This week has been unfortunately somewhat unproductive on the game. I suppose I could call it a mental health break. I have been having a real hard time emotionally and with some difficult interpersonal stuff happening, I just found myself not in the mood to get any work done.
I suppose this would be a good time to being up my thoughts on mental health as it relates to game development. Steve Swink said in a recent devlog update for Scale that “…the actual most important skill is for a game designer is mental state management. Not tuning, balance, or the ability to design clever puzzles. The most important skill is the ability to consistently put yourself into a state where good, productive work gets done.”
I couldn’t agree more. I also feel like many developers underestimate how difficult this is to do. Especially, I think, as an independent developer it’s easy to feel the pressure or lose faith in yourself. You’re literally the one who has to do it. It is not like being on a big team where if you can’t do it, someone else can probably take your place.
This also means that development can slow down drastically if you have a bad week or suffer from mental health issues like I do.
Anyway, I don’t want anyone to be overly concerned about me. I have felt this way before, and I should be able to pull out of it again. Admittedly I have been feeling worse than I have in close to ten years, but I’m still here.
This devlog is probably getting too personal, but I would like to take a second to thank my close friend Amber for being very supportive and understanding of me the past couple weeks. I know I can be a huge emotional drain at times like these. So thanks.
So, anyway. What did get done?
I streamed some puzzle design last weekend, working more on the “edge” based puzzles. The ones that care about whether neighboring tiles are the same or not. Got a couple more interesting puzzles there. I am still not sure how to introduce that mechanic in a clean way, but I suppose the common wisdom is to do tutorials last. I think it’s probably again a mental state thing where I’m just psyching myself out because I just got to a point with the dice face puzzles where there’s a strong introduction of the mechanics that feels really clean. So, jumping back into the early stage on another mechanic, although necessary, feels like a step back in terms of my mental clarity about the subject.
Hope to be in a more productive place next week.
I’ll belay the screenshot for this week, but here’s something interesting I saw in the real world: