State of the Game #241: There is no Done

No, the update is not delayed 🙂

The title of this post is actually a reflection I had yesterday. You see, I had produced the first release candidate build yesterday for the Summer update and sent it out for testing. I have learned quite a few lessons the hard way when it comes to testing, so I actually had a structured environment, with multiple machines and a 74 point checklist for each tester. I delivered the build, set the testers in motion and started to relax.

That lasted a whole 3 minutes before the first breaking bug was discovered. Then another one. Then a usability issue was brought up. And so the cycle repeated until I had a list of 17 minor issues and 7 game breaking issues. Great, the testing plan worked, right?

Unfortunately, that is not how I felt at the time. I felt defeated. And incredibly frustrated. I would even say I was down right angry. Why had I spent all that time, only to have everything be broken?

I sat down to try to examine my feelings, because it was strange to me WHY I was so upset. Of course there were going to be issues, that’s why I was having a testing round. As I examined my feelings, I came to understand that I was feeling angry because I had convinced myself that I was ‘done’ and these new issues were changing me back into an ‘undone’ state. I had gone through the list of items and checked them all off and as I was going to check off the last item, someone came and added 24 more check boxes.

That’s when it really hit me. There is no ‘Done’. When I deliver the final build next week, it will not be ‘Done’. There will be stuff I wanted to add, some small tweaks, an improvement here and there. There will always be balance changes to accommodate new play-styles, updates to support new hardware, new strange issues that come up. There is no ‘done’ state. And strangely, this was incredibly comforting to me. I got up and immediately fixed 5 of the game breaking issues and 13 of the minor issues.

So, for this week, I learned a really important mental health lesson. There is no done, and that is okay.

Comments 15

  1. Keep it up man. I know it is a daunting task completing something of this scope virtually by yourself. Just know, you are like a god to me haha. I couldnt put into words how happy I am to have something like this being worked on, and stressed over. Stress as in being that it stresses you so, it is obvious it is something you care for deeply, and that will translate unto the game itself.

    Looking forward to the future.

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      Thank you very much! It’s increadibly encouraging to hear feedback like this and know that the work is not going into the ‘void’.

      I am very excited about the update and can not wait to be playing it as well 🙂

  2. It’s great to see you are taking the time and effort to plan things out so thoroughly. Even with the best plans, though, things wont always go right. But re-focusing on your work ethic to always be improving MAV is what makes it succeed. One bit at a time is all it takes.

    Keep up the (inter)stellar work!!

    I will be buzzing this time next week………. #BottlingUpTheExcitement

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      Busy Bee camo pattern confirmed? 🙂

      Yes, things don’t always work out, but the beauty of accepting there is no ‘Done’ state means they can always be fixed.

  3. The done state for chromehounds is when the servers breathed their last breath and the game came to a crashing halt…very sad day indeed. I hope that it will be a long time before MAV meets the same fate.

    If I have not said it lately,
    Thank You for all you do Cyber!

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  4. I’m glad you reached the “There is no Done” stage. That’s one of the hard, hard lessons that my art teachers had to drill into me. There is no such thing as a ‘finished’ piece of art, and there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ piece. But if you know what you’re doing, everything you do makes it better. And better. Even if it’s just small increments, even if it’s not something visible, just the fact that you’ve worked on it, that you’ve poured that little bit of yourself into the work… That shines through, and builds life into what you’re making.

    And then, eventually, you get to the point where you’re willing to show the wider world what you’ve made. And you feel pride in your creation, and get to see the reactions people have to it. And then, though you’d be happy to take it back and keep working on it… it’s okay to let it ride.

  5. So i just Joined here, but i played chrome-hounds back in the day and i loved it, so i hope that you are able to keep going. But as building a game does come with a lot of stress and work its an understanding if you take a break or just disappear but i hope that doesn’t happen.

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  6. ive never writen anything here and i havent payed much attension since i first supported the kickstarter a loooong time ago. but nostalgia and chattery with friends made me realize there is another ”Chromehounds” in the making. so i popped by to see how things are going.
    im so looking foreward to the day i can say ( and im sure its comming ): this is what chromehounds should’ve been.

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