As those of you who follow me on twitter may know, I have entered the National Game Design Month Challenge or NaGa DeMon for short. Participants of this challenge are charged with the monumental task of designing, creating, and playing a game over the span of a month. I am currently two thirds through the challenge and it has been a herculean gauntlet so far. Fitting the countless hours of game design into my already busy schedule has left me stressed and exhausted, but truth be told. I love it.
I know it sounds strange that I love an action that is making my life more stressful. But I am both doing something I love, and improving skills as a designer. I have heard it said that a person only grows when they are pushed outside their comfort zone and I agree with this statement completely. In most cases we won’t force ourselves to grow unless we have to. We get complacent and we do what is easy, over what is right. But by challenging ourselves to do something difficult we are driven to complete a task which is beyond us. Growth is that moment when you complete the challenge and realize that it wasn’t too great for you to handle. With new found vigor and courage, you strive to take on the next challenge, which is even greater than the last.
But there is a dark and looming flipside to this mentality. The fear of failure. No matter who you are, there is always the voice which tugs at the back of your head, reminding you of all the consequences of failing. We get so caught up in this fear that we become too afraid to challenge ourselves. But fear of failure will only hold you back, with every new creation there are going to be flaws, with ever new challenge there is a chance you might not make it. Don’t take those as an opportunity to give up, see them as a tool to get better. Why ask someone to tell you where you need to improve, when your mistakes spell it out for you clear as day. Anyone who is successful has built their success on a foundation of failure.
Go out there and really challenge yourself, put the axe to the grind stone and push yourself every day. Only then will you create something that will leave its mark on the world.
Thanks for reading,