Produce More Than You Consume
Today I want to talk about something that I think is really cool. It’s a really cool concept but a lot of people don’t do it. And that’s the idea of producing more than you consume. For a long time when I was a game developer, I used to fell feel stupid and felt like I wasn’t as good as other game developers because I didn’t play a lot of games. I thought that because I didn’t play games (I really didn’t enjoy games like I used to when I was a kid) that that somehow made me a worse game developer. All these other people loved games as well as play them.
I’m not really a super big gamer. Sure, I like certain games, but I’d rather work on my own game than play a game, almost any day of the week. So for a long time I thought I was broken. I thought that was a bad thing to be. And then I started realizing that I was gaining and learning skills that my friends weren’t. I was accelerating past some of my programmer friends quickly. I was producing more than I consumed.
Then I started to look at that as it related to other parts of my life. I started realizing that whatever I was really good at creatively, I was producing more than I consumed. That really kind of changed my perspective on things. Now that I look back, anything that I’ve really excelled at, creatively, has been stuff that I produce more than I consume. And it’s weird because for a long time I thought that was a bad thing. I thought I had something wrong with me, that I wasn’t like the other dudes playing all these games and doing all this stuff.
I realized that it’s an advantage, it really is. As an exercise for anyone that wants to get better at game development, anyone that wants to learn game development and make great games, I would recommend that you produce more than you consume; that you build more than you play with. , I think that applies with games especially because—Dude, how many hours can you actually sink into a game? The main game that I play right now is Destiny, and that’s a 3-year old game. I probably have at least a thousand hours in that game. That’s a thousand hours I could have spent developing.
But I don’t look at it that way because I think downtime is productive and I have fun. I hang out with people on Xbox, I interact with people, we have fun, we do raids and stuff. However, producing more than you consume has an advantage in the real world and I think it has helped by programming. It’s helped my development and it’s helped me build things because I look at myself more as a creator than a consumer. Honestly, I really like that. Looking back and knowing that about myself, makes me proud. I really take pride in the fact that I was able to create usually more than I take in.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t take in stuff right. It’s not to say you shouldn’t play a bunch of games. You’re making a platform, so you should go play a few platforms, see how it works out, see how it runs… you should know that stuff. You should know about the genre you’re producing in. Nevertheless, produce more than you consume. That’s a good rule of thumb if you want to grow and to learn game development, and keep moving up the ladder. And a lot of people ask, “What should I learn? Would learning this and that be useful? How much time should I spend on this? Should I do it every day? Should I spend 4 hours a day on…” I would just say, produce more than you consume.
Obviously, consistency is best if you could do it daily. You really can’t beat that. I talk about that in so many different videos and blog posts. You can’t beat doing something daily, no matter what you do. Seriously, try it. Produce more than you consume. Try it for a week. Try it for 30 days. See how it works out. See what you get done. And don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t feel bad if you miss a day or you relapse and instead you play video games all day, or whatever. It’s not something to feel bad about. It’s not something you have to stick to. It’s just a rule of thumb. It’s a concept that I like to stick by, that I like to keep in mind when I build because it kind of helps keep me grounded in my creativity and my creations—as I like to call them.
So that’s my concept for today. I hope you guys found it useful. If you did, leave a comment below because I’d love to hear from you.