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How do you stay motivated?

rcarlson profile image Robert Carlson Updated on ・2 min read

Building a game, or writing any software for that matter, requires a ton of effort. It's easy to start a project, but it's hard to finish it. I think the key to reaching your goal is maintaining some level of consistency in your work, which means doing your best to build and maintain motivation.

I'm motivated most by hearing about other's successes in game development. Listening to stories about developers creating something from nothing drives me to continue in my journey. Often these stories are riddled with failures and pitfalls, but the key to their success is pushing through those difficulties.

To help me stay motivated I ended up creating a playlist of videos that I listen to regularly. I've listened to these videos so many times I can almost recall the entire dialog. These videos represent some of the games and devs I grew up loving as a kid, and also some new ones I've come to appreciate later in life. When I'm feeling like "what's the point" I simply click play and remind myself of the hard work involved in creating some of the greatest games of all time.

I'm not saying that I'll ever achieve their level of success or anything close to it, but I do think that each of us is meant to leave an impact on the world, and I hope that mine reaches as many people as possible.

To check out my playlist click here

I'd like to know what sort of things you all do to motivate yourself. Take a minute and share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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Robert Carlson


Husband, Father, Coder, Gamer, Co-Founder LetsBuild.gg


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I think that one of the best ways I keep myself motivated is by doing little research digs on other people's work. Trying to analyze how they made something or how I'd build it is a fun exercise. And I try to do that as much as I can when I'm working on any one thing, because it's sort of a "productive" downtime in the middle of a project so that I am giving myself the chance to let my creative side rest a bit.

Also I've found honestly the most important way to stay motivated is to get plenty of rest. If I don't get enough sleep, I get cranky, bummed out, or can't be creative. Moonlight game dev isn't always the easiest thing to maintain, so I think it's important to be really kind to yourself (which I'm trying to be better about)!


My sleep schedule is not what it needs to be. Funny you should mention this too, this morning I came across a video that talks about the impact rest has on your productivity


Late to the party but I really enjoyed this video! Thanks for sharing!


I feel like I'm motivated by different things at different time during a project. Like you said, it's easy to be motivated to start, because something is new and exciting, but at some point it shifts.

Next, it becomes reaching those "milestones," completing features that'll improve whatever I'm working on, and generally just pushing forward to get the next part out there for people to play with.

After that, it's almost back to the original reason I was motivated: Blue Skying. After I've started something and gotten chunks out there it's exciting to start thinking of what the next thing could be!


I use the agile software development cycle, every two weeks I set some features/goals to accomplish which causes me to work more consistently than just listing a bunch of tasks out. I also make sure to have some free time so I don't get overworked.


Also if you have not seen this: would highly recommend watching the Double Fine Adventure! youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIhLvue...

I feel like certain episodes really scratch that itch of "everyone has to go through the same grind" and it somehow is motivating to see that we all go through the same stuff 😄


I'm a couple videos in and love it!


Motivation is the biggest factor that can make small project huge and huge projects, tiny. For me, the most well working thing is to watch some game trailers. Trailers like this and this always incourages me what can i produce with game development. The feeling of having a connection with such a big industry helps me pass inconsistencies.