Muse Rekindled

What is it that inspires my muse to action?

Humble boredom, perhaps.  City of Heroes is largely on hold in my mind until Issue 14 is released in the immediate mysterious future.  Day or month, it’s hard to guess.  Champions Online isn’t coming to my rescue.  I don’t want to play anything else.  Therefore, that great motivator Boredom was free to begin its assault.

I invested 5 hours invested in BYOND development today after a break of nearly 3 months.  With any luck, I’ll have something to show for it.  However, I don’t want to tip my hand and mention anything about what I’m making, because it has a mysterious effect of completely destroying my motivation to do it.

My muse is an odd beast in that inspiring expectations in others simply prevents it from working.  Perhaps it is as I read in The Now Habit not too long ago – perhaps raising the stakes too high is a great cause of procrastination.  The analogy used is walking across a diving board: easy enough to do when it’s on the floor, but quite difficult when that same diving board is suspended 500 feet in the air between two buildings.

I think I envy the kids because their inner critics are much less harsh.  Consequently, they can forge ahead and be productive without doubts gnawing away at their progress.  It is only through suspension of my inner critic – with an understanding that the greatest of palaces can only be assembled one board at a time – that I find myself able to forge ahead now.

I’m pretty rusty after a protracted time away from Dream Maker, but I’m finding that quite a bit of my previous experience stuck.  About the only thing I really didn’t learn to do before was manipulate the loading and saving of files, and that’s not something I really need to worry about yet (though the earlier the better).

2 Responses

  1. Maybe you could start with a simple puzzle game first? It can feel good to start small with a simpler project and have it completed. The act of completing something, regardless of its simplicity, will add to your motivation as you work towards a greater goal.

  2. I actually built a simple puzzle game as a minigame as a part of one of my previous projects. It was really simple: basically a “match shape or color” game. But I could say that I’ve done it. 😉

    To an extent, I’d say I’m ready for something a bit more complicated. If I squish all the days I’d ever worked in it together, I’ve been dabbling with making things in the BYOND Dream Maker for about a solid month – and it already starts with the basic framework of a game before one writes a single line of code. Even though I took a few months off from it, it seems I’ve retained most of that knowledge.

    I’m still trying to keep that a “keep it simple” mindset, though. Really, the deeper I get into programming, the more I realize that all good programs are built on the back of keeping things as simple as possible. Putting together something really complicated is often the result of just not thinking it through enough, and I end up with this terrible Frankenstein’s monster that tries to get 3 steps of work done in 3000 steps. It becomes impossible for the human mind to grok sufficiently to forward progress on. Thus, any really complicated program one encounters is probably really a program that has been simplified and modularized into very simple pieces.

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