Even if you fail, so what? The life goes on, you move on to the next project and carry over all the experience you've gathered. Kind of a roguelike.


Ah, one of the most frustrated genres lol. I guess I put too much into this (I want this to be my legacy) but you're right. Life goes on.


If its your first game, failure is nearly a certainty, so don't fear it. Expect it. Expect the 3rd one to fail. Enjoy the process.


I wouldn't say expect it. I wouldn't do anything I expect to fail. But embrace it. Hope that it won't, work like it won't, and embrace the idea that if you fail, you'll do whatever's next. Imagine it did fail, what would you do then? I find having considered the worst case comforting in some way. Takes the pressure off, because at the end of the day (and I'm sure a lot of other professional game devs have heard this in their ranks), "This isn't open heart surgery." Edit: typos


Its the same idea as you don't expect to win your first race, or go to state championships from your first sports ball match. No one plays sports expecting every game to win. You expect to lose some. Its a certainty. Failing is never the worst case scenario and neither is not finishing a game. The worst case is not starting. Failing to make a commercial success is still always a success in many other ways. Always play to win even when you know you wont and losing isnt a failure.


The worst case scenario is the world explodes and we all die. I mean from the perspective of a creative person doing work and putting themselves out there, failure is probably the worst that could happen in that context. Also going into something not expecting to win is not the same as expecting to lose. When I say embrace, I mean to accept the possibility of failure. Failure is inevitable, as you say. Your last line about playing to win (committing) then losing not being a failure says it all. We are saying the same thing.


I noticed this is upvoted a lot but i think it isn't a good advice or even advice at all. Our brains arent't rational regarding stress and anxiety and downplaying it with "just move on when it fails" doesn't help at all even if it's the logical corect thing to do. Same like you can't tell a depressed person "just be happy".


For me, I promise nothing to anyone. Not even to myself. In regards to game development at least. I work on my game because I want it to happen, not because of any responsibility I have to anyone. I pay my artists and they know that developing a game is no small feat. I have people in my life that say things like "why don't you just finish the game?" But I have learned to not feel pressure from that. I just tell them it'll be done when it's done. I've learned how to remove scope, how to settle with imperfection, and now my game feels very doable. If I didn't spend any time on marketing, I think I could finish it in less than a year. But I don't aim to, because if I'm stressed and need time off, I will happily take it. My mental health is more important than any project.


Is this your first experience with this level of imposter syndrome? It may help you to know that most of us get it! Developing and shipping a game is a lot of work, but almost nobody is better equipped to do it than a professional software engineer! You've got this. I absolutely believe in you.


I'd say on a professional level I have had a decent amount of imposter syndrome. But nothing near what I'm going through now. I see all these games out there built by GIANTS and then I see the *nothing* that I've built and I guess it become a little much. It's important for me to recognize that all these games were once just scribbles on graph paper too and a half broken prototype. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!


Polish is what makes a good game. Scope down and polish the first level so you can launch a demo and get feedback. Getting a demo out might also help with the anxiety of sharing your ideas.


I am in a similar boat, I dont let it get me down though. I am NOT making an Elden Ring, i am an indie developer. Im not charging 60-70$ either, 5-10$ probably. It helps to keep scope in mind, and recognize you are not a AAA game. You work within your means. It also helps knowing I am creative and think my game will offer something new, which will help it compete (roguelike tower defense). Finally, in my opinion, the worst case scenario is NOTHING happens. Best case, it takes off and can become my full time. Even if its not well received, I can tell my daughter hey, i had a dream, i followed through. Its here, its on steam. I am doing it because i want to, and i wont let O.C.D or w/e stop me.


It's gonna be ok. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself. Focus on what you can accomplish today to work toward your goals. Getting profession help is never a bad idea. Work at recognizing the onset of your anxiety, and see if you can identify any trigger or cause. Take breaks and deep breaths!


On that note I've been doing 1 task for my game this year every day, no matter how small. I can write a lore sentence, doodle a concept, learn something, or on the opposite side of the spectrum: code a full component. But I suppose we can count getting help or taking care of myself as part of the "one daily task". Can't complete the project if there's no one left to work on it! Thank you for your words!


You never know how to make a game until you do. I think this is why it's best to do small but many projects and sort of ease into the process. Those boulder-like projects cause that nervousness every time for everyone without exception. It's best to start from something small and grow. I think this applies to everything you do in life. Starting running? Better not try to run a 5km route right away. You'll never keep this going. Small but steady every day and increase over time. It always worked and I've been a runner for over 20 years. Yeah I had breaks but my method of ease into the habit always worked. Vs I've known dozens of acquaintances over years who tried to jump into deep water. Never listened to my advices, for whatever reasons and of course they never managed to run for more than a month usually and dropped it for ever. The whole thing is about mentals not only coding and designing.


I’m not creating a game on the same scale as you, but I know how you feel. I’ve always given up on every project I started simply because it became difficult and I hated the stress. Or when I have done something in the past, it always failed and made me never want to try again. I have to admit that no, it’s not easy. But that’s okay because you aren’t the only one who has these kinds of anxieties. You aren’t less than or not cut out for this just because you are struggling. You aren’t the only one thinking you aren’t worthy. A lot of people have struggled through game development and yet still managed to push through and put their game out there and you can do it too. Everyone can finish their project. Seek out people who are more experienced than you and ask for advice. Hire people to help you if you can afford it. But also take care of yourself and don’t let the stress of your project eat you away inside


You're absolutely right. I gotta reach out to people for advice and help. No man is an island and if I want to get serious about this I have to onboard more people. My ideas are so intimate and innate to me that just sharing them with someone instigated this whole incident, but I have to work past that and get the help I need (for me and for my project). Thanks for your kind words!


For what it's worth, [Imposter syndrome](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome) is a common thing for people who are much more capable than they believe they are. Gonna try to lighten it up here but it's kind of the opposite almost to dunning-kruger where a person thinks they're hot sh*t but they are actually ass. To soothe the nerves, get feedback from people over your project and you can see if you're in the right direction or not. Literally everything will be okay. You haven't bet the family farm on it, you're literally a software engineer as a day job. -this is an infinitely better position to be in compared to many game devs who attempt it. Physical things you can do to make you calmer; Take a magnesium supplement, I take magnesium glycinate before bed and since I've started, I've been calmer and more well rested. B1 can help calm your nerves too. Minor and chronic dehydration can cause anxiety and depression. Iron levels can impact your sleep. Eliminate caffeine or heavily reduce it if possible, Make sure you're eating healthily and getting proper sleep... this will make short work of depression or anxiety without taking any sort of brain-altering drugs. > I'm genuinely starting to believe it takes a heroic/legendary amount of effort and discipline to get this done. You committed 10 years so far. I would say that's a legendary amount of effort. 👍 Don't give up, get your game done and be proud of finishing a project. It's something that will exist for as long as the internet does, in your name.


I would always recommend talking to a therapist for mental health concerns.


10 years is a lot. Here is what works for me: prototype and early feedback. As soon as feedback arrives and you start having people that like the game and want to see more (outside of friends and family), that really helps. Even bad feedback helps by knowing which direction to concentrate or drop a feature that wouldn't help the game. Building something for years not knowing if people will actually like it will be devastating if it doesn't work.


You're not finishing a game, you're just releasing one. That's a mantra used in film because there's *always* something more you can do to pretty up a movie. Rather than perfecting it, you're just supposed to focus on meeting your deliverables and deadlines, then releasing it out into the wild.


All experience is preceded by mind, Led by mind, Made by mind. Speak or act with a corrupted mind, And suffering follows, As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox. All experience is preceded by mind, Led by mind, Made by mind. Speak or act with a peaceful mind, And happiness follows, Like a never-departing shadow. You need not have it finished anymore than you need to know the time of death of someone you love. Experience what you have and get it to the point you can play with it and share it with others. It will grow if you spend time with it. The joy is in the journey. Do not worry so much about not achieving. Keep going! Think of the first day of achieving not as "Finished" as much as "First Release Begun!" Be critical only if it drives you to happiness, stop if it drives you to worry. Best of luck to you!


Username… doesn’t check out 🤷 Unless maybe it’s a bunch of peaceful monks holding torches so the guys with pitchforks can finish working after dark?


It isn't a riot, sir, it is walking meditation! [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buvSIrFi0Hw](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buvSIrFi0Hw) I find having a sense of humor is important, as is being aware of the lie of righteous anger. It is a reminder to myself that whatever anger promises to do for us, compassion can do better.


Thank you Master PitchforkzAndTorchez. I act with peaceful mind, for happiness follows. I have lost myself, blind to mine journey, my vision tunneled to only the destination. It's time to step back. Swim and relish in the present. Led by mind, made by mind! *raises torch on left hand* Joy in the journey! *raises pitchfork on right hand*


Very Buddhist of you. I remember learning this in school - especially the image of the wagon following the ox. Very poignant.


This comment is very spiritual. Didn't expect that here


The most powerful tool when dealing with a situation like yours is perspective. Go out and stare at the stars tonight and recognize where this project fits into the universe. Similarly, "This too shall pass" has gotten me through many of life's difficulties, both personal and professional. Remember, whatever you're going through will soon be a memory to reflect on, for both you and others. Modern therapeutic variants include methods such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. Give them a search online and try them out for just three days...you may find they are life-changing. Stay away from meds unless you absolutely need them and have a trusted doctor prescribe them. I've seen them ruin lives. You got this. :)


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can address almost everything you are experiencing, I would know because I have dealt with depression/anxiety my whole life and CBT works wonders for not only that but my adult adhd as well. You don't technically need a therapist for it either if you are comfortable following self guided CBT workbooks.


I mean, man, not to be a bummer but I think you need to figure out what your priorities with this project are. 10 years on a solo project that you then suddenly put a lot of importance on is a recipe for heartbreak, for a lot of reasons. I really hope it works out for you, but I would take a step back and think about what you want from the project and what that will take, and how you'll deal with various levels of failure. I worked seven years on a project and while I mostly like how the game turned out, it was not a "success" and I wish I had done things differently and not put all my eggs in the one basket. :/


Hey there, hope you’re feeling better! Anxiety and panic attacks suck! I have a shit ton of anxiety and have been looking for a job in the industry since I graduated 4 years ago. Interviews give me such bad anxiety I’ve actually recently gotten to a final interview and failed to secure the position. This fucked me up so bad I had panic attacks for a solid two weeks straight I’d have at least 3-4 a day for those two weeks. I’d basically given up on this dream and to an extent at this point gave up on life in a way. I had a random interview lined up a couple days after my two week panic attacks that I was so over that I just was like fuck it idc anymore I’ll just talk to these people like normal and idc if they like me or not. Fucked around and actually got the job. I started a week ago and it’s honestly been amazing. A lot of people will tell you that even if you fail who cares but the thing is like you do lol you care and caring that hard is good in some ways. The thing that’s always helped me get past the anxiety of solo development is that I would 100% rather fail at this crazy ass dream of making games than never try at all. You’re a fucking legend for even trying this shit and regardless of the outcome you’re sick as fuck for being a game dev! Also even if this one doesn’t work out there’s always next time too! Learn from your mistakes and get better everyday! Good luck and hope the best for you!


>"Am I really qualified to make this?" > >but I have 0 idea how to actually make a game Who is and who does, all the big studios have like a handful of people that actually has a broad overview of everything and enough games under their belt for people to be able to point at them and say "this person definetly knows how to make video games" and they still produce flops and buggy garbage games. You are stumbling in the dark like everyone else, it is what it is.


Hey, you're doing it, which is awesome! And though it might not bring you money and fame, it is a great achievement to finish such a big project. "Failure" in that sense is a real possibility, but that's not the big thing here. It's that you actually did it. How many idea stay in the drawer, because actually doing them is really, really hard. I had such a crisis too, btw. The big part of it was the realization that my lifetime is limited... And that all my great ideas I've been carrying around may never actually come to life. The solution was to enjoy being in the moment, take small, realistic steps... And always keep creating and learning. Also, fuck fame and all that facade social media bs. If you do something authentic and real out of passion, that's what I respect.


You've got this, friendo. No one is better qualified to make your game than you, the person who has dedicated a decade of their life to it. If Elon Musk can be confident in running Twitter, you can certainly be confident in your ability to make your own game. Also, making games is hard, and at this point in my life, I'm convinced that literally everyone is just doing a "fake it 'til you make it" approach to almost everything they do. You're not alone and anyone who might be telling you that you should be better and have a full grasp of everything at all times is lying to you (even if it's yourself). Hiring an outsider to help in your passion project is a big step and I'm not surprised it induced panic. Online therapy, in-person therapy or even just a chat with your regular doctor can be hugely helpful. Good luck, mate. You've got this.


Therapy and meds, seriously. Best thing I ever did for myself. Worked through stuff and found a good medication balance that helped reduce the overwhelming fear of anxiety to something easily managed. It takes time but it’s worth it. Most likely this is coming from the deathly fear that your work will all be wasted if your game doesn’t succeed. You need to make peace that even if you do everything perfectly and make an amazing game, that could still happen. Plan for what comes after. Don’t stake everything on it succeeding. It’s super uncomfortable to think about but it will help with feeling like this is all-or-nothing. Even if it’s a complete failure, you have already - and will continue to - learn for the next project. Also seek help with the things you fear you’re unqualified for from experts. Pay for their time if needed.


Thanks so much for your words. I'm hiring professionals for my game, maybe it's time I get some help for myself lol Edit: I don't think I'm worried about it being a commercial failure. I guess I'm mainly worried about me not finishing it. Ever.


> I guess I'm mainly worried about me not finishing it. Ever. I hope this doesn't make things worse but, my friend, no game is ever truly finished. Every game I've worked on there's always something more I would have done if I had more time. But games are shipped, and I believe in your ability to ship your game!


I prefer to test my ideas in a series of smaller games, alongside larger projects. Helps manage the stress, because I can reassure myself that these 'ideas' are already working .. and I just need to keep going. I release small projects about every 2 years. Meanwhile I still have yet to release a main project of 12 years and counting. . lol **hugs!!** <3


I advice to watch 2017 series on youtube channel created by Jordan B Peterson. It's easier to cope with your brain when you know how it works. Psych2Go and School of life also have great materials, but in shorter form.


Remember there are many more opportunities and this I'd your first experience. You'll learn SOOOOO much in this project which will make your next faster to make and better to play. As long as you learn from your mistakes, you'll only get better and make better things. It will be okay You've got this


I found that having both my long term and short term goals well defined and actionable (with emphasis on actionable) helped sooo much with my stress. It helps me keep the blinders on so I don't get overwhelmed by what's still left to do. It also helped me really understand why I was building what I was building and allowed me to reassess the direction I was headed. I also repeat my motto "No one knows anything" over and over. Helps me get the courage to make mistakes and not be perfect, which reduced my stress levels haha.


Well I am not in your position yet but when i started to learn programing so i could work on my project after initial phase of fallowing tutorials and i moved to do my own stuff there was a moment when huge doubt started to crawl in my head: "why?, I am to old to learn, I am just wasting time, its takes years of work, most indies fail and so on. Going to bed and having these thoughts wasn't good time. I kept pushing and now all I think is how to find solutions to tasks/problems and how much progress I already done how much I improved. There is no doubt any more just a "need" to push further. TL:DR yes everything going to be ok what ever the outcome


The most stressing are things that you focus on too much. You can spend days on some asset or code. But if you would ask someone they often would tell you "it looked fine the first time". The best way to avoid this is to get quick results on things that you are stuck on. Then do something else, come back iterate later. For the other thing, [watch this](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sBA0RWPAbY).


About the game: set certain goals and be the PM to make sure you have things done by the designated date. Mental health: think about your circle, if you’re surrounded by people who make you feel bad or less than, then this can impact your mental health. Also consider how you speak to others and yourself because that can be just as bad. If you were surrounded by game designers then you’d be around the norm of completion. Also, think more of what you have and can build on. Play on your strengths. Do not focus on “I don’t have __” because then you might not stick to it. Take care of your health, have concentrated set time to work, and a set lunch period. A 15 minute break. Treat people with kindness. It’s a reflection of how you treat yourself. Also I have an Apple Watch I use to do deep breathing exercises when ever I am anxious. These are just a few.


Breathing exercises can be huge when you're dealing with panic attacks. Remember that your body is having a physiological response to stress, so combatting it physically through slow, deep breaths tends to works really well. Talking to a professional isn't a bad idea as well, if this becomes a consistent issue.


If you have someone close that you trust. Tell them about it and vent it out. When I vent to someone about my game I start to come to some realizations while I’m venting without them even actively participating. You took the first step by coming here. It will feel much better if you say it out loud to someone


I think this is what living in your own mind does to you when you work on a project for long enough. It becomes your "precious" like from the Hobbit, it sounds like that might be the case here...


Even if you didn’t write the great American novel this time, the skills you have acquired along the way may enable you to write the great American novel next time.


99% of us are just winging it. That goes for everything in life! Fake it till you make it does actually work and those that are successful are because they had the balls to just go for it. I wish i knew this when i was much younger! Oh, its also worth noting that almost everyone has similar anxiety or nervousness, its natural, so dont let that get you down either. Lastly, if somethings easy then its probably not worth doing. If it’s difficult it means there aren’t many others trying.


It's gonna be okay. I'd get banned if I recommended you what I do. But this thing made me realize how insignificant humans are in all the cosmos (forgive me for being philosophical and dramatic). And how we'll be largely forgotten after our deaths. But that doesn't mean we're insignificant. Because our lives feel very important to ourselves. It's made me realize, you should live for yourself, work towards your goals, but make sure you're having fun doing it (and if you lack the basic needs such as food and shelter to feel joy, well I pray you don't give up, be prepared to work, but also work smart, leveraging your skills, to get out of the gutter first, come up with a plan, execute, and don't stress too much as it won't help, meditation, reflection, or talking about it with someone might help), because it's not doing yourself or anyone a favor when taking life so seriously, people might push you towards things you don't want to do, as if they know exactly what's best for you, but what do they know? What does anyone know? We're just random specks on one planet lol. So I think it's good to adopt a mindset that enjoys the moments that you can. Thinking about being grateful for things you have, and introspecting your goals and progress each week, I find, helps. I remember never feeling grateful for years for things I already have, always feeling sad and wanting more. It becomes such a normal habitual mindset that it's scary. I had to break out of that and build healthy habits and healthy mindset. So I guess the other thing is... Meditation and exercise? Surprisingly, a little bit of exercise brings up my mood considerably. Even like a 5 minute indoor jog makes me feel good for hours. And.. Playing video games help mental health!! That aside, I run a studio too, and it's incredibly overwhelming and I feel panicked from time to time. Having all sides yell at me and tell me conflicting advice, from my team to advisors to publishers and so on. Having 99% rejection rate on publishers, pitching the game to a hundred places, over and over and over on video call, having many publishers say yes only to change their mind later, meetings all times of day sometimes early morning sometimes after midnight if talking to a potential partner on the other side of the globe. All while handling project management, while delegating duties, while also participating in the game development myself, while greenlighting or providing input to each team member's work each day from UI of game, of website, to art, to game code, to backend systems... while answering each team member's questions that feel like they go on for hours sometimes... Yes so very stressful. Sometimes I wish I had a team where everyone is a shareholder and functions independently instead of employees that want guidance and input every step of the way. Last year, I couldn't take it anymore, mental went rock bottom, physical health went to the sewers, so I downsized, took half a year off to focus on both mental and physical health and overall well being, and came back after the new year with a no stress mentality. I'm not doing 12-18 hour work days any more. I clock 7 good hours a day and I'm out. It's just not worth the stress and burnout of doing long hours. I'm sure those 7 good hours are as productive as 10-12 normal hours sometimes, but even if they're not, I don't think mental and physical health is worth sacrificing for success or money. Well unless it's something right before me and time sensitive, like I have one month to show this interested publisher who is 80% sure they want in, and they will fund huge amount, then fine, I'll cave for one month and sacrifice a bit because it'd lead to saving months or years worth of effort later, but I'll promise to give myself an earlier retirement everytime I do this and I refuse to crunch for longer than a month at a time, and only in extraordinary circumstances. I do still feel minor anxiety here and there, which I think is a good thing, as it's cyclical and not perpetual, and helps drive me further. So it's fine, possibly good, I think for you to feel some occasional anxiety. Panic attacks on the other hand, is so not worth putting ourselves into. Life's too short for that!


Finish your game. Release it as an early release alpha and make any adjustments you need to make based on player feedback. Of course, playtest it as much as you can with people who like your genre, but mainly just get it out there and in the world. People will criticize anything, but you’ll be surprised at how supportive people can be as well. Just release your game. My first game was crap, so I moved on. My second game was better, but still crap. Now I’m working on my next crappy game! I do it because I love it. (Also, I hope they get less crappy eventually).


fail at what exactly? if you've been working on it this long over 10 years yes you will feel emotional attachment to it. even if its not "successful" you still enjoyed working on it and you learned lots from it. just make more games after its done, and get better.


If you don't depend on its success financially and you're just doing it for your own enjoyment, why do you care about the end result? Release it. Remember to stop when it's good enough - perfectionism gets in the way of getting things done and you'll never EVER be satisfied with your work but there must be a moment where you shut that voice up and accept that it's good enough to be released. Game jams helped me a lot in that sense. Making a game under various constraints, especially a short time window, helps you in both accepting compromise for the sake of productivity, and also giving you the confidence (and experience if you want) of having released a product. If you have time, try to take part to a short jam. Put your project to the side for a week, make a game from scratch, release it, and I guess the whole anxiety of having to publish your big project will now be less scary.


What makes me stressed is expectations that i cant handle, so i just tell myself if its success hurray, but if no then its totally okay if no one will like it or if there will be only a few people who enjoy it. I just want to enjoy and be proud that i did it, how i wanted, its for myself. Not for someone else(you cant fit in to everyone tastes, even most awesome games have people who didn’t like it). No matter how it will end i will get an valuable experience, that will let me improve further in future. So dont put all hopes in one project, there is always a chance to start over again and try different and better.


Don't worry. Deep breaths. You are financially secure and life will go on just fine even if your project fails. But it won't, it'll be fine, you've lasted this long, you can make it to the end. You have the most important quality already - determination. Just remember to take a day off now and then. Our brain needs a rest and recover period just as much as our body. A few things that help me when I feel lost: \- Check back to the early days, look at screen shots and notes and marvel at how far I've come \- Show off a bit of the game to my audience, and feel the excitement, terror and adrenaline of feedback. I held a demo at a local game convention a few months ago and seeing folks reactions was a massive boost in morale and enthusiasm, strongly recommended!! But even leaking a few screenshots on reddit and getting a nice comment is a huge lift \- Allow myself a day or two to not work on the game. I know I will return to it, and I know it won't matter if I take 2 days off to do something else. I do not believe in "no zero days", I think that is an unhealthy recipe for burnout. I'm in it for the long haul. \- Spend an occasional day "consolidating" my position. Cleaning up files. Removing temp stuff. Making backups. Renaming things. Refactoring. No new code or assets, just taking time to clean and make things nicer \- Help noobs on some programming server on Discord, it's fun and a bit of an ego lift to solve other peoples easy problems and see them get happy


I think it’s worth remembering that nothing you make will ever be perfect. You will always get to the end of a project and think “I wish I’d made that bit better” because your skills will have developed as you have worked, so you are better placed to start a project once you have got to the end of it, if that makes sense. This is especially true of game design where entire new engines can be built in the time you have worked on a game. The key thing is to find peace with that. This game might be your legacy, sure, or you might knock out a silly racing game in 6 months time that sets the indie world alight. If you make a game that you enjoy and that you are proud of, then it was a success.


You know that feeling when you finally get a mechanic working how you want after tons of stuffing around? Don't forget your triumphs my guy


It’s gonna be ok! You’ve come this far a so you clearly have the dedication to make it work. But if you want to talk to someone about project planning and stuff like that I’d be happy to listen and try to help. I’ve worked as a team/project/design lead before so happy to share my experiences!


Solo dev here with a huge project and also hiring artists and also writers for help so i think i can relate very well. Ok i didn't have full blown panic attacks yet but can relate to the heavy anxiety. That's also why i won't tell you advice like "you don't have to worry because blah blah". Such advice doesn't help at all and our brains aren't rational rergarding fear and stress. Instead i tell you soem advices which helped me to reduce my anxiety: 1. I know it's seems maybe like a "dumb" or "simple" advice but what really helped me to at least lower it was actually endurance sports. Just do something like jogging, cardio or whatever until your hard like really pumps and lung hurts. Your brain will produce a lot dopamin and you also will get more confident in yourself. Also when feeeling physically drained/tired you get more calm. 2. Write a project backlog with all remaining tasks. Even when it's like one sentence "Build level 2". Try to define at least some more current tasks more specific. This will give you a project overview and boost also your confidence to be able to handle the project better. ​ 3. Find a person like good friend or family member you can talk in person about it regularly. The important things is "in person" (or at least a video call). Writing things like you did in the reddit post can actually fuel your anxiety because you can overthink during it and have to "wait" for replies. And waiting is also a venom for anxiety. Someone in person will react straight away and comfort you and you will feel a lot better and when not you at least don't feel alone. ​ 4. I tend sometimes to click out of the project for a week(s) and do nothing due to anxiety. At first i felt really guilty about it which also fueled my anxiety a lot. My advice it that if you do this too than don't feel guilty. Tell yourself what is worse, delaying for some weeks or not finishing it due to burnout or anxiety? You will still feel guilty but repeating this thought will at least lower it. ​ 5. Maybe you have other unresolved real life issues and problems and i noticed during this time my anxiety regarding game dev also gets a lot worse. So don't hestitate to take a timeouts regarding game dev to first focus on other things. Maybe you can also try therapy. ​ My last thing i want to give you on the way: I know game dev is a huge dream (it is mine too). But please be careful and listen to your body. A full blown panic attack already this early in the project stage is very worrying in my opinion. Being a solo dev or project lead is not something for everyone and it's no shame to reconsider it. It's not worth destroying your mental health. Game dev lead is super hard and maybe you might also think about just being employed at a game dev company in case you notice your mental health suffers too much. Give your best to make the project happen but don't "give yourself"! Wish you the best on your way!


My situation is similar and for my mental health it would be crucial that I can say when I do something on my game and when not. I need to have periods where I don't do anything related to the game. But I really struggle with that at the moment.


Youre making this project because you love it, out of passion. It doesn’t matter what happens with it. It doesn’t matter if you completely flop. In fact, I’d argue you need to let this project go so you can move on to something else. You won’t be able to fully make use of this decades worth of experience until you start to make your next project, and it’s going to be really fun when you do. Just tie it up the best you can, and be happy over it. Any income or similar you get from it is just considered extra.


Shhh, shhhh, it's gonna be OK mate, you managed to work on your project for 10 years and stay afloat, that's already a huge achievement!


>tell me it's gonna be ok It won't. If anything, it will get worse unless you do something real about it. This thread is full of very harmful advice offered by people who never had a single hard day in life, their magic wishful thinking or positive words won't work here. When the weight of responsibility becomes too heavy, folks destroy families, escape into stimulants and other addictions, develop diseases that require medication, or even kick the bucket. This is real shit, reduce the responsibility (no 1 solution: bringing other people in, so that they take off some of it from you), address root causes (eg. what exactly bothers you in the imagined failures, it's not imposter bs, these are real things on which you've got to work), talk to your loved ones (their positivity works, in contrast to words of anonymous teenagers on gamedev subreddit), make actual changes in life that suit you personally (from spiritual approaches to directly forging discipline).


First of all, know that even if things go wrong, or sales are disappointing, you will have learned a lot from this experience. You will be familiar with Steam, you will know what launch day feels like, you will have a better idea of how to handle PR. So the worst case scenario is that you learn something which you can use next time (if you make a sequel?), which is still a win. However, obviously you'd like this release to go well, and to get through the next few months with your sanity. Here's what I do. 1) Break huge, daunting tasks into small steps. Can you "LAUNCH A GAME"? Well, that's daunting. But if launching a game = working on the game mechanics, hiring and coordinating with your artist, hiring a PR team, posting regularly on social media etc etc etc, it suddenly seems more achievable. You can do all the little steps. Therefore, you can do the big thing. 2) Once those tasks are broken up, track how they're doing. You want to know where you are in that big daunting challenge, and how far you still have to go. We use hacknplan, a decent hour-tracking tool. But just using excel or google sheets for tracking can be surprisingly effective too. 3) Go to this tracking tool when you need to figure out what to do next. If each morning begins with you figuring out what you're doing from scratch, that's difficult and daunting. If your tools can tell you what to do - because you already did the work - that's less pressure on you. 4) Check if you're on track. Every so often, check if you've achieved the goals you set yourself to finish the game and launch it. This has two benefits: firstly, if you're not on track you can course correct. Secondly, if you are on track it can silence the anxiety demons. 5) Embrace the challenge. This is not easy. This was never going to be easy. You chose to do this because it matters to you, and you are not going to give up now. It's ok that this is difficult: often, if a thing is worthwhile it is also challenging. Challenges are how we grow. And one final step: 0) I've numbered this step zero, because it might actually be the most important: GET A THERAPIST! I have generalised anxiety disorder, and reading your post reminded me a LOT of how my brain used to work, always catastrophising, feeling like it was overwhelmed and set on fire by all these pressures and deadlines. If I hadn't found a therapist and got on meds, I would find it a hundred times more difficult to make games because, yes, this is stressful sometimes. So please consider the possibility that your brain may not be calibrated quite right, and some of this pressure you're feeling might be unnecessary and unhelpful, to both you and your game!


My mental health was going down the toilet until a couple months ago. I decided to work on myself and get out of my own head through meditation and whatever resources I could find. Now I feel like a completely different person, no longer have imposter syndrome, have been able to motivate myself to keep progressing my game and get more enjoyment out of this hobby, being more productive at work and not getting burned out in the process. By far the best resource I found was DR. K's youtube channel [https://www.youtube.com/@HealthyGamerGG](https://www.youtube.com/@HealthyGamerGG) There are so many relevant videos to really dig in and find out why your brain is trying to sabotage everything. Once you understand that these problems are not unique, you can start to find how others have been able to overcome things like procrastination, anxiety, burnout, etc.


Cold shower first thing in the morning followed by 30 sec sprints x8 with 2min of walking between each and then weight lifting. Eat a good meal and get to work. Once or twice a week get to a martial arts class of some kind but preferably BJJ I'm serious, I've struggled with ADHD, anxiety, and depression for almost 30 years and every since I started this life in general has been easier and far more manageable.