Writing vs Playing

A few comments in another thread got me wondering about the ratio of time spent writing games vs playing them.

Now for me, I generally spend at least some time of every day writing a game (I’ve actually got my latest game open right now), but only play a game probably once or twice a week. Unless there’s a game out that I’m really eager to play, or a competition on, that’s pretty average for me. One game a week, maybe two on a busy week, but seldom any more.

What about other people here? Do you tend to find that you spend more time writing games (whether or not you ever finish and/or release them) than you do playing them?

Basically: are you first and foremost a writer or a player?

I guess I’m mainly a writer, although I’ve played far more IF than I’ve written. :slight_smile:

I seem to only play IF when it’s for a competition, or when I’ve agreed to beta-test for somebody. I can usually write IF or play other kinds of games even with some distractions, but when it comes to playing IF, I like to be left alone. With a one-year-old little girl, I’m almost never without distractions.

At the moment, I probably count as neither a frequent player nor a frequent writer. I guess real life (work and eduction) is taking its toll since about the beginning of this year. This has the added downside of making me less patient with any game I try; meaning I play even fewer games and also become a bit less savvy as far as puzzles are concerned, because I’m more likely to give up playing once it gets too difficult.

Concerning your main question, I probably play more than I write. Even though I try to work on my own game in Adrift frequently, I mostly do so only for short periods, while I usually set more time aside for playing a game once I have the opportunity and stamina.

This makes me wonder how much time everyone spends on playing and writing? It’s hard to estimate, but I’d say over the last few months I usually spent about one or two hours a week on playing games, and only something like 10 to 20 minutes on actually working on my own project (and most of that time I go back and forth over some design decision).

I tend to work on my games when the mood strikes me. I’ll be doing something else entirely - playing a (non-IF) game, downloading something off the internet, even just surfing the web - then I’ll flip back over to my game and write something more. I tend to find it easy to remember my last place in any game I write so I can pick up pretty much straight where I left off each time; when playing games I never seem to be able to remember exactly what I was doing on my last go so I don’t tend to flip back and forth between playing and doing anything else.

Today I worked on my game during my dinner hour* and a bit this evening, just typing bits here and there between doing other things. Actual time spent on it today? Probably around an hour and a half to two hours.

  • I get an hour for dinner but as I’ve generally finished my dinner after quarter an hour, and the words “flexi time” don’t mean anything to my employers, I just sit at my desk and doodle on my game.

I try to play a game every once in a while, and I’m writing my first game, so I guess I can honestly say that I’ve played more than I’ve written. However, I’m enjoying writing my game, so I’ll probably end up writing more than playing.

It usually depends where I am. If I’m in the office, I play IF during breaktimes. When it’s time for lunch, I sneak in reading the I7 docs and experiment a bit, or I try to finish off a transcript for a possible game. (Programming editors are too conspicuous, even if I change the menu colors in Windows :stuck_out_tongue: )

At home, I’ll do what comes into mind - finish a non-IF game, write more on the WIPs (take your pick), or surf the web.

The other thing is that, when you are writing a game, you also will tend to be playing it quite a bit as you test it.

I don’t get much enjoyment from playing my own games while I wrote them, though. It’s more like work.

I get a certain sense of satisfaction when playing my games and finding them bug free and full of inspired ideas.
Which hasn’t happened yet, of course, but I’m an eternal optimist. :slight_smile:

I suppose it depends. I’ll play games out of a sense of duty; if a friend writes one, or if they need rating for a competition; whereas I’ll write for my own enjoyment. So it varies.

Don’t you ever play games thinking “This’ll be brilliant! I can’t wait to play it!” ?

I tend to play more than I write (and a whole more than I actually finish writing…).

I also tend to go through ‘cycles’ with what I do in my freetime. I’ll play IF awhile, browse the Adrift forum constantly and work on my games a little, and then something else will come along and I’ll obsess on that for awhile. For instance, as far as gaming goes, after realizing that Oblivion was kind of shallow and closer to an action game than a real RPG I got back into Morrowind and was having a blast with that every night, and then along came a roguelike/city sim called Dwarf Fortress that completely consumed my life for about a week, and I’m just now coming down off of that and cycling back around to IF again. Sometimes I’ll even (gasp!) get involved with something that doesn’t require a computer, like last month’s brief love affair with polymer clay. :astonished:

But playing IF, or even just browsing the Adrift forum can be a big inspiration to my writing, so it’s unfortunate that I don’t see as many games that I can really get into anymore. I don’t know if it’s that my standards are a little higher now, or that I’ve just gone through all the ‘classics’ already.

I know when I first started playing, all I had to do was go to BAF and download something with five stars. (Where I first discovered Anchorhead, and no game since has been able to top it…)

Then it was down to four stars, then I started picking through the threes, and now I just play comp games.

EDIT: Whoa. Hey mods, something freaky going on with italics…

The italics issue is an ongoing problem Hopefully one that’ll be fixed soon.

As I got into adventure games years ago I’m still a player at heart but I do love to write. I set myself the goal of trying to play all the Adrift games released during the year, it is my way of supporting Adrift and the forum.

I tend to play in my lunch hour and write in the evening. Usually I will swap about from writing to doing something else and then back again. I tend to keep detailed ‘whathastobedone.txt’ file so picking up again is fairly easy.

I’ve just managed to get through the Hourglass Comp entries, but it wasn’t easy finding the time. In the last month or so it has been a real struggle to play anything as I’m trying to get my IFComp entry ready.