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Why do your projects fail


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Poll: Why do your projects fail

This is a public poll. Other members will be able to see which options you chose

Why have your projects failed or been abandoned?

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#1 kalzme

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

After having read a topic about how often Game Maker projects fail I asked myself the question WHY so many Game Maker projects fail.
So please let me know the reason why your projects failed or why you abandoned certain projects.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • The project took longer than you thought it would take
  • Lack of resources (graphics, sounds, ...)
  • Forgot about the project
  • The project got too complex
  • Lack of motivation
  • The prototype did not meet your expectations
  • A bug you couldn't fix
  • Not enough time
  • Financial reasons
  • Another, more interesting, project
  • You got bad feedback
  • Other

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Please check out this poll on the GMC about why so many Game Maker projects tend to fail.

 

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#2 Phantom107

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:58 PM

I end up failing projects because they're extremely big in size and complexity. I could handle it if I had the time, but doing a study at the same time is just too much.
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#3 11clock

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

For me it's normally lack of motivation or another, more interesting project. I have a very low attention span.
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#4 BattleRifle BR55

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:09 PM

My project hasn't failed yet, but it does suffer from many of those symptoms. :D

In my experience, I think the biggest issue boils down to not having enough passion for the game. Bugs can be fixed, resources can be created, motivation can be found through various means, but if you don't love your project enough to want to see through to its end, everything can and will become an issue that will kill your project.

I've gone through engine rewrites, I've gone through major feature changes, I've even gone through major story changes that have meant practically starting the project all over, but rest assured, Let Live is coming. It will make you a believer.
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#5 fawful

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:29 PM

Passion dies down the more you work on something. And it's hard getting that motivation back.
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#6 BattleRifle BR55

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:40 PM

To me that sounds more like having a limited window to work on something before you stop caring, which looks less like passion and more like hype or something along those lines.

Ever since my younger brother was a toddler, he had an interest in planes. He's used flight simulators for years, has studied the way planes function, and is now in college to become a commercial airline pilot. That sounds like passion to me.
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#7 twelveways

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:53 PM

I think he means the passion for the project, not the hobby.
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#8 BattleRifle BR55

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:55 PM

Yeah I get that, so I guess my example was off. I'm just stating that if you have a vision you care for enough, you will want to see it through.
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#9 Drandula

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

As I wander forward without a goal, I can see something in far away.
Wondering what I will find there, I'll try reach there.
I hear distant voices encouraging me, I can do it.
Without realizing, time passes by as I slowly take steps.
Surroundings and I change as I walk forward, until I realize;
It was all but just a illusion.

No matter how hard I try, how fast I go.
I stop and stand still, because I can't catch it.
I sit down and wait, feeling the cold lurking passionately.
Dead body behind, I am free.
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#10 TheSnidr

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

The lack of a deadline is the bane of today's WIPs. With no deadline, people tend to lose focus and add random stuff, avoiding what actually needs to be done. I personally fall for this trap every time I start a project by myself, only adding additional elements without getting any closer to game completion. ...which is why I love the GMC jams - it forces me to finish the game in three days of the jam. I have a clear deadline I need to keep, and as such I set aside many of the ideas I want to test out and focus only on the best ones, developing them to their own complete games.

Both my current project, Planetoids, as well as my side project, suffer from the add-all-the-things syndrome. Which is good in one way, as their engines get more and more polished and diverse, but the actual games will take a long, long time to complete, if ever at all.

Edited by TheSnidr, 24 March 2012 - 12:11 AM.

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#11 chance

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:54 PM

So please let me know the reason why your projects failed or why you abandoned certain projects.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • The project took longer than you thought it would take
  • Lack of resources (graphics, sounds, ...)
  • Forgot about the project
  • The project got too complex
  • Lack of motivation
  • The prototype did not meet your expectations
  • A bug you couldn't fix
  • Not enough time
  • Financial reasons
  • Another, more interesting, project
  • You got bad feedback
  • You suck at game design

fixed. That last one describes me.

C'mon... let's be honest. Most of us fail because of our own inability. Not time demands. Not finances. Just our lack of ability.

But we keep trying! :tongue:
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#12 Overloaded

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

Sometimes I fail because of my boredom. I am creating a game but now when I need to create the levels it's boring. And I haven't anyone for help. But I will finish it.
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#13 fawful

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:59 PM

To me that sounds more like having a limited window to work on something before you stop caring, which looks less like passion and more like hype or something along those lines.

I suppose you're right. I guess I ment the so called 'spark' you get when you start a project.
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#14 Wolf Dreamer

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

Mine fail because when I start to make any real progress, I worry someone will come after me and attack me in a robbery, causing panic attacks and nightmares. Anyone else have that problem?

Also crippling doubt that a finished project would work, it slowing down the larger it got. Computers are faster these days, and Game Maker is being redone in C++ making it far faster, plus HTML5 games can actually be made. That's why I recently bought a copy of GameMaker HTML5. After years away, I'm back, and hopeful. We all have to have dreams in life, otherwise it all becomes meaningless.
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#15 speedchuck

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

My project right now is going fine, but when I do fail large projects, it is because I didn't program the basics of the game well enough, and things get messy.
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#16 xot

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:06 PM

A poll has been added to this topic.

I'm usually distracted by something new before finishing a project, but often my games are temporarily abandoned if I can't figure out how to make them fun or if I feel they are not original enough.
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#17 Overloaded

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

First vote ^^^
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#18 Saijee

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:51 PM

Mine don't! >:)
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#19 Yal

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:02 PM

The lack of a deadline is the bane of today's WIPs.

This. It's impossible to say it in a better way.

Final Columbus sort of suffers from that; instead of polishing the final boss and the ending I've spend loads of time coding a few hidden weapons and areas into the game that likely nobody except Zeddi and Simaster will ever find.
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#20 Erik Leppen

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

Another reason why project fail - or worse - never raelly get from the ground

[*]Unsure how to put the idea in a game.

I have an idea in mind for a large project. But I have changed minds at least three times as to what kind of game it will be, and I'm still not sure. The concept is constantly changing before I even got to coding stuff. And now I have the engine down I might not even need it anymore because the concept changed again. Well, that demotivates too.

(And I have no visualisation of how I want the game world to look, which doesn't really help now I need tilesets. And puzzles by the way)

Anyhow, motivation is a big one. It's also because one can get the game engine running very quickly (that's the power of GM), but then everything around it has to be done: loading/saving mechanisms, graphics, detailing, effects, menus, help texts, settings, bugfixing... And however good GM may be, it won't make you a faster spriter...

The lack of a deadline is the bane of today's WIPs. With no deadline, people tend to lose focus and add random stuff, avoiding what actually needs to be done. I personally fall for this trap every time I start a project by myself, only adding additional elements without getting any closer to game completion. ...which is why I love the GMC jams - it forces me to finish the game in three days of the jam. I have a clear deadline I need to keep, and as such I set aside many of the ideas I want to test out and focus only on the best ones, developing them to their own complete games.

This is a good one too. I'm still adding random meaningless fluff to The Room with the Four Faces while the original game is already released (even though I did fix some bugs in the process).

It's so bad that I have lying around 99% finished projects that only take a little bit of work to actually finish, however for some reason I go do other things instead.

I think what you need to finish a game is an idea you really love. If you don't have that you can just as well not even start ;)
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#21 xot

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:07 PM

It's so bad that I have lying around 99% finished projects that only take a little bit of work to actually finish, however for some reason I go do other things instead.


If you are like me, that last 1% is always much more work than it seems. A GUI system I've been building has sidelined one of my feature-complete projects for months.
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#22 icuurd12b42

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:25 PM

It's so bad that I have lying around 99% finished projects that only take a little bit of work to actually finish, however for some reason I go do other things instead.


If you are like me, that last 1% is always much more work than it seems. A GUI system I've been building has sidelined one of my feature-complete projects for months.


Everyone is like that. That's why professors have undergrads... You just need someone to volunteer to finish them for you.

I figured out why this also happens to me. When it gets completed enough to know it will work you stop caring about it and get distracted more easily by other things
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#23 giga970

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:20 AM

When it gets completed enough to know it will work you stop caring about it and get distracted more easily by other things


People are more likely to complete a project if they are working on a team than if they are doing it alone. Whether an individual project is stalled by disinterest or distraction, it's up to you and you alone to complete it. I don't think I've ever completed a project. I always found new things to add, or a new project to start. Had I been working with someone else I might have actually finished something. I suppose I can't speak for everyone, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only game maker around that has folders upon folders upon folders of unfinished *.gmk files.
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#24 ZombieWolfPath

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

I'm motivated to make my game. I love both RTS's and SIMS type of games plays. The RTS part because something is going on and the SIMS type of play because it never ends. I have been trying to make my game for awhile (6+ months) and all i have to show is the soldiers moving and the 'enemy' barely moving. I have great ideas but lack the knowledge to program it.

I'm seriously close to giving up... Can anyone give any advice?
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#25 Yal

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

If you are like me, that last 1% is always much more work than it seems.

This. It's a wonderful, all-encompassing quote about why so many projects get abandoned.


There's, in my experience, two reasons the last 1% of the game content takes 10% of the game making work:
1) You often procrastinate, saving the most boring and most difficult bits 'til later, only working with them when you've got nothing else to do, or when completing them is a requirement to work with some more fun bit. But when the game is almost done, there's nothing more, nothing else, nothing other to do than the boring bits you've saved for later because all the other stuff is complete.
2) When you have lots of work to do, you often try to do it quickly to make progress. As you've got less work left to complete on the game, one starts to work more carefully and wanting to make it perfect. (This is the reason you should never make the intro or the tutorial first and then make the levels in chronological order, by the way). If not careful, one'll set up impossibly ambitious goals for the last part of the game, which makes that last 1% of content really tedious to complete.
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#26 xot

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Yeah, I've definitely fallen into the trap of seeking perfection many times. It might be re-polishing something that is already good enough, or re-engineering a system that works but seems inelegant. And those are both cases where the player would never know the difference unless I told them.

Feature creep is even worse because it can take you into unexpected directions or severely imbalance of your game. Both will gobble up insane amounts of time. Each meaningful element added to a game increases its complexity exponentially. If can get out of hand quickly. Keeping a design simple is possibly the thing I struggle with the most.
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#27 PoniesForPeace

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:56 PM

Lolz, you forgot the #1 reason, lag.

Edited by PoniesForPeace, 21 June 2012 - 08:56 PM.

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#28 TheUltimate

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:04 AM

Here's another one to add to the poll: because your team kinda dissolved.
Anyone remember Sophia's Spirits from Jam 4? Yeah, IMP and I were going to turn it into a full game, but we both had other commitments so it wasn't feasible. It's currently somewhere between "in hiatus" and "gone."


I have great ideas but lack the knowledge to program it.

We're in the same boat, buddy. That's the same thing that nearly wrecked my most recent game.
Anyway, don't give up on your project. Make (and finish) another, simpler game first, instead of going for something as complicated as an RTS with AI and stuff right away. That way, you get a bit more programming experience, as well as that sense of progression that you need to stay motivated. And ask here for help if you need it. Then you can go back to your other game when you're ready.
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#29 Weegeesquare

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:40 AM

The only reson I failed at Nintendo Universe (YES, THAT REALLY AWESOME GAME THAT EVERYONE LOVED.) Was because I just wanted to work on somthing original
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#30 MissingNo.

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:08 AM

ya I have games that I know will be cool if I finish but I dont want to and I get mad at my self because
of this, but I dont give up, if I feel like that I just take a break for a while and move on to something else
until I feel better. but lack of resources is basically never a problem for me, cause I have a folder stuffed
with game maker stuff. ya and sometimes I dont want to take the time to make a certain feature.

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#31 Overloaded

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:47 PM

I was making a Bowser game. But I stopped it due to copyright issues with Nintendo. I will start another game soon.
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#32 Qon

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:56 AM

I have realised that I do not fail. Stopping before the game is complete is not a failure, because I am not a game maker. I like to program the core engine, things that are challenging and experiment with an idea for a game. Making textures, story, menus, tutorials, levels, sound effects, music, intro scenes, characters and so on.... that's boring and most of it isn't even programming. When I start a project I think of a cool game and make the engine for it and then stop, or think of something that would be hard to code.
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#33 Exkakx

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:44 AM

Usually mine fail because:

- I realize the game I'm making sucks, isn't fun to play at all, and I should just give up trying.

- I have another, better idea so I abandon the current one.
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#34 Exkakx

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:44 AM

Usually mine fail because:

- I realize the game I'm making sucks, isn't fun to play at all, and I should just give up trying.

- I have another, better idea so I abandon the current one.
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#35 Exkakx

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:44 AM

Usually mine fail because:

- I realize the game I'm making sucks, isn't fun to play at all, and I should just give up trying.

- I have another, better idea so I abandon the current one.
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#36 Exkakx

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:44 AM

Usually mine fail because:

- I realize the game I'm making sucks, isn't fun to play at all, and I should just give up trying.

- I have another, better idea so I abandon the current one.
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#37 newkill

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:14 AM

Motivation don't stay, that's the main problem for me. I have the abilities to create a full commercial game if I want, but it would require me to be very organized, have the time and motivation to go through, which I don't have sadly...
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#38 Pixel8ed72

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:23 AM

Motivation don't stay, that's the main problem for me. I have the abilities to create a full commercial game if I want, but it would require me to be very organized, have the time and motivation to go through, which I don't have sadly...


Exactly the same for me.

I start something, it goes great, I'm like "I'm gonna finish this! :D"
...
About half-way through it, I either go; Nah this is just dumb, I'm bored of it, or, I want to make something different.
:turned:
It's terrible, but it happens.
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#39 Exkakx

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:00 AM

^^wow, for me it's entirely different...

I have a LOT of motivation, and will do whatever it takes to finish a game, but my programming sucks. XD
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#40 GloopMaster

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:47 AM

Epic quadpost by Exkakx.

And I like how "Lack of Motivation" is the winning poll.
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#41 psycho666

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

As most of the votes says - i just loose motivation.
Then comes my stupid brain - it thinks of something new that sounds awesome in my head...
However now i find a way - i work on 2 things at the same time. When i loose interest in one of them - i go to the other, my brain is fresh, cause it's a different style and i'm full of stuff i can do for the game...
So yeah, i'm motivation loser :biggrin: This is why i'm working on 2 things - more motivation to be lost ::lmao::
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#42 Chris_Devl

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:28 PM

What annoys me is relying on team members.. I've had to stop working on quite a few projects because of that.. Now I get together the assets first, program second, and update the assets third if the current ones are placeholder.

I DO sometimes just get bored or frustrated with my own projects.. But I don't know, I actually like having multiple projects that I can work on whenever I feel like and whichever I'm in the mood for instead of focusing on one project at a time. I never really give up on my projects either, I just put them on hold some times.. I almost always pick them up again later.

Although the biggest exception is when I stopped using DnD in the middle of my (now called) "Doors" game. I have no motivation at all to even touch my DnD projects now..
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