Why don't you stick to one thing?

You may have noticed that I am not concentrating on one game and focussing on getting it finished.  On the contrary, I have several games on the go in assorted stages of development.  Surely, if I just put all my effort into one game, I might get it to the point where it can be published...?
OK, stupid, lame joke. [Image yoinked from Wikipedia]
Well, maybe.  A few thoughts on that...
  • I'm actually not trying to get anything published.  I am currently doing game design as a learning exercise and hobby.  Hopefully I will occasionally come out with something that someone else might like to play, and if a publisher wants to give me money one day that would be truly awesome, but for now it's fun thinking of ideas and seeing if I can develop them.
  • Ideas keep coming up for all manner of reasons.  Quite a few of them are because of something someone says, or maybe I see a game and think about how a similar idea could go in a different direction.  Most of these ideas just won't really be good enough (or I may not have the skill to make them good enough), but how will I know if I don't explore them?
  • Conversely, if I put all my energy into one game, I may become blind to its faults and find it hard to make major changes or even abandon a failing project, so having multiple projects at the same time should give me some protection against this.
  • Also there may be a mechanic or other element in a game that I particularly like, but doesn't really work in the game that I have put it into.  If I have a heap of games on the go at once, then maybe I can find a proper home for that mechanic.
  • I find it a lot more fun this way.
That said, I do need to get at least some of my projects to a state that could conceivably be described as "finished".  It's a discipline that I need to work on.  This is the reason that I have a couple of objectives for this year that effectively involve getting a game "finished" and making it available online.  Actually, possibly my next post will be about this, as I am planning to enter February's "24 hour" game contest, in which the idea is to create a playable game from scratch within a single 24 hour period.  I'm planning to do this in a few days, so watch this space...

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