Creative Block - May Kandria Update

2020.05.03 16:31:18

It's a new month, and that usually means I'm supposed to write a monthly update on the progress with Kandria. Thinking about that though made me feel very depressed because I realised that I hadn't really done anything at all for the game, all of April.

I can blame however much I want of that on the quarantine and university stress, or whatever else, but it won't change the fact that there has not been much progress on any front. While I have been slacking a lot, it's not like I haven't been working at all – plenty of time has gone into Courier, after all.

When I had this realisation yesterday, I tried my best to push myself to work on the game any way I could, but I failed to find anything that I could actually convince myself to do. That isn't to say that there aren't things to do; god forbid there's a tonne of things! Tuning combat, drawing animations, writing the UI, fixing dialogue, starting on enemy AI, optimising performance – just to name a few. And yet, despite the breadth and depth of things to do, there was absolutely nothing that looked appealing to me.

This kind of feeling is nothing new to me. It's a creative block, and happens more often that I'd like to admit. It's also why I often don't like to start long running projects, because I'm afraid of a creative block that would ruin it. The worst part about the creative block is that there's no remedy for it. You just get stuck in a rut, and it sucks a whole lot for a completely unpredictable amount of time. Often what I end up doing, whether consciously so or not, is switching to another project and just working on that.

So far that project has been Courier, but that's at its end and I'm also starting to feel burnt out on it, too. I don't have any other projects queued up that I'd like to tackle, or new ideas on what to do at the moment, so I'm just… stuck.

I suppose the right thing to do in this situation is to take it easy and not fret too much over it, since that's often one of the many factors causing the block. I've never been good at actually doing that, though. Maybe I should try to take a break from programming in general? I don't know.

You may be wondering why I'm writing this all to begin with. Well, partly I feel like I promised to do monthly and weekly updates, and I really hate to break that promise without notice. Another part is that I just feel like I owe you the discretion to tell you what's going on with me. I'm very thankful for the email replies and general responses I've gotten for Kandria so far, I really am! Because of that genuine interest, I feel all the more pressured not to disappoint. Since I have nothing to show though, I thought the only proper course of action is to just be open and direct about it. So I'll just say it again: aside from updating the public demo, no progress has been made at all.

Maybe it would help me to have a more open discussion about this topic in general, instead of just it being me telling you that I'm in a bad place. So please, let me know: have you been in similar situations before? What helped you deal with them? Is there something in Kandria I could try to focus on that you, personally, would like to see?

You can reach me at shinmera@tymoon.eu.

Written by shinmera