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Old 04-16-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
cindy
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Default Aspiring Game Designer with ADD trying to Focus D:

I am at the middle of an Engineering College right now (Industrial Automation and Control), but what I really want to do is work with games.

There isn't a good Game Development course where I live, online courses are too expensive, so I gave up on a degree in game development.

But I really, really want to work with games. I am passionate about it, and some friends say my articles about game design are quite good.

So, I really want to make small, indie games to build up my portfolio, I know this is important and that it would be quite good for me. But I have attention deficit disorder, so for me it is VERY difficult to stay focused on a project for time enough to complete it.

Yes, I am planning to take some meds and do some therapy to help me with ADD, but I wanted something to help me with making games as well. You know, I like pretty much everything related to games... I like to draw, to model, to program... but the part I excel at is game design, I suppose ( it's certainly not drawing or modelling, as I am starting these things only now ). So I can make a simple game alone, but my mind gets lost whenever I try - like I said, for me it is pretty hard to focus on a single project for long enough to finish it.

I'd consider an online course if they weren't so expensive, because the "I have to do this because my teachers are gonna ask for it" would help me stay focused

Because this isn't a possibility, does anyone have a good advice?

I could ask for a good book for an aspiring game designer, but this alone won't be of much help, I need something to really focus on - like a project.

I want to try making a game for Experimental Game Play, but I don't feel so confident about my skills right now.

I don't know, is there any sort of group of "hey, let's make a game this week"? I don't know, a good group to give me challenges perhaps?

Thank you guys for any advice
And I am really sorry for any grammar erros! >_<
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
tsloper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindy View Post
I have attention deficit disorder, so for me it is VERY difficult to stay focused on a project for time enough to complete it.
...like I said, for me it is pretty hard to focus on a single project for long enough to finish it.
That's a big problem, since you aspire to work in an industry that demands focus for long periods of time.
For now, just continue working with your doctor to try to get your condition under control, and continue working on your education, and do a lot of reading. And I have some suggestions for design-related things you can do at http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:06 PM   #3
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I can't give any advice, but I'm in a similar situation. I'm almost positive I have mild ADD, but my psychiatrist thinks its depression that's causing my ADD symptoms (I think its the other way around).

Anyway, I now have two unfinished "prototypes" because its difficult to focus on the same project (with all the tedious chores involved) long enough to complete. I feel like if I had someone to develop with, we could keep each other focused by relying on one another, and encouraging the other to stick with it.

If you're interested in talking with me about game design ideas or possibly collaborating, my email is on the front page at my site (www.soulcraftgames.com). If you looking for projects that need help, see the "Collaborate" forum here, or the "Help Wanted" forum at GameDev.net, or the forums at TIGSource.org.

By the way, your grammar is great. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
cindy
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Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
That's a big problem, since you aspire to work in an industry that demands focus for long periods of time.
For now, just continue working with your doctor to try to get your condition under control, and continue working on your education, and do a lot of reading. And I have some suggestions for design-related things you can do at http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
Yes, I know this is a big problem, but I am confident I will eventually have this under control - I already am pretty good sometimes, or I wouldn't have gotten so far on my college

I am reading a lot. I love your site, I've been there countless times xD But now that you mentioned it, I am looking at your list of recommended books :)

Thanks for the advice.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Slather View Post
I can't give any advice, but I'm in a similar situation. I'm almost positive I have mild ADD, but my psychiatrist thinks its depression that's causing my ADD symptoms (I think its the other way around).

Anyway, I now have two unfinished "prototypes" because its difficult to focus on the same project (with all the tedious chores involved) long enough to complete. I feel like if I had someone to develop with, we could keep each other focused by relying on one another, and encouraging the other to stick with it.

If you're interested in talking with me about game design ideas or possibly collaborating, my email is on the front page at my site (www.soulcraftgames.com). If you looking for projects that need help, see the "Collaborate" forum here, or the "Help Wanted" forum at GameDev.net, or the forums at TIGSource.org.

By the way, your grammar is great. Good luck! :)
Hi :) Try a doctor that treats more kids, they usually have more experienced with ADD. I've also been diagnosed with depression, altough I probably was depressive at some point too.

I have tried to work with others, but this didn't help me feel motivated... I don't know, I always was more of a lone wolf so I tend to feel more annoyed about other people than anything else. I mean, there are some good friends that like to make games too, but every time we try a game, I don't know, it just doesn't work.

I will try to frequent this forum and the TIG source one, perhaps. Maybe I can find an answer out there ^^~
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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I already am pretty good sometimes, or I wouldn't have gotten so far on my college
Yep. Just keep on keepin' on. The tortoise won the race with the hare that way.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #6
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Keep an eye out for events like Global Game Jam (http://www.globalgamejam.org/) where you can spend all weekend making a game, and have to present it to everyone at the end. It's really surprising how motivating something like that is, and how much you can get done.

Around Boston where I live, there are fairly regular smaller creative-jam events like this, which some indie game developers, artists, film-makers, and writers participate in. Maybe there's something similar near you?
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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If you want empathy, you got it, haha. I too have ADD, and it is SEVERE. I've had it since I was about five years-old, and it pretty much ruins your life if you don't get treatment for it. I take meds for my ADD but it only helps so much. And I totally sympathize with you when you say you can't complete a project - almost nothing in my life has been completed unless I've HAD to do it. Looks like more meds for my ass, haha.

I too am interested in many aspects of the industry, game design, art, writing, I can do some programming, but I'm a VERY right brain person so that wouldn't suit me. And I'm with you on the team thing, it's especially hard when you're not a very outspoken person. I'm assuming you're a reserved kind of cat too, my advice is: We're just gonna have to put up with the team environment. Normally, I'm one for advocating to strengthen your strengths instead of strengthen your weaknesses, but the team environment is a huge part of the industry from what I hear, and if we want to make it in the field, we gotta suck it up. Can't make a hit game on your own. Well, I guess you could, but it would take a looooong time. I know, it sucks haha.

I can imagine you don't have it as bad as me because you can actually start a game project. I probably can't give you any good advice because I'm in a similar position, but hopefully my horrible ADD will make you feel a little better about yourself.

Last edited by Sofa King : 04-17-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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I'm sorry I can't really empathize with the ADD since I've never been diagnosed with it. But I would like to encourage you to see if you can use it to your advantage. Even though I can focus on a project, specific parts can be very tedious and focusing too long on something can get stressful. If you can instead find a way to work on one small chunk at a time (or shifting gears between multiple small chunks you're currently working on) you might be able to create something cool in time.

Best of luck, and I hope you find the method that works best for you to get your where you want to be!
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
cindy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbaxter View Post
Keep an eye out for events like Global Game Jam (http://www.globalgamejam.org/) where you can spend all weekend making a game, and have to present it to everyone at the end. It's really surprising how motivating something like that is, and how much you can get done.

Around Boston where I live, there are fairly regular smaller creative-jam events like this, which some indie game developers, artists, film-makers, and writers participate in. Maybe there's something similar near you?
There is no Game Jam or anything like that near where I live, so I have to rely on the internet for that.

But that's a good idea, too. I will try to improve my skills a little bit further (programming, drawing) so I can do something like that... it would be pretty cool.

And when I learn how to deal with my ADD, perhaps I can organize some game jams where i live, that would be pretty cool :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofa King View Post
If you want empathy, you got it, haha. I too have ADD, and it is SEVERE. I've had it since I was about five years-old, and it pretty much ruins your life if you don't get treatment for it. I take meds for my ADD but it only helps so much. And I totally sympathize with you when you say you can't complete a project - almost nothing in my life has been completed unless I've HAD to do it. Looks like more meds for my ass, haha.

I too am interested in many aspects of the industry, game design, art, writing, I can do some programming, but I'm a VERY right brain person so that wouldn't suit me. And I'm with you on the team thing, it's especially hard when you're not a very outspoken person. I'm assuming you're a reserved kind of cat too, my advice is: We're just gonna have to put up with the team environment. Normally, I'm one for advocating to strengthen your strengths instead of strengthen your weaknesses, but the team environment is a huge part of the industry from what I hear, and if we want to make it in the field, we gotta suck it up. Can't make a hit game on your own. Well, I guess you could, but it would take a looooong time. I know, it sucks haha.

I can imagine you don't have it as bad as me because you can actually start a game project. I probably can't give you any good advice because I'm in a similar position, but hopefully my horrible ADD will make you feel a little better about yourself.:)
Goodness! I really hope you learn how to deal with your ADD. Yes, it can be pretty hard, I know it. Sometimes I just sit down and cry because I can't deal with all the things that are on my mind >_<

And Yes, gotta learn how to work in teams... I am better at this than I was a few years ago, but I still am very quiet and tend to do things alone... :p

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalters View Post
I'm sorry I can't really empathize with the ADD since I've never been diagnosed with it. But I would like to encourage you to see if you can use it to your advantage. Even though I can focus on a project, specific parts can be very tedious and focusing too long on something can get stressful. If you can instead find a way to work on one small chunk at a time (or shifting gears between multiple small chunks you're currently working on) you might be able to create something cool in time.

Best of luck, and I hope you find the method that works best for you to get your where you want to be!
Yes, I was talking with a friend the other day and he said something like that... every project has some tedious parts on it, that everyone procrastinates because of that.

And then he said I should try to do small blocks of things, because seeing something being done would help me get even further. That's what I am trying to do... focusing on small tasks... reading books, making small things, making notes and little documents about my ideas... that kind of thing.

Let's see how this works out this time :p

But thanks to everyone who replied, really :) It was good for me to say these things aloud...
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:40 PM   #10
zoraxbrooks
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i have ADD to, one thing that helps me is to get an idea, and just keep working on it, so you know exactly what your making. if you make the game whilst still not knowing what kind of game it is,it might disapoint you in the end. also, try not to think its gonna be the best thing ever made. because if it isnt as good as you lmagined it, you might feel like you just waisted your time on a peace of crap, whether it is or not.

dont turn this into a fanboy battle,please. but im something of a fan of halo, and when i saw the new forge in reach i was exited about it verry mutch. but because of my exitement & imagination, i imagined it better than it actually was. when i finally got to play it, it felt old & boring. when i got halo 3,on the other hand, i wasn't expecting somethings. when i got it i was overjoyed, it felt new and fun because i hadnt heard about forge early enough to imagine it much.
same with little big planet, it felt less awsome playing than watching all the videos for it.
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