I need to be okay with failing, so I’m posting this regardless of how good or unique it is

Failing isn’t something I do often, and it’s kind of because I don’t try.

In regards to my career, I think it’s understandably harder to fail quickly with video games in particular because that medium is 1) very complicated and 2) extremely young. So, the technology to do something quickly isn’t really there, making it take a while to get anything remotely playtestable by others. So you kind of just end up on that route of “workworkwork and don’t test” from the get-go, and it’s probably hard to break out of that.

However, making video games isn’t the only medium in which I struggle with failure — I tend to avoid failure in most areas, not just video games. For example, I almost never ask girls out. I’ll admit that I’m getting better at talking with strangers (and I kinda love it because I love psychology), but I still only talk to strangers that are doing nothing but stand next to me and do some menial task like scan the barcodes on my groceries. I guess I just have this assumption that I’m inconveniencing people if I stop them from doing what they’re doing, and that talking to me wouldn’t be NEARLY that good of a substitution for what they were doing. If that were true, I’d feel awful — and since that’s a possibility, I never try. Another example is that I have difficulty starting a building in Minecraft because I keep second-guessing myself and assuming it’ll look crappy — if I build anything, then I have this potentially ugly-looking thing on my area which is hard to take down. Who wants that, right? (God that rhetorical question is worded so generically Tony (but don’t delete it — it makes you uncomfortable so you should keep it in there for people to judge (and hey I guess if you explain long-windedly in this parenthetical statement that you did it on purpose, maybe they’ll like you for it anyway! Idiot)))

I’m very egotistic. And I feel like my ego is threatened if I present something that doesn’t wow people, and so I end up being not okay with failing in the slightest amount if I’m putting out whatever it is I’m doing for the public to see. This is probably because for some reason I have VERY low self-esteem — so if I pour my heart and soul into a thing and it gets judged poorly then I feel completely horrible. Because of this, I conceptualize everything to death because no one can judge me if I keep it all to myself in my brain. I also end up never taking sides on an issue — I’ll just present the things I’ve observed and provide as many counterarguments as possible.

A potential solution to this is, when working in a field I’m not familiar with, to start with small projects. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so heavy and personal if I just do something small because it’ll feel like “Meh whatever I just did it for funsies”. (Wow I’m writing this in Google Drive and it accepts “funsies” as a valid word and that makes me smile) Any amount of negative criticism on a relatively small thing won’t affect me so cripplingly because I didn’t invest so much into it.

Another issue is that maybe I think that people will think the thing I create is all I have to offer — that that is the BEST I could do. One solution could be for me to just explain to people “Look this thing is old so ignore it” or “I’m just starting out and trying stuff and I know this sucks but I just wanted SOMETHING”.

I also want to do something suddenly amazing to get recognition — it’ll make it seem a lot more dramatic and meaningful if it comes out of nowhere. One solution (you used that phrasing already Tony) is for me to just keep my failing restricted to my friends and family. They’ll understand and probably love me anyway regardless, so if I fuck up with a thing I’ve made, I probably won’t lose anything major.

But holy wow, I still feel like my relationship with those friends and family would be worsened for some reason if I did that. I guess it’s just that I have trust issues. Again, it comes back to me thinking I’ll inconvenience people by wasting their time with something dumb. A solution to THIS is that, if it doesn’t take that long for them to experience the thing I made, then I won’t be wasting their time very much.

I should probably start putting time constraints on the things I make. Hopefully that’ll force me to not dwell on them so much.

I can’t think of a good conclusion to this post but I’m going to consciously not come up with one. Wait crap that was kinda good damn it Tony

About Anthony Caruso

A Full Sail University alumnus who majored in Game Development. I eventually plan on making my own independent video game company. This section is so lifeless wow
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2 Responses to I need to be okay with failing, so I’m posting this regardless of how good or unique it is

  1. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that even though I’ve been presented with the concept of purposefully quickly failing before from various sources, this post was directly influenced by this video in particular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDjrOaoHz9s

  2. Anonymous says:

    Trying and failing doesn’t offend anyone else, but pissing them off does. It may take a thousand tries to get it right, so there is no time for procrasterbating.

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