Think You’re Making Progress? You Might Not Be!
Do you think you’re making progress on your game we’re going to talk about why you might not actually be making progress coming up. what’s up guys Tim Ruswick here from Game Dev Underground. If you’re new here we usually talk about game development motivation marketing that kind of stuff on that channel so consider subscribing and hit the bell if you want to get notified daily when I post new videos. But for today we’re talking about progress, and more specifically some false indicators of progress that I’ve fallen victim to in my life. Because I think there’s a difference between actually making progress on your project and thinking that you’ve made progress on your project.
So for example this one of the things that held me back for a long time from making games and for doing a lot of stuff really not even just games like from startups from getting in the video from all kinds of stuff was was reading up all the knowledge I could on the subject.
I did this would like when I wanted to invest in like cryptocurrency and stuff too right, like I just read about it I read about it I read about it. And there’s a thing that they call analysis paralysis which happens a lot as a result of like information overload. and when you — not only can like acquiring a bunch of knowledge actually stop you from progressing right, but more importantly when you go on this quest of acquiring knowledge it can be really dangerous because it tricks your brain into thinking that you’re making progress. so for me when I would read up on all this stuff I think yeah I’m making progress, I would read like a game dev blog and I’d be like yeah I’m making progress but I wasn’t actually working on my game I was just doing stuff. Now I’m not saying that learning stuff isn’t important right we should definitely like pay attention and read stuff learn stuff but letting yourself think that you’re making progress that way is is not good.
And the way that I look at information now is it’s broken up into really two different categories for me there’s there’s just in case knowledge which is when you go on Wikipedia and you read a bunch of shit and you know you start on procedural generation you end up on genetically modified oranges that are mad at the dinner table. you know whenever you do that kind of stuffing it goes through those like loops all of that information is kind of useless and that’s that’s Wikipedia that’s YouTube but but also even if it’s relevant it’s still useless and here’s what I mean by that: you can watch a bunch of tutorials on YouTube but if you don’t start how is it useful right, like it it may be relevant but it’s not useful. And so like for anybody that’s told me like hey Tim I watched a bunch of tutorials but I haven’t started why haven’t you started?
Why didn’t you go along with the tutorial as you were working? why didn’t you download unity or whatever they’re using go go with them step by step and do it and then build whatever they were building? That’s how you make progress you actually do it. you’re not making progress when you’re just acquiring knowledge. I’m not saying that some knowledge is important I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare and learn stuff you know ahead of time, but just keep in mind that you can get stuck in these loops where your brain thinks it’s making progress and it’s not actually making progress is actually at some point you cross the threshold where not only are you not making progress you’re actually hurting yourself because now you’re giving yourself too many options too many choices too much information and it’s harder to make a decision that way.
So knowledge is the first thing that I would say that can be holding me back from progress. second thing was shopping. and this was a big thing for me I’m a big big big big big. so I actually I wanted to start a YouTube channel back in 2013-14 something like that way back in the day. and for Game Dev Underground right, Game Dev Underground has been around since 2013 and I want to do YouTube videos but one of the things that held me back was not having the right equipment. And I talked about this in my When Are You Ready video when you’re ready to start and this idea of thinking that you need all these things to start when don’t actually anything start.
But specifically what I want to talk about in this stuff is how it relates to progress so I would go shopping on Amazon and I would like buy a lighting kit or something and I’d be like off I’m making I’m making progress towards my goal of YouTube videos. and I would like buy like a microphone and I’d be like I’m making progress towards my YouTube videos. I would buy the camera actions camera I’m making progress on my YouTube videos. I would buy a book on how to properly light a scene I’m making progress on my YouTube videos. No, this was all I was tricking myself into thinking that I was making progress and so many people do this. I see it like it is ridiculous.
For me especially like I would think oh well I need an SSD to edit video so I’d have to buy an SSD and I’d be like oh I’m making progress even though I haven’t started yet. and you can just get stuck in this loop especially in American culture where consumerism is like encouraged and buying stuff is just really important people like you can get stuck in this loop where you think that buying things equals progress, and that’s you you’re not making progress by buying things. Like that’s that’s what these shady marketers want you to think right. Like that’s they want you to think when you buy a book like How to light your scene that you’re you’re making progress in your shit.
I mean I’m not going to go into full detail but you know there’s the shady side of the Internet to where they actually they’ll teach you how to make money online by teaching other people how to make money online and going through that whole thing like fucking bankers heyday, you know that kind of thing. But they they play on the idea that you’re making progress towards that by buying the thing that they’re selling and that’s especially apparent in consumerism high societies. I’m not saying that there’s a big conspiracy and all these bad people but that’s how your brain works right. Like you can just get stuck in that loop of thinking you’re making progress when you’re not actually making progress.
So watch watch out for false positives that’s what I want to say. like really think about whether or not you’re making progress. And think about the things that will actually make you progress the things that will actually move you forward and those are the things that you should focus on. You shouldn’t focus on. Well I don’t have enough knowledge yet I don’t have enough books I don’t have all the equipment I need whatever it is. Think about the things that will actually move you forward right. Can you sit down right now and download unity and start making a game. Can you right now start with the knowledge that you’ve learned. I think you can. I did it and you know I made a lot of mistakes along the way but one of my biggest regrets in all of this is not starting soon enough.
Like with YouTube man I didn’t start soon enough. I should have started way back in with my phone you know cameras were good enough back then. I had a webcam I had phone I had all these different things. I didn’t start I tricked myself into thinking I was making progress until I realized years later that I never actually made any progress. So that’s my message for today if you have any comments on things that you’ve done to maybe trick yourself into getting progress or things that you’ve overcome to gonna actually make progress, please leave below because I love to hear from you guys as always. Once again I’m Tim Ruswick and I’ll see you guys next time.