I have a lot going on. way too much. my first project, two guns two goals, was EXTREMELY ambitious for my abilities. i dont have too many things to do left, its just that I hate doing all of them: AI, materials and textures, and animating the character (since so far ive Been using placeholder animations). to be honest, im kinda tired. ive been working very hard at UE for a while, and ive gotten a lot done in my 7 months of doing it. I have an almost finished game, and some pretty good knowledge. Im still a beginner though, and it really shows. to be 100%, being a solo dev with UE kinda sucks. im thinking of learning Godot engine, over a period of maybe two weeks. that way I can get a break from UE, and come back re energized, ready for action. the three choices:
A) power through, finish my game, and then do much smaller projects in order to learn different things
B) stop doing unreal for two or three weeks, and learn some Godot (I can do it on the schools computers and boot off a usb so) so I can make some nice 2d games
C) drop my game until I get a better understanding of UE4. I dont like this option.
There might be another option to simply follow some tutorials and get some mini projects done and boost that confidence while learning new skills. But don’t feel bad about taking a short break and sort of refreshing yourself. There’s no shame in taking a rest
When you’re ready to come back, we’ll be here to support you!
To piggy back off of your comment, I absolutely agree. If you’re burnt out, which is what it sounds like, powering through isn’t going to allow you to finish with the best version of your game. When you lack the will or creativity to do something, you aren’t going to give it your best. So if you aren’t able to do that right now, that’s ok. as Panda said there’s no shame in taking a break from it. In fact it’s necessary to learn how to properly balance game development for the long term.
For me I’ve handled it by bouncing between different disciplines in my project. I may be working on character blueprints and combat for a couple weeks, then I’ll switch over to something art related like environment or character design - but not in engine. This is important, you want to create as much distance as you can from what it is you were previously doing while still making good progress on your project. So for me rather than do environment work in UE4, I would for example switch to Maya and start working on architecture and props for a while. That would change my daily operations from UE4 to Maya/Marmoset/Photoshop/Quixel/Substance for a while. Couple weeks doing that, I switch it up again. Preferably something that requires me to do work in the engine, so I could work on particles, or perhaps UI, etc.
Handling my development like this has allowed me to significantly reduce burnout. I even bounce back and forth between UE4 Marketplace work to change things up stylistically as well, because creatively working in the same genre non stop can also lead to a block. My game is more sci/fantasy where my MP work is hard scifi. I’ve had periods where I’d take a week or so off of game development to work strictly on the MP, and then when I come back I’m more than ready to tackle the project.
It’s also important to continue professional development. Don’t wait until your project is done to learn, learn as you go! Keep pushing your boundaries and you’ll pick up on things that will not only increase your overall knowledge, but also help you to become efficient in your workflow. Maybe take a day out of your week to devote entirely to learning something new in UE4. There are many great tutorials out there on Youtube, one channel by Matthew Wadstein is a resource I’ve always found myself coming across whenever I may have a question or seek to learn how to do something regarding Blueprints.
Whatever you decide though, best of luck to you. =)
^This^ … If you’re feeling really stuck though, go for walks or even take a holiday / travel. Basically anything to get as far away from game dev as possible. So yes play games if it inspires you (to return). But don’t, if it risks torturing you subconsciously (constant reminders that you should be back working on your own game and you’re losing time).
Switching category of work… Switching to UI from something else can help. But only if it gives you some motivation / creativity. Not sure watching tutorials is such a good idea overall, unless it inspires you directly, and the results can be immediately applied back to your own work. Instead, take random example projects apart and see if there’s anything there. But just watch out for distraction or creating hundreds of unfinished projects.
Also watching inspiring demos of other people’s work in progress is another thing to try. Sometimes picking a different genre from your own work helps the most, as you can use it as a kind of muse (musicians / filmmakers do this all the time). Even just checking out marketplace packs of creators you admire is something to try. If everything else fails, then get wasted. You’ll lose some brain cells but at least you’ll give yourself some headspace.