Steve Pavlina recently wrote about becoming a millionaire by thinking like one. One of the things he mentions is the identity shift needed, which ties into the topic of his recent podcast on faster goal achievement.
When I first heard the podcast, I realized that I am not going to finish making games so long as I continue on the poor results I’ve been posting. I need to change how I act. I need to act more like an actual game developer and less like someone who is hoping to make games in the spare time I can squeeze. I need to be a game developer if I am going to do game development.
In the Thousander Club, I have managed to pull together over 250 hours of spare-time game development. If I was actually acting like a game developer in the past year, though, I imagine that I would have put up stronger results. I shouldn’t be satisfied with only 25% of my goal for the year, and practically speaking, I shouldn’t be satisfied with not having an actual, complete, professional-quality game in all that time. And if I am honest with myself, I know that I am not satisfied.
Maybe a year or two ago, 250 hours working on an ambitious-yet-unfinished component-based game engine, a poorly designed-and-unfinished puzzle game, and a mostly-finished Pong clone would have been fine, but I can’t be satisfied with similar results at the end of this year. It’s not like I don’t appreciate the real-life experience that the past year has given me. I just want to be serious about being a game developer, and I realized that I was being half-hearted about my efforts.
Bottom line: if I want to change anything, I have to change how I identify myself.
It’s going to be hard changing my habits. Even though I’ve identified this problem before, I am still treating game development as a lower priority task, and it is usually the first thing I put on the back-burner when my schedule gets disrupted. How can I expect to make games for a living if I can’t even consider them important enough to make in the first place?
When people ask me what I do, I tell them about my day job, and I sometimes mention that I started my own shareware video game business. I mention my blog, I mention that I reviewed games for Game Tunnel, and I might say that I am slowly programming some simple games. How can I expect to make GBGames into a success when I won’t even acknowledge what I want to do? Did DaVinci say, “Oh, by the way, I also sort of paint”? Did Einstein say, “I work at a patent office. Oh, and sometimes I like to think about physics”?
I am a game developer. Once I can think like one, I can act like one.