When is the last time we just, you know... talked? If you just want the cold hard development progress posts, please check back on the next post. This is for those of you who are here for something more. I am not even sure what we are going to talk about yet... but a hundred gold says we will know by the start of the next paragraph header. >_>
Well, it was a nice try.
Being 100% serious, I think the #1 secret to accomplishing anything you want in life is persistence. For a good reason too! If you really want to do something-- you need to, you know, actually go do it.
If you are like me, then you have so many ideas that a library full of books could not contain them. But when you go to start doing one... you get a better idea. And a better idea. Or something interrupts you. For whatever reason, it just ends up never happening. Ever have this happen to you? My guess is yes-- this happens to all of us creative types. You may already know this, but just in case you did not... I made nearly one thousand unfinished game projects and experiments before I finally made the original AdventureQuest. (A few a week for fifteen years-- more clumped in bursts than a steady flow.) I had the passion for creating games, but back then, I was not disciplined and persistent enough to finish one. That was until I found myself at a cross-roads and made a very different decision.
There was one moment nearly 15 years ago, with my finger hovering over delete key of the L.O.R.E. folder. That was the original name of the AdventureQuest Project. I had just shown the prototype of my game concept to my closest 100 online friends from my Krieger guild's chat. (Ultra weird fact, Edward Snowden was in my guild-- we used to play EverQuest and a private Ultimate Online shard together.) The reaction from my friends was-- not good. (Edit: Name removed) One of my closest guidmates said, "Uh, Artix... I don't know how to tell you this. But this is the worst game I ever played. No one is going to play this." The other comments did not argue with his statement. As you can imagine, I was pretty disheartened.
So as I was hovering my finger over the delete button thinking the exact same thoughts that had kept me in the endless loop of, "Oh well, I will just delete it and start over... maybe next time." I suddenly made a very different decision. Maybe it was because I listened to one of those Tony Robbins tapes. Maybe it was because of what my girlfriend at the time said back to me. Maybe it was the way the actual puppy, Daimyo was looking up at me while I was feeling at my lowest. But I decided that.... "SURE, THIS IS NOT THE GAME I WANT IT TO BE RIGHT NOW. BUT IF I KEEP WORKING AT IT... I CAN KEEP IMPROVING IT UNTIL IT BECOMES THE GAME I AM DREAMING OF. I WILL JUST KEEP MAKING IT BETTER EVERY WEEK."
So I made a simple goal so I would not embarrass myself too badly. I said, "If I can get 100 players to play 3 times each... (because if they played less than that they really did not like it) ...then I could consider this a real game, and check it off my bucket list!" Of course, as you know we did not get 100 players. The strange and unusual game attracted tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions of players. Since, for 15 years, the original AdventureQuest is still being updated every single week. Got our cards in most major stores, got an action figure of my character in Toys"R"Us, got invited to almost every major studio you can think of from that era-- and even got to turn down a signed term sheet for $84 Million dollars. More important than any of that, I live in a world where you, our other online friends, and my team are still creating amazing things every single day. Can you imagine how different life would be if I.... I... had just hit that delete button?
...and done nothing?
I think there is something to be said for keeping your goals secret. It is almost like telling other people dooms the dream a little. If you know what you want, what you really really want (sorry if that song just got stuck in your head), but are not doing it right now... then you are the person I posted the story above for. This is a little different strategy than Shia Labeouf's super-saiyan-esque pep-talk video. Except you really do need to just do it. I was talking with an aspiring video game maker this morning and after telling me all about the game he dreamed of making, I asked him what his plan was to create it-- because he was super serious about making this game. He said maybe next year >_>. MAYBE NEXT YEAR!? Then proceeded to tell me ten million reasons why he could not do it now, and how he had to wait until all the conditions where right. I politely (ok, maybe a little sternly), told him that what he was doing was the equivalent of waiting until all of the lights were green on the roads to Chicago before driving there. It will never happen. If you want something so badly, then you really, truly, honestly, need to start now. "But I do not know how to do X yet?" O_O ...then go learn it! I had bought him an online Unity/C# course (actually got it for a few people) but like the others he did the first few sections and then stopped. (Yet his played time on a few Steam games is awfully high >_>) If what you are ready resonates strangely familiar... please read the next paragraph carefully.
In the original Mario Brothers, you started small with 1 health point. It was hard. The better you did, you got bigger, and shot fireballs from your mouth, and it got easier. Sorta... the better you did, the better you do. Life sure seems a lot like that. If you learn how to do something, it sorta sticks with you and gives you an advantage. No matter what it is. But if you want to get good at something that will give you the ultimate advantage-- get good at finishing things. Lots of people start things, but all the great ones finished and released them. So if there really is something deep inside you that you must do in life-- accept this real life quest of doing a small, easy to achieve goal as your first step of it. Turn the quest in when you finish it. And if this message is not for you, then thank you for reading and being so supportive of the those who are undertaking their personal adventures.
Trust me when I say, I know what I said above is not easy. I am 100% committed to completing my goals and promises. It may be taking me longer than expected, but I certainly will never give up. Ever.
May we all be relentlessly persistent.