When is it time to give up on a project and should I?

For the past 2 years (soon to be 3) I've been creating my own video game. I do the graphics, programming, writing and design all by myself. I started off so motivated; working on it for hours everyday and having lots of ideas I wished to implement. But over the course of two years, I found myself working on the game less and less and having no idea what to do with it next.

I started working on the game sporadically; whenever I had the drive to. If I had to guess, i'd estimate the game is currently 5% or 10% complete? I know making games take time and this if my first time working on a project this large a scale... But I can't shake the disappointment of working for 3 years and having so little to show for it.

Now there are a few factors as to why: I'm not exactly the "happiest" person (working on it!) so sometimes I didn't work on the game due to personal issues. These issues persist; in fact not making much progress on the project makes me feel worse. There's also the matter of i've been making this game up as I go along and now i'm not sure what to do with it. Not in a "it conflicts with what I already have" way but a "I don't know what I want to do next" way and when I try to write up an overall plan, my mind goes blank; I become frustrated and give up for the every time.

I've taken multiple breaks (adding to why there's such a lack of progress in so much time) in hopes of coming back refreshed and while I usually get a little burst of motivation at first, I quickly end up back in the same stumped situation. I've also become REALLY indecisive about ideas for my game to the point where I drive friends and family mad with my uncertainty in quality of what iv'e made.

Sometimes, I consider giving up on it; that so little progress isn't worth it. But it's been my dream to make this game and do I really want all that work and time to be for nothing? But then I could waste even more time on this and still achieve nothing.

Help me please; should I just give up?
  • Give up!
    Vote A
  • Keep going, you'll get there.
    Vote B
  • Maybe take a break for now...
    Vote C
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Get other people on board! Look, I'm sure you don't want to give up, and I'm sure you don't want to give up any sort of control, but creating a video game requires a lot of different working parts. You gotta tell someone else your design and your image and your creative ideas and then you have someone working on the things that aren't your strong suit. You're not focusing on what you're best at, so certain aspects of the video game are going to suffer. If you stick with what you're best at and you have someone else or a couple other people working on things they are best at and then you have a great game. In fact, it's great you've done a little bit of everything, that way, another person can see what direction you were going in and take over from there and make it even better.
    I know you want to probably do it all on your own, but it's not easy and you clearly aren't having a good time. You have to consider this: it's taking Rockstar Games years to come out with a new Grand Theft Auto game, and they have hundreds of people working on the next game around the clock. How on earth do you expect one person to take care of everything buy themselves? It's wishful thinking to think you can pull it off on it your own. If you can, good on you. If you can't, consider getting help.
    Can I have the story behind the video game? I would like to read it. I'm just curious.

    • Good idea; I might ask some of my friends who have more knowledge/expertise than I in some areas. Though I don't want to lose too much creative control. Think I will maintain my role of concept designing and graphics.

      As for the story: Like I say, I kinda make it up as I go along. The current narrative is:

      In a world where monster/creatures and humans live together in peace, A boy has a premonition which shows him how the world will end. In an effort to stop it from happening, he and a friend set off on a journey to find something that can stop the prophesied doomsday.

      Along the way, the player meets and teams up with a teenage girl who is wanted by the law, A slightly too old man child who only wants the fame and fortune that comes with being a known hero and a chosen one from race of small creatures who pilots a toy robot which has been enhanced for combat purposes.

      In between the start and end are a series of ideas I have which will help develop the characters. Think earthbound.

    • I like the basic idea, but the fact that you don't have a complete story is going to hurt. You should have a completed story, like you almost have to write a novel before you start building the game. If your strong suit isn't writing, tell a writer the overall arch of the story and write it with them. If your strong suit isn't graphics, show someone what you have already and ask them to just make it better. If you're strong suit isn't programming, get a programmer and tell them where you were going with your design.

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  • If you force yourself to do it then you will end up hating it and never finishing it

    • True. Sounds stupid, but maybe I should take a break until i'm in a better state of mind; not so down all the time. Trying to work on this and remembering the current state it's in only makes me feel worse and as you say, I'll probably lean more towards abandoning the project if I force myself to do it.

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