As an indie dev, it can sometimes be challenging to keep the flame of creativity and passion burning throughout the weeks, months, and years I spend on my various overly ambitious projects.
However, I think I found a solution that works for me.
I came across a fantastic idea from Tarn Adams, the awesome developer of Dwarf Fortress and a source of inspiration for countless indie game developers (and, as a fun side note, someone I’m proud to be friends with on discord #humblebrag) a few years back and I thought nothing of it but recently I have embraced the idea, and it has reignited my enthusiasm for personal projects and my main projects.
In one of his talks, Tarn shared his approach to preventing burnout: dedicating the last week of every month to working on a project other than Dwarf Fortress. Which, although they hardly ever see the light of day, is how he keeps himself from burning out.
Taking a page from Tarn’s book, I decided to implement this strategy into my own routine, focusing on an end-of-month project during the last weekend and the first week of the next month. This approach has proven to be incredibly beneficial for my mental health, creativity, and productivity.
My First End-of-Month Project: UL’s ZSurvival Craft
My first end-of-month project was the creation of a zombie apocalypse focused modpack for one of the newer minecraft versions. This neat little pack transports players into a haunted, once-thriving cityscape where they must battle for survival against hordes of super smart zoimbies that can destroy blocks, build up to you, burn down structures and place and blow up tnt along with block collapse physics. (It is also only the second zombie apocalypse modpack for 1.19.2) With gameplay reminiscent of a roguelike or rogue-lite , players can choose from two different origins and arm themselves with weapons and provisions to explore the desolate urban expanse. It revamps how breaking ‘furniture’ like anvils and crafting tables and brewing stands and furnaces and so on works in minecraft so that instead of dropping the block it always drops some of the components. Allowing players to literally scavange for resources in the city.
Though not as hardcore as some other modpacks, ZSurvival offers a challenging experience, filled with relentless undead adversaries and horrifying monstrosities lurking in the darkness. Players can also craft an arsenal of guns, turrets, and security measures to fortify their defenses and survive the apocalypse.
The result: This was a lot of fun to make and i’ll probably be developing it further in the future. And it al;ready has surpassed 100 downloads. Not bad for a week long project.
You can check out the ZSurvival modpack on CurseForge here: https://www.curseforge.com/minecraft/modpacks/uls-zsurvival-craft
My Current End-of-Month Project: Revamping My Blog
This month, my end-of-month project has been all about giving my old blog a fresh, new look, which you are reading from right now. I’ve been updating its aesthetic to a more chill relaxing blue color, added more social media links, and have been slowly practicing my writing skills by creating new content and participating in WordPress’s daily writing prompts. This project has not only allowed me to explore my creative side but also to refine my writing and web design abilities.
The Impact of End-of-Month Projects on Preventing Burnout
The concept of end-of-month projects has been a game-changer for me. It has given me the opportunity to step back from my primary projects and work and try new things, and explore other ideas. By dedicating time each month to something different, I’ve found that I return to my primary projects with renewed energy, focus, and enthusiasm.
I hope to keep doing this in the future and we wil see how it pans out in the long run. But for now, it works great!
NOTE, I am the sole owner of the featured images in this article. If you want to use them in your own content you must contact me.