Hey all! Today I wanted to continue our 11 part Lance T. Miller rip-off series: “11 Things We’ve Learned from 11 Years in Game Development”. For those who don’t frequent here often, we are currently doing two ongoing series: this one, where we go over the lessons we’ve learned while going from being a few people making games as a hobby, to becoming an actual studio, and ” Where Do I Get Started”, where we explain how someone can launch themselves into a particular aspect of game development. I say “we” because these series were designed to be written by not just me or Eric, but to encompass our whole team and maybe even some of our other friends in the industry. Well, with the intro out of the way, I’d like to remind you that if you haven’t seen part 1, you can do that here:
It’s not just passion.
I’m reminded of Cal Newport’s book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. Now, I don’t intend to step on the points made in the book. It’s a great read and you should really pick it up yourself. No, the reason I’m reminded of it is because it’s entire point is that the whole “follow your passion” mantra is kind of bunk. Yeah, passion is important, but there needs to be more.
Early on, when I was trying to find team members, I was looking for people who were as passionate about game creation as I was (and I hate to say, passionate in the same way I was). Over the years, we’ve had a few people leave the team, and I hate to say, that did play into it. I was unfairly looking for people who would throw their whole lives into something like I did, and that just wasn’t fair. I mean, I’m an entrepreneur after all. If someone was as passionate about my company as I was, they would have just attempted to make their own?
Expecting too much passion from your team members isn’t the only problem. You can’t expect too much out of yourself, either. At some point, you just end up burning the candle at both ends. Heck, I’ve seen too many times where creators end up hating the thing they once loved because they pushed themselves too hard. They didn’t get enough rest, they set unrealistic deadlines for themselves, it can truly end tragically if you let it.
So, find a balance and be forgiving, to yourself and your team members. When you wind this balance, you’ll end up making much better work than you did without it.