5 Hacks to Stay Motivated When Making Games

This week on the Podcast

This week we discuss our Top 5 hacks to ensure you stay motivated when making games and keep that motivation up during your game development cycle.

Keeping energised and focussed is critical to meeting those deadlines, however loose those deadlines may actually be.

We all struggle with motivation from time to time, it’s inevitable. However, you can definitely influence your own motivation if you can actually figure out what you want to achieve and commit to it. We discuss how to set yourself some goals and learn how to push through those difficult phases.

Make That Commitment

Set the goal and just start! Often starting off can be the biggest hurdle. Once you have something working and moving, the hurdle will suddenly feel less of a huge obstacle to overcome.

Often, and especially if you’re a solo developer, game creation needs to take place between family and / or other work commitments.

It’s a very fine balance to achieve.Try setting a daily / weekly time ( say between 8pm and 10pm ) where this becomes your regular game building session, and don’t deviate from this. Pretty soon you will be accustomed to turning up at your computer and you will start to see results.

Set Bite-Size Achievable Goals

Set small goals. Your frequent progress can be super rewarding when you hit each mini milestone. Write down no more than 3 tasks to complete at any one time as long, exhaustive lists can be massively overwhelming and daunting.

These will blast your motivation out of the window so avoid them at all times. Small, manageable lists will move yourself forward faster. Period.

These do not have to be anything major however and by making 3 small steps in progress each day or session, will move your project along at a healthy, steady pace.

Public Accountability

Put your money where your mouth is and have a wager with a friend. It doesn’t matter really on the monetary value, it just gamifies the process and spices things up.

You can even go one step further and make a pledge to donate the proceeds to charity if you lose. This is quite out there and controversial so really depends on your personality type.

There are many people I know who have done this and it works really well for them, but it’s not something I have ever tried. That said, there have been plenty of times where we’ve put rewards in the air to motivate us into completely a certain task.

Think of this like a pretend competition:

“If we finish this by 4 o’clock today, then we take tomorrow off – deal?”


“If we can get this done by the end of the week, then we’ll have that fancy dinner”.

Using this Punishment / Reward tactic, albeit slightly left-field is pretty powerful and to be honest, kinda fun. It’s really whatever works for you.

Don’t Break the Cycle or Skip

Turn up every day no matter what. Showing up and doing something is great to push through any barriers you’re procrastinating over. This is a great way to form that habit of working on your game.

When you begin to string together these consecutive days or sessions, you’re way more unlikely to want to break this sequence that you’ve built up. It’s pretty powerful stuff.  Again, this comes back to habit forming behaviour and well worth experimenting with.

Join a Community

Get around likeminded people who won’t let you quit – be vulnerable and open, it actually really helps!

Post your game progress / Set up your own Devlog to track progress and be accountable. Of course we recommend you join us inside the Private Academy Forums, but there are plenty of Discord Channels, Slack and Telegram Groups you can easily signup for for free.

Our 5 Hacks to Stay Motivated When Making Games

1. Make that Commitment and Stick to it.

2. Set Small, Bite-Sized achievable goals each day.

3. Put yourself out there with some public accountability posts. 

4. Turn up every day or time set by you. Do something each day that moves your forward.

5. Join a Community and Cheer someone else on. Good Karma 🙂

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