 map, for almost a year now. If that isn't a test of motivation, I don't know what is. I made every newbie mistake in the book along the way which is why it's taken so long, but the fact that 9-11 PM every weeknight was 'map time' kept me going without me casting too much doubt on it.

    Not everyone is a routine type of person, but if you can manage it I'd absolutely recommend giving it a go.
     
  7. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    It REALLY helps to have support from others.

    When I get sick of mapping, I release screenshots of the WIP, post it on forums, invite my friends to play a private game on it, etc

    Or you know, play the game that got you into mapping :D
     
  8. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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    The one thing that's kept me going and made me really want to keep working on my map has been playtesting and feedback. The main reason I end up opening up hammer is because there's a new suggestion for something I should do that I want to try out.
     
  9. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

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    Staying motivated is one of those things which many people struggle with regardless of what task is at hand.

    For me I stay motivated by working on multiple projects at once. If I get bored of one project then it's not a problem as I can simply move onto something else which interests me more. This method may not work for everybody (trust me, I have a lot of spare time to work on multiple tasks) but it worked for me and I was in the same position as yourself; working on something for a couple of days then giving up!

    From a mapping point of view I think it would be best for you to start small, get feedback on progress and use it to feed personal motivation and push yourself to the finish line. Somebody else encouraging you to work more on your map is a lot better then keeping it to yourself until it's absolutely perfect.

    On a side note, we can all aspire to produce maps of the same quality as the best mappers out there but you can't compare yourself to somebody who has more technical or artistic ability than yourself. It's an unfair comparison and there isn't any need to beat yourself up about it. :)
     
  10. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    My current project has been motivated by it's theme/environment I can't wait to build (I plan for it to be really neat), and my plan is to stay in dev textures until the gameplay is worked out and not tell anyone about the theme I have planned. That way I always have the goal of getting to the fun, awesome part of the mapping once I push through the frustrating. (Though having motivation doesn't mean you always get work done... darn mappers block :()
     
  11. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    I find mapping fun, simple as that. If I didn't I wouldn't do it.

    If you don't find it fun, stop. If you find doing little bits of maps and then moving on more fun than sticking it out with one map, do that.
    Unless you actually do (or want to do) mapping professionally the #1 priority when mapping is to enjoy it, it is after all a hobby. But then if you want to do it professionally you'll find it fun anyway so that isn't a problem...
     
  12. cornontheCoD

    cornontheCoD L7: Fancy Member

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    didn't you used to have a quote in your sig? something along the lines of "if you want to become and expert at something, do it until you're sick of it. then do it some more"
     
  13. III_Demon

    III_Demon L2: Junior Member

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    story of my life. call it ADD or whatever, i have a HUGE problem with exactly what you're talking about.

    the only things i've found to help are #1 - keeping the projects small. the smaller the project, the more likely i'll get to the end before i burn out or get distracted. #2 - collaboration. if someone else is involved in the project, i can hand it off to them when i get stuck, and when they hand it back, they've done something with it, and its new and different now, and i get motivated to work on it again.
     
  14. russtolium

    russtolium L1: Registered

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    Ohh, thought of another good one sort of related to the routine thing. One thing I do to cap off a night's work, and yes this can be seen as a questionable way to use your time to some, but I basically do a 'nightly build'. I run VBSP and VRAD only so it gets done in a reasonable period of time (though my near finished map is getting a bit long for this type of thing, compile time is roughly 45 mins) so every night I'm rewarded for my work by getting to explore my map with nice pretty lighting.

    While it's compiling, I go do something fun like watch tv or play a game or read a book or something to unwind, then come back and take in my progress when it's done. Everyone's different though, it helps to experiment with different ways ( I for one can't juggle multiple projects well since I'd probably end up never coming back to the old ones, though there are times I REALLLLLY want to start a new map ).
     
  15. psihomir

    psihomir L4: Comfortable Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. Now, one by one... :)

    Well, that's what usually gets me going for a week or so, but then it just dies again. We have a small community of Bulgarian gamers, two of my friends regularly run servers for us to play by ourselves (we're about 15-20 people), and they run my map's tests whenever I ask them to... we've played the crap out of it. Yes, usually after we finish a test and I'm sitting there with a paper full of notes on what to do (I always write them down like that, found it very useful), I want to start Hammer and do it, but it doesn't last much longer...

    Well, I guess I'll have to try that - I'm not exactly a routine guy, but I can keep to a schedule when that's needed.


    Yes, I've found that switching projects is what's worked best for me so far. The thing is, often the new projects steal most of my attention and I get completely involved in them. For example, I started programming a Tetris game (coding is probably my favourite design-related thing, followed closely by mapping) as a side-project to get me away from mapping (and eventually back into it). And now, I constantly want to work on the program and not the map :/

    My new environment is actually what got me wishing to get back into mapping after such a long pause in the first place. (Last time I mapped before TF2 was 2000-2004). My mates really liked it, I kind of liked it, I'm more or less done with the layout - which I also find the frustrating part - but now most of the "cooler" detail work is done, I'm left with the more annoying things, like fixing small details, redoing all my cliffs (because they suck.), etc.

    Collaboration actually sounds like a nice thing, I got an offer by a fellow mapper some time ago. But I turned him down, because I was afraid I'd get bored and abandon the project - and I didn't want to let someone down. I guess I should see if the offer is still up though.

    To tell you the truth, I also find it fun. I still somehow find it fun, regardless of the lack of motivation. It's hard to explain. I still get all those ideas in my head, it's just that I can't get to realising them.

    About the last part, I'd have to disagree... sort of. For me, doing something professionally makes it stop being fun. Instantly. The fact that I'm doing it for the money, etc, just kills it for me... but I guess people see things differently.

    Well, that worked a little in the beginning, but ever since I found that one simple hint brush downed my compile time from about 2 hours to 7 minutes (!), it doesn't do it anymore :)



    Wow, did I write all that? Damn, and I still have time to catch the bus to uni... well, I guess I'm off then :) I'll try to work for 2 straight hours on my map when I get home, we'll see how that works out.

    Sorry if I missed anyone in the reply - it wasn't intentional!

    Cheers mates!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  16. III_Demon

    III_Demon L2: Junior Member

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    thats part of the point, really. it may or may not work for you, but knowing someone else is counting on me helps push through the problems of distraction. i also tend to keep multiple projects going at once, which means when i switch, theres always the danger that i'll never get back to the one i left behind. if people are expecting me to finish something, i tend to return to it. if its just for fun, for myself, i tend to eventually leave it behind, and it never gets finished off.