How To Make Better Game Design Decisions
If you ever feel like you’re really worn down at the end of the day and you feel like you don’t have the ability to make proper decisions, well there’s some science to that and we’re going to talk about how you can kind of combat that, and how you can be more creative comin’ up.
What’s up guys Tim Ruswick here from Game Dev Underground and today I want to talk about willpower. Because if there’s one thing that i’ve noticed with myself, it’s that my ability to make these cognitive decisions, my ability to create, my ability to be effective, and to you know hold my ground on my personal boundaries, and interact with people on the phone, and just do all that kind of stuff, it kind of declines as I go through my day.
And I was wondering why for example was something creative like if I was coming up with some character names or I was doing some world building for one of my games and come up with like characters and stories and stuff like that, anything creative it seemed like I could not do during the end of the day, I just I couldn’t get it done, like the more the day went by the more I would just not be able to do it.
And I noticed kind of the same thing too with like my my social ability if you will because you know I think that like for example when I go into a room of people let’s say I’m at a networking event, let’s say I’m at an event, let’s say I’m speaking somewhere, let’s say I’m doing something like that, I got a turn on right? Like I can’t be my chill quiet self. I have to like activate something.
And so I go into mode like when I was teaching a class on game dev I had to like interact with the students talk with the people like even live-streaming to be honest like, interacting with the chatting and talking to everybody, and communicating with everybody, when I when I leave that mode like when I go back to my hotel go back to my room, turn off a live stream, whatever it is I feel exhausted, like mentally exhausted. And I wondered about this feeling for a long time because this feeling was impacting my ability to do work and get shit done.
And like I said I for a long time I thought it was like this robot that could just push out work, and I was concerned that for whatever was happening was just like draining me and I didn’t know why. And I started doing research and I found out that there’s an entire study like all kinds of studies going on in all kinds of universities into a the concept of willpower. And it turns out a lot of famous startup founders subscribe to the idea that willpower is like a gas tank in the fact that it depletes over time, like the the willpower that you have to make decisions depletes over time.
And Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg both do this well Steve did this while he was alive but they they wore the same thing every day. Mark Zuckerberg still does this today he wears the same clothes every single day, wears the same shirt same pants everything he has like multiples of the same clothing. And his concept is basically that every decision you make depletes your ability to make decisions so you should make as little decisions as possible, and with wearing the same clothes every day what he’s basically doing is he’s reducing his decision-making by one or two or however many decisions he would make I guess it could he kind of add up depending on the clothing it you’re wearing, but you know the more you go into routine but less decisions you make over time.
And so I wondered if there was any truth to this so I actually started experimenting with myself and I one of things I realized what I found was that really looking at this like, yes, my willpower does deplete maybe it made it really important for me in the order in which I do things in the order in which I interact.
And I noticed like for example one of the first things I would do is I would I would check Facebook or I would check email and depending on you know what kind of business shit was going on what kind of business deals we have a kind of stuff whether it was anxiety-ridden or whatever was, I would notice that that would be really depleting for me right up front.
Like emails boom like that’s a lot of willpower and kind of sometimes anymore I didn’t want to get out of bed after I answered a bunch of emails because like shit was anxiety or or whatever just would my kick in and I’d have to worry about stuff and I’d spend a bunch of mental effort on that. But I noticed for me, one of the one of the most effective things that I’ve ever done, is right when I wake up, I don’t check any email I don’t check it’s hard for me to not check like Reddit or or Facebook but I try my best sometimes I give in but my best days I don’t check any of that stuff.
I don’t even check email I have an app on my phone that disables all notifications between certain periods of time. I silence my phone at night, no interruptions whatsoever, my sleep is more important than anything that could possibly come through that phone. But when I wake up I I like to go somewhere like whether it’s Starbucks or some kind of place where I can kind of interact or you know sit on my laptop in the living room or if a lot of hotel sit there or you know even sometimes just get on my regular computer, and I like to do creative work.
Like work that kind of takes some mental effort but not a lot of physical effort. And this could be anything from like writing my book, working on articles, coming up with titles for videos, coming up with concepts for videos, working on like I said the creative stuff for my games like artwork works really well, anything creative tends to work really well in the morning because I feel like I have that fresh, will pow— I have a fresh supply of that willpower that I can use to do whatever I need to do.
And then only after I have my session or two sessions full of creative work, then do I go check email and respond to stuff and interact with people and all that, and I feel like that’s kind of the start to my day. One I think this has to the effect of like actually getting shit done every day right like I actually get creative work done and I don’t push it to the end of the day, I actually do it before I even consider my work day starting, but 2, the stuff that I produce is like so much better, so much better.
And that’s the stuff that’s important to me right like working on the the story for my game of the world building with the idea generation or working on my book or something like that like the quality that I produce by doing that is so much better so it’s great to start with creative work in the morning for me.
But then also you know keep in mind that if I have to take phone calls or I have to to deal with clients or business deals or whatever, the really important ones I don’t want to do at the end of an exhausting day because I start to make like my willpower is run down to a point where I don’t necessarily make the best decision.
This is especially true like you know if I’m if I’m working on a game or something I noticed the decisions I make for the game are not the best during the end of the game, during the end of the day if I work on it. So while it can be good like if I if I have the ideas I know what I need to build I can just sit down a program, that tends to work, but like coming up with ideas and that kind of stuff tends to like the actual decision-making tends to to deplete during the day.
So I would be curious to hear your guys thoughts on this, if you’ve noticed something the same so you notice that your willpower kind of depletes over time, and some things that you’ve done to to kind of help with that, because this is something that I’ve kind of modified my life all around just to get more out of myself and it’s so far it seem like it’s worked really well, I would love to figure out maybe do some research with you guys figure out how we can kind of improve this even more but,until next time once again I’m Tim Ruswick and I’ll see you guys next time.