What I Learned From 3+ Years of Not Finishing Games

Great games don’t get done within a day or two, it is a marathon. Don’t rush it, instead go at your own pace until you reach that goal.

Video game development is relatively new and does not have as many resources as there are for writers or artists, so that is why I’m creating this guide.

Why have I not made any notable games in 3+ years? I attribute my failure to 4 things.

1- I often do not know what I want my final product to be.


DON’T START! Get out your trusty pen and notebook and start writing a lot ( I have about 20 pages of ideas and gameplay concepts before I came across something great, so do not expect this to be a quick process). You know when you come across a great idea when it

  • Sticks to your head and you cannot get it out
  • Is easy to explain
  • Gets you excited
  • Here’s the big one — it gets others very excited as well. Getting feedback from other people that have similar interests to you are a great support to your development.

If you want a more flexible way of organizing your ideas and current progress, I highly recommend using Trello. It is essentially a board with flashcards that you can add to it with great features.

Here is an example of what my current Trello board looks like.

If you do get stuck and do not have any ideas, play old and new games, read or watch fiction and non-fiction, and generally expand your imagination. Not everything can be described in 0s and 1s.

2- I get too many ideas for features and my game becomes a mess.


Answer- I won’t spend much time discussing here as there are many great resources about feature and scope creep on the internet and YouTube. In short, stick to your core focus(es) of your game and don’t add anything that doesn’t add to the fun or goals of your game. Players enjoy quality over quantity and you can see examples of this everywhere.

3- I am not excited about my game idea when thinking about it.


Almost no one will be excited throughout the whole game development experience. You are only human and too much of one thing is bad for your life, so try other things or pursue other interests that you have. Do not force yourself into a rabbit hole of not achieving your expectations. Refer to question 1 for more details.

4- I get stuck on technical / art skills.


There are many resources out there, but some problems and goals will just take too much time to solve at your current expertise. You can either set it aside for later or design around it . For example, I am creating a pirate game focused on exploration and wealth. Early in development, I decided to create realistic water and spent weeks on trying to get it right until I burnt out. Even though the game didn’t go anywhere and I knew almost nothing about 3D math, it gave me experience that I use on my future games. Focus on what will make the game fun, not impressive.*

You don’t always need to be in your game engine to continue on your game. Sometimes doing concept art, writing a game design document, or even writing lore to your game can help a lot in the long-term ( remember, this is probably a large project that will take awhile). Breaks away from your game isn’t bad, but NECESSARY to completion!

What is your status quo?
  • Never touched a game engine
  • Just finished a game that you are proud of
  • Only ever experimented / learn on a game engine
  • Quit game development
  • Are in a cycle of creating and dumping prototypes
  • Dedicated to developing your new current game

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I will continue to update this post and increase its quality in the future. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please reply to this post as I want it to become a valuable resource to all developers. I also may not have been on Roblox for 3+ years, but I have used other popular and not so popular engines in the past.


Good Advice, I do about 90 percent of these things so I agree.


Good advice. I’ll throw my personal thoughts out there as I’ve been in and out of studios and freelance work for many years. Something I’ve learnt is that if you’re actually serious about creating a long-term (or even quick projects) to have an actual game document made before even thinking of hopping in studio.

For a game pitch I started on a while ago, I have an almost 9 page google document going into details of all the primary aspects of the game, UI drafts, it has references and even flow charts I made on Lucidchart. I recommend looking at the old game design docs for things like the original bio socks or GTAs!

Having a clear path and idea written out also helps in communicating with your team, hiring people (more likely to work if you’re actually prepared). It also helps divy up tasks and budget. Due to NDA’s I can’t post mine as an example, but there’s lot of articles out there on how to create a nice document.

After that I usually make rough demos in studio of all the game systems before I start building the whole map that might not even be to up spec with the games needs.

That’s my biggest piece of advice for any developer new or old, be well prepared before you start!


Creating a game design documents helps a lot especially in team. I do not recommend following a template to the tea, but take what you like from them. For me, I use a mix of Trello, Word (Docs works as well), a notebook, and Gimp. I am a very visual learner but don’t do well when looking at large pieces of text, but a GDD is necessary to team development and having visuals helps a lot.

I’ll also add more visuals to this post in the future to make it as accessible as possible.


Yeah, I think that kinda says it all. I have a lot of trouble finishing games (partly because of time, partly because of experience), but also because I have so many ideas swirling around in my head.

Hey there, thanks for the advice! I’m just wondering, is it possible for you to create a template or link to your trello so we could copy it? :sweat_smile: It really caught my eye, and heck I hope I could organise my stuff properly.

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I often try to do things I don’t know how to do, or just keep thinking of useless things to add. Then I just get bored, start a new project and repeat the cycle.

I usually get bored quickly from developing, building can be hard, especially when you dont know much about architecture.

Here is My Trello! :slight_smile: (I use custom fields as my power-up)
I finally found a good way to organize all my things so please don’t mind if it is different now!

Honestly, you don’t need to know much about architecture.
When I try to make something look realistic, I use REFERENCES and a lot of them!
Google is a great tool for researching aswell!

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for real tho. Reference pictures help A LOT even if ur not an artistic guy or stuff.
Anyone there, dont hesitate to depend on a reference picture coz even the prodigies among us use it for sure.

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I’ve never tried using reference, but I guess I should. Thanks!

I have a tendency to lose motivation in projects. Whats helped me recently is discarding what has my attention all the time, games and social media. I’m obviously not totally taking it out of my life permanently, but for the time being I’ve isolated myself from them to focus on development. I want to get better, and I can’t do it distracted. I got a code playground on my phone to test functions and scripts when I don’t want to get on my computer.

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