Rebooting Completionist Run

Last weekend, I did a heroic wrap around for a rather important pitch for Startup X. That meant eight hours of sleep I needed to get back, so I slept the entire Monday and was not able to submit a build. I broke the chain:

Fig. 1: My commit streak on GitLab

The whole “Don’t break the chain” thing has a seldom discussed flaw: it’s hard to get back on track once you do break the chain. I want to say that I spent the last three days thinking about this issue but I didn’t. Instead, I tried getting my daily dose of self-worth elsewhere.

When I started Completionist Run, I was aware that it was a tall order. I get it, yours truly was never one of the Determinator sort. Akrasia never really registered as a Serious Problem to me so I never really got around to dealing with it. So I’m quite surprised that it wasn’t the scythe that ripped the project — just straight-up lack of thinking on my part!

Today, I want to scrounge up the remnants of whatever momentum I still have and reboot this project. But this time, let’s put some structure into it. The goal of Completionist Run was twofold:

  • to have a baseline amount of coding practice every day
  • to build a small part of this edifice

Notice that none of those had anything to do with what I was doing. I had nothing to protect.

In the 22 days I kept this up, I’ve seen that it’s not novelty or originality that makes good games. And in retrospect that sounds about right1: the intersection of Good Games and Original Games is littered with Daikatanas. I don’t pretend to know what does make good games but I know that this goal gets me closer to that:

  • to make games or interactions that make the world significantly better for their existence

I’m not trying to be fourteen years old here. But there is a space of things whose existence naturally divides life into pre- and post-periods. I want to make something in there.

To do that, I’m going to take a hint from 011/365 and pre-post about a feature. But this time, I won’t beat myself up if I don’t make my own Estimated Time to Completion. I’ll think of a new template later but that Final Thoughts section should be the highlight of my posts instead of being an optional part of them. I’ll also relax the “one new mechanic a day” rule and only require that I build towards something every day. Hopefully this set of changes will keep me from veering off again in the next set of 365 days.

 


Definitions

Akrasia
resisting one’s better judgment; see
Determinator
id est, do whatever it takes; from TVTropes2
Edifice
an imposingly vast body of work by a single person or group; see [insert link here]
Startup X
the startup where I currently belong
Wrapping around
becoming so immersed in coding that you forget to sleep, thereby making your day “overflow” into the next one; from MIT’s Tech Model Railroad Club jargon;

  1. As do most vague, nice-sounding phrases. 
  2. The usual time-sink warning applies. 
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