What Happens If You Fall In Love With Your Project?

In the tough school of marketing there’s often mentioned how “target market/audience” and the “potential customer” needs to be thought when creating a (game) product. One “mentor” – sort of speak – I had in the past mentioned how he chose his project by first creating some concepts and then picking the one (Shorthike space simulation game) that had the most market potential. It wasn’t the concept he liked most but he thought it would be most profitable (and of course fun to do as well).

I have been thinking the same way for quite many years now, up until yesterday or so.

Yesterday I was changing diapers for my sweet girl and there was plenty of poo. Earlier (let’s say… close to decades now) I thought that babies are smelly poo factories that eat and sleep a lot. That statement holds true by the way, but something has changed.

I’ve got ownership. It’s my baby. Now I just think the poo is cool thing to wipe off. It doesn’t even smell bad (which is strange since up until this day I’m positive that baby poo smells bad).

By the way, I’m not trying to suggest that my baby is a project, and now way comparing her to a game dev project. I’m comparing the experience I had.

The experience suggests me that if you fell in love with your game project, a strange thing most likely happens: those hideous ugly tasks (whatever they might be in your project) might not seem so ugly any more. In fact, you might even find out that when you are working on the project you truly have ownership and treat it “like your baby” (as I’ve heard some devs mentioning about their products) you’ll go extra mile to get stuff done.

If on the other hand the product is “not yours” and it’s “done for the money” you might translate part of that lack of passion to the product. It might be done well, but something personal might be missing. Something that tells that you love your product.

What’s your experience on this? Have you fell in love with your current or past projects?

5 thoughts on “What Happens If You Fall In Love With Your Project?

  1. I see, I see. Every day I learn something new.

  2. well, babies really dont have smelly poo if you feed them with breast milk…

    its solid food that makes the poo smell bad…

  3. I don’t have kids (yet), but I would totally agree. You are much more motivated to do your own project well than a project which belongs to somebody else. But still what keeps me motivated with projects that I don’t own is the given trust, responsibility, and reputation (well, money too, but that should be self-explanatory and straightforward without discussion).

  4. I make games for free right now. Even though I don’t have to consider marketability, there are plenty of external factors to consider – like difficulty and time usage. My experience is that if you don’t really love the work, you don’t get much done.

    I guess, when you’re picking the project, consider how much more your audience will appreciate something that’s made with love.

  5. I’ve heard in several different crafts that things made with love are the best. Why, because we put extra care and effort into crafting them. Personally, I think the best combination is to look at ideas that are either potentially profitable to see if they speak to you, or to try to find a way to make the projects you want to do profitable. Just remember that having both is the best combination for you and the business. That’s my two cents.