Not finishing things

Saturday July 16th

I've previously mentionned "Build yourself a Roguelike", and that I currently do not suggest buying it. The reason? The exact issue I'll discuss in this post. It's been started a year ago, had a lot of early momentum for the few first chapters. And then? Nothing. Chapter 8th was finished on March 5th. The last Chapter 9 update dates from May 5th. And there hasn't been anything since.

It's understandable. It's a common issue in Computer Science, caused by the simplicity of creating new projets. You get a great, new idea. There's so many factors that might motivate you to get started on it. The novelty, the challenge it could provide, creating something great. But after a while, most of these motivating factors wear off. The idea isn't new anymore. The challenge it could provide has most likely been solved already, as only a lot of trivial, but more boring work remains. And often, a newer, as interesting, idea drives by. Something that is as interesting, but has the novelty advantage. Thus, the started project gets left by, incomplete, as you jump on the new idea. And the cycle continues. Over and over again.

We could blame people for this, but the environment makes it so easy to happen. There are so many ideas that are made available by programming, it doesn't cost a thing to start them and you don't need any social agreement to work on some personal code. But when you release it to public, when you sell it, is when I have an issue with it. And it's not only for books. Plenty of indie games get released in alpha. A good amount of them never end up being developped further than this alpha. A lot of software gets created and not maintained. Or just never end up in a working state.

I cannot see a solution to this problem. Some people may say that it's an attitude problem and I tend to agree. But you can't easily change everyone's attitude. There are so many external factors in this equation. I just think that this issue needs more awareness. Mostly for the cases where there's items on sale, that never reach the promised goal.

Note : For those interested in the "Build yourself a Roguelike book", you can find it here. I personally don't expect it to ever be complete, but the few chapters that are currently in are interesting.

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