About 4 months ago I decided to work on an ambitious project, a multiplayer FPS/TPS system with vehicles and inventory all in blueprints and for a while it went quite well. Individually there is no problem I feel I can’t overcome, but collectively they overwhelm me.
I have so many blueprints that I am simply overwhelmed with stress when ever I try to change of fix a problem.
It is really defeated my and I often joke about how I have some sort of PTSD from trying to be a game developer, but in all honesty I just can’t face the problem without getting a headache and swearing. It has ruined my passion for game development, I just stare at the engine, sometimes for hours, wondering around not doing anything and I’ve not done any gamedev stuff for a few months.
On top of that you can start getting weird errors that nobody has ever had before at scale and nobody knows what to do about it, and when nobody knows, nobody says anything, it sounds silly but sometimes I just want a fellow developer to say “I can hear what the problem is you are having, and I don’t know how to fix it either”, I had a problem with a check box I needed to mark for replication with an item I was working on which I spend a few days on and it was just the checkbox, we might feel collectively silly, but as an individual I have a deep sense of guilt and resentment that I am incredibly stupid and pathetic for not getting it.
I also have friends who are devs who I have spoken to about this, and they know what I’m talking about.
As for my ambitious project, I think I am just going to have to back out of it, I’ve learnt a lot from vehicle rigging to working with sounds and I suppose I will have those blueprints there for reference in other projects. I think I just have to confront the fact that scope is not just about the amount of man hours in a project, but also about the amount of information a person can hold in their head and still be effective, going from UMG, to AnimBp, to the Item BPs then the Controller, then 2 weeks on modeling and art etc, it’s just a whole lot of stuff, and even though I can grasp what I’m doing on any single piece to be effective, juggling back from one piece to the other often requires relearning what I’ve already done.
Maybe this is also a problem with the methodology, and if I used more C++ and less BP then I may have been able to holder a greater amount of this information in, there is also the problem of not really having a standard orthodox or convention of how I should be doing all of this and that maybe after a few more projects I might recreate this ambitious project I set out to make.
Throwing away my ambition to be a game developer means throwing away 10 or so years of sacrifice, even though I could translate bits and pieces of what I’ve learnt to other fields, such as art skills or code skills, I’m really not the leviathan of abilities I am in game dev if I separate these skills. Now it is my goal to get back on the game-dev horse and make games.
After several years in art and code, I consider the greatest and most difficult ability in the art of game development to be the ability to manage scope, picking the absolute limit of where the phrase “yes I can” can take me. I’m not going to get into how many times I’ve seen even the most talented people come up with a project way out of scope and fail miserably or just end up having nothing at all.
I’d like to hear from devs about their experiences with Scope, and how that scope effects their stress, or anything at all you’d like to say about the issues with scope or stress.