Anyway, does anyone else ever feel this way? If so, how do you cope with the discouraging thoughts and lack of motivation?
A lot. Oh yes, can it sink you down.
I make hacks, cheats just for me. Myself. Usually I'm okay because no one will be around to comment. Or nag. Nor give me longer short-term regret. I like what comes out. Simple. Less to feel bad about. Makes me happy = I'm okay not sharing it.
It's when I *think* about sharing something the problems start. It's not perfect. There's this Gradius nes hack that adds -all- this?... and what about that 2P Bomberman nes hack? They're both honestly impressive in their own way and the reviews say so too. What about Rogue Dawn? Argh - it's so good overall. People can expect only high quality "game art" these days, from any hack.
Mr. Richard may like the cleanups I helped him with on Wizardry Empires GBC. But I know there's person k who thinks it can be better. I personally think it can be better here, there. It took me a long time to get that far for something minor, but it's the quality of a 5-px "." vs something well-written, thoroughly re-arranged and carefully designed like TransCorp's Glory of Heracles IV (2 hrs in so far but stopped). That's a project that defines "hard at work".
Down the rabbit hole you go! The deeper you dig, the more impossible to get out!
So I'm thinking.. why not help others with their projects? If they knew what to do, they would've done it. Some asm work here, bite-sized contributions there. They appreciate it a lot more than I would (and honestly, most people I help out do since they get past a major roadblock). Sometimes much smarter people than me (being 2.0/5 skill) also help out and fill in the potholes I left around, which works out better for everyone. Until I realize maybe I shouldn't have gotten involved, because the other hacker did (or would have done) a much cleaner, better job (if I wasn't around)?
That gives me some enjoyment in the end though. For something I like (the vifiy93 Lufia projects), great! Clean and easy-ish job. Lower stress. For Artemis Lufia II bugfixes, wow - did not that expect that much. Because it took a decent amount of time and effort, less enjoyment. Worth it enough in the end.
And then I try going back to Wizardry Gaiden cleanups. Maybe it's because I'm lower interested in the series as a whole. Feels more of a grind, knowing -what- I need to do, given past experience. Even though it is less than the Empires hell. Have to push myself harder but that hits its limits, even knowing Mr. Richard will be more satisfied - he genuinely appreciates any improvements. Progress is slow, despite the work being easier.
Ended up doing some more minor side-work again for other unnamed members with their translations (some semi-big, many small). Funny enough, I enjoyed those small work more than the Wizardry hacking so far. Maybe because I don't need to care how it turns out, small asm hurdles overcome. Progress!
So for me, it depends on how much I'm --*personally*-- interested in the material. Or nature of the hack, even if boring and non-challenging.
The Rush 'n Attack joypad jump hack I had pleasure figuring out. Added in the features I wanted and how I wanted it. And the game is better for _me_ to play over the original nes controls. Until I started worrying about releasing it publically, to avoid someone else having the same hassles I went through. How others would play it - Alternate buttons? Use a custom menu? Does it suck? Missing feature? Improvements? Is there a better way to do it? Waste of time? What about the difficulty? What about porting some of the FDS stuff? Or fixing that tcrf glitch? That took the enjoyment right out. Not having a review yet actually makes me feel better, not being concerned about possibly maintaining it.
So there's my rhdn experience. Worrying about my Mega Man hack on the side.