When is it alright to burn out?

Have you ever been working on a project and lost your drive to continue? Do you find it to be difficult to get going again? You may have experienced what many developers do – Burnout appears to be as wide spread as the number of people who breathe that have also died. Developers often struggle their applications and eventually lead to complete failures. Paul Graham wrote an essay on the topic of keeping a program in ones mind. It doesn’t seem far fetched to think that an applications complexity is going to correlate to the amount of the application that you will be able to think about and how much of your steam and investment I involved in any project that you choose to undertake.

I started work on GneuManager long ago, nearly 2 years ago now, with a goal in mind of putting together a project management application that would allow me to keep track my progress and momentum that I had with any of my projects. I need it to work for game development differently than it does web development differently that it does console or any other applications that I work on. I also oversee things that have little to show like testing and meetings that I should still account for in my application. As you can already see, this is definitely not a simple project, and as such when I first began work it was quite specialized. It didn’t do much other than track my bugs and allow clients to log in and see progress.

Burnout occurs when developers take a bite out of something that is larger than they are able to actually consume. It runs a close parallel to what many of us understand to be bad already, the event of choking. Forgetting to chew or biting off too much of a hot dog can lead to the terrible gagging that we have all experienced. The reluctance to take another bite is something that we don’t all share.

My first bite for GneuManager was to build out the user system. I ran a close editorial summary of my progress with a series of essays that I will publish at a later time, highlighting my progress and sharing my thought process of the application as things grew. Unfortunately there were things that I didn’t understand well enough. I also lost my team and these two events lead to a loss of drive.

WAW Post-Mortem

“It is with much regret that I have been watching from a distance as a battle has raged on; I cannot stay quiet any longer. A few days ago one of my friends brought to my attention that there was a lot of discussion going on over in the WAW forums. The team has opted to take a hiatus (meaning break – of course) from the world of HL2 modding, on the grounds that they were not enjoying it. I have no qualms with this idea, and in fact applaud them for having the balls to say such bullshit and expect many of the folks they ran over in their quest for that big fun ballroom in the sky. Seeing as no one provided any sort of post mortem, and even I skimped on the dictation from that period of nearly 6 months that I was working with them, I provide you with my side of the story. I hope It’s not taken too bad, although I really don’t care for feelings at this point.”

– Robert Chatman April 4th, 2007

Continue reading “WAW Post-Mortem”

NOOTY 3

About two months ago I had a meeting with Matt & Reiji to the tune of trying to decide what we are going to do with our game. Many topics were thrown about and eventually we decided on going the ogre route and building it independent, but there was something electric in the air. Something about the idea of making mods made our eyes light up, at least mine. You guys don’t really know Reiji too well, but it takes something truly special to get him to let his eyes sparkle at all. We asked ourselves… “What do we do when UT3 comes out?” There are obvious marketing and distribution benefits associated with mod development, considering that if you find that niche it draws people to your site. They see your mod or in the case for UT – Mutator – an ask the all-important question… What else have they done?

Mike Whitfield, unblogged, has taken the opportunity of this release to get the gneu movement rolling and we have an SVN Setup and rolling, I will soon compile a list of possible mutators and mods and democracy will drive our momentum, possibly. We still make final call and will probably choose whatever looks fun to us at that time.

http://svn2.assembla.com/svn/gneut3

In the works at Gneu…

GneuManager & Ogre are the clear victors in this race. I have been juggling a website that is nearing completion and release, so I have the pleasure of being able to free up some of my time and devote it to making those cool little videos to scraps of techno music that I have found lying around the webs.

Continue reading “In the works at Gneu…”