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My private speedhack August 13, 2007

Posted by Trezker in programming.

Last week I tried to do a Speedhack on my own with rules that I spun out of the Rule-O-Matic. For those who didn’t follow their curiosity through that link, Speedhack is a three day hacking competition where you’re supposed to program a game that full fills rules that nobody knows before the competition starts.

I got good rules and my brain provided a nifty idea to work on. The rules in short were about collecting things and combining them to make things that you need in the game. My idea was to make a game similar to Chaos Funk and change the way you get spells. (Chaos Funk is a game where you play a mage with a random set of spells that you have to make best possible use of to kill the other mages.)

In Chaos Funk there is only one way to get new spells and that is to plant magic trees and put your avatar in a tree until he gets a random new spell. So it’s a rather rare practice, it doesn’t even happen at all in many sessions. In my game ingredients for spells would spawn randomly and the mages would pick them up to create spells. The combination of three ingredients make a spell. The need to get new spells would drive players to pick what they can get their hands on, but it may be a good tactic to go for specific ingredients if you know a certain recipe that could turn the battle in your favour.

So that is where I started from. I started coding and after about four hours I went to bed. Seems lazy? Well I started at 18:00 and I had been up since really early, not so smart. Those four hours were pretty productive though, if I had kept that pace I would have probably had a finished game by 18:00 the next day. But that did not happen.

The following day, I lost motivation. The day started nicely and I got some good work done before lunch, but then the effective time just drifted further and further apart. The next day I had almost no motivation left and I gave up on finishing the game before deadline.

Why did this happen? I don’t know! It could be the heat, there was a heatwave coming on hard and my apartment sucks the life out of me when it gets hot. I have a fan but it doesn’t help much. I don’t think the heat is the main reason I failed though. I have huge motivation problems in general, I can barely raise my motivation for anything. I only feel motivation when I’m hit by inspiration and get swept away by the apparent genius of whatever idea I have. But that kind of motivation only lasts for as long as I can stay awake, as soon as I go to bed that motivation starts fading away and I don’t know how to fire it up again. If I can’t finish the project I started before the end of the next day then the project is 99% certain to fail.

So right now that Speedhack I started is stuck in the mud. But I still think it’s a nice idea and I want to finish it. I know it’s just a few hours of work, well maybe a few days, but I’m currently not able to bring myself to work on it. If you have any ideas how to put me in production gear, please share your thoughts.



1. Task balancing problems « Trezker’s Weblog - September 10, 2007

[…] written about my failure to motivate myself despite engaging in a very limited format of work here. I have a worthy goal, I am inspired and I focus on the most important. I want, I should, I can and […]

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