Game graveyard averted

After observing how many projects I abandon, I wrote a couple posts cataloging my abandoned game projects. One of the games I referred to as “Untitled Rhythm Game”, and it was for a game jam featuring the Game Boy Advance. The same group is currently putting on a GBA Winter Jam, so I was interested in trying to make something for it again.

The catch with this jam is that you just have to make a title screen, and the rest of the game is optional. I thought this would be somewhat more feasible than me putting together an entire game myself. Pretty quickly, I got inspired to make a gome-themed studio bumper, so I threw together a mockup for that at the 240×160 resolution of the GBA.

I made a pixelated version of the kabouter from my gomepage. Getting his shading acceptable was probably the biggest challenge, especially on his butt. The pixel font is based on Palatino, which is my preferred font for viewing my site (sadly, it’s too expensive to license it for the site). I also added a paint splatter that uses the accent colors found on my journal posts.

I was pretty pleased with this, but I wanted it to be animated. This is where the project started sucking up a lot of time. I spent pretty much all Saturday a couple weeks ago getting all the different pieces animated & ordered just how I wanted them.

I also created a little ambient audio to go with the studio card. The musical notes are a reference to Orchard Glen, a little piano tune I wrote back in 2020. You can hear the whole thing on my gomepage under “Play another song”.

Gome studio

The next challenge was trying to get my creation into a GBA rom so I could try running it on an emulator. I did a little research, trying to jog my memory from what I picked up in the last game jam two years ago. At this point, though, I realized I could sink a ton more time into this than I really wanted to. I hadn’t even started thinking about the actual title screen for the game!

This is where I decided to consciously call the project done and not submit anything to the game jam. I’m perfectly happy with what I created, and I feel like it would be diminishing returns to keep pushing forward when I have so many other good things to occupy my time. You might consider this just another abandonment, but to me, I feel like I got what I wanted out of the project. Calling it done now means I don’t have to look back on it in regret or burn myself out by pushing past the fun part of an inconsequential project.

Have you ever gotten sucked into a project that you weren’t sure was a good use of your time? Have you ever consciously cut off a project before it gets too big? How do you prioritize what you want to work on? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​