The Zombie Project Effect: How to Succeed By Quitting

Tim Ruswick

Tim Ruswick is the founder of Game Dev Underground and the author of the Game-Maker's Manifesto.

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  • Do you have any “Zombie Projects” hanging around? What’s your method of fighting them?

  • Yeah, I can relate to this! I have a few zombies of my own, but, the passing of time has managed to slay (to a degree) mine. What I mean by that, is, those old projects are now no longer available to work on.

    After changing computer components, failed HDD, deleting things in anger and just poor file management, I don’t have the original files to ‘restart’ the projects. This is both a blessing and a curse; they are gone now and can’t cause a distraction, but, the memory of them lives on. There is still evidence of them online, images, videos, comments from other devs and potential players; all these things just reminding me about the old projects that I never finished……

    sounds like a horror story! haha.

    I seem to have a curse when it comes to game development. I can never get past the 5th level! I design and develop up to level 5, then all motivation is gone and I start looking (subliminally) for the next shiny thing.

    I am currently sat on level 5 of Medieval Steve and I am hoping this is the ‘curse breaker’!

    Wish me luck!

    • Dude its crazy but our brains really do have these “Mental walls” in them…and when something happens a few times your brain recognizes it as a pattern and adopts it as behavior. You HAVE TO notice this stuff, and your HAVE TO intentionally break the cycle, or you will repeat it… Like sit down and make a level 6 just to show your brain whos boss!!

      It’s always easier said than done though, I know. Shits hard man. I wish you all the luck in the world! You got a good thing going with Medieval Steve. I hope to see more of it!

  • Arty McLabin

    i guess i will release that handsome guy one day… he is just too pretty for deletion