Well, as someone who also lives with depression and anxiety, one of the best things that you can do is to understand that you’re not alone. You’re not even the first person, by far, to bring it up in this forum…and that is okay!
Show us what you’ve got! My stuff isn’t very good either, but I keep at it. Here are a few things that I can recommend, since you asked:
- Be present. I know this can be hard sometimes. I honestly don’t like many online forums, but I really appreciate this one. It is pretty much driven by mutual respect, courtesy, and support. Meanness of any sort is not tolerated in here.
(To be honest, I even closed my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts because of all the garbage.)
Spend a little bit of time on your craft every day. You’ll see results faster than you know.
When I say ‘a little bit of time’ I mean just try for 5 or 10 minutes. If you can go more, then keep going.
Sometimes I don’t feel like I have the attention span for a 15 minute tutorial video. Many times I’ll pause the video, go get something to eat, go play with the cats, whatever, but I come back to it a little later and unpause the video and keep going.
I used to try to finish four videos in a day and I was burning myself out. Now I just try for even a few minutes at a time, and I actually end up ‘getting into it’ and I’ll get a few hours of work done per day. It’s a mind-twist, but it works for me.
If you’re a beginner, keep your expectations low. Remember that sucking at something is the first step towards getting good. Everybody sucks at something the first time they did it. Remember: There was a point in time when everyone sucked at something.
Have fun! Enjoy the process and don’t try to stress yourself out. Use the GameDev lessons as your entertainment, and replace your favorite television characters with Rick and Grant and the others.
Don’t try to follow along too closely each and every time. It’s okay to sit back and watch some videos without having to follow along. In fact, you’ll get more out of the videos if you watch them first like a TV show, then go back and work through them again.
Take notes. Spare no page of your notebook. Write down anything and everything you think might sound important.
Draw, doodle, sketch, make random marks, make mistakes, learn to say ‘oh well’.
Come into the forums more often and share whatever it is that you’re doing. Start liking and commenting on other peoples’ creations and share those hearts! You’ll build rapport and get to know people in here, and you’ll begin to look forward to your opportunities to visit the community.
Case in point: I just finished Number Wizard UI for the second time. I posted about it. It’s whatever. Everyone else is doing the new 2D course by now. Oh well, I’ve got a plan for something unique with my NWUI game and I still think the old 2D course is relevant.
Look for inspiration outside of video games. Remember, there really haven’t been very many video games made ‘about’ video games. They are usually about other things like ogres, racing, magic, hunting, sewing, space exploration, sports, robots, making doilies, but all of these things are outside the realm of ‘video games’. Look to your interests for motivation.
Once you start learning how to do things in your chosen field (Blender, Unity, LibreSprite, etc…) help other people out! There are tons of opportunities to help others in here. There are new members joining DAILY! Everyone has questions.
Go Badge hunting! Look at the badges page in your profile and figure out how to get more of those achievements! This will help you build rapport in the community and get known faster.
That’s a lot of stuff, but I’ll end for now with magic number 13…and this is the most important:
- Remember - You can do something that other people cannot do. There is something different that you bring to the table that nobody else can bring.
I’m more of a Unity guy (and not a very good one at that), but I’m a very skilled technician and troubleshooter, so I’ve been able to answer several questions and help people out. I don’t always hit the mark, but I try when I can.
That said, I’m not good with Blender. There are tons of people here who are better than me with Blender, but I’m better than them with Unity. Everyone knows something that I don’t know.
You’ll find your place, and as you gain experience, you’ll be helping out the newer people and you’ll start to really learn that you know more than you thought, while also learning from the more experienced people in the forum.
If it makes you feel any better, I’m 46. I don’t even try to compete with the 14 year olds. They have their place, but I have mine, too. You, too, are on a much different level than someone who is half your age. You’re at the right age to be learning this stuff. You’re never too old to add more skills to you resume.
Here’s a silly painting I started last year. It isn’t very good, but I like it.
Do something goofy and have fun with it.
I hope this helps. Remember, we’re here to help each other. Enjoy your stay!
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