External Motivation

One of the upsides to using the GitHub Pages is that it provides an easy way to share my work as more than just lines of code. One needn’t guess at what my functions will do or copy the code somewhere else and run it. One can just go to the page and run it, probably exactly how I see it (unless you use an ancient browser and, why would anyone do that?). A side-effect of using GitHub Pages is that it makes it really easy to submit my work to the One Game A Month game jam/challenge/thingy.

My friend Chris turned me on to #1GAM some time in December and I figured I could use all the help I could get staying motivated. Having goals that are tracked (to some extent) externally helps me push through the hard days. The days where it is easier to make an excuse than look at my code.

At one point, I was pretty sure I was going to have a finished and polished version of the backgammon game to submit well before the end of January. Time did what time does and mid-January turned into “some time before the end of the month.” Once January turned into February, my motivation to fix the game evaporated. I was discouraged. I had missed my deadline, I couldn’t really see a quick way to fix the few glaring bugs and I still had no idea how I was going to painlessly host the game so that I could submit it. I was stuck in a negative reinforcement loop.

Voltaire’s lifted quote eventually got me out of my funk. “Perfect is the enemy of good.” I needed to embrace the fact that I am doing the best (or nearly) as I can and move forward. Setting my game up on GitHub Pages allowed me to get over that hump and be comfortable with the progress I have made so far. I will continue to tinker with backgammon, but I know I have to get another project going. Starting from scratch, again, will allow me to use the skills I have learned without being dragged down by the baggage of my (admittedly small) code base.

From Voltaire, we will go back in time a stretch to Shakespeare, to close with a little piece of Henry V, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…”

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