Cave Story Tribute Site Forums

It's easy to get frustrated when you have ongoing projects, you have a timetable for when you want those projects done or a certain amount of progress made, and then that work ends up not getting done on that original timetable you laid out. Unfortunately, that's a completely normal part of software/game development. It takes a lot of practice before you can accurately estimate project completion. And even with practice, delays are the norm.

In terms of what your skill levels are for things, I think you're being way too hard on yourself. Admittedly, I haven't looked a whole lot at your work, but just judging by the way you throw around the phrases "If I wasn't such a sorry excuse for a human being," and "But no, I suck. I suck so damn hard." it seems that you're creating some unrealistic expectations for yourself, and/or not giving yourself enough credit for what you have done and are able to do.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I don't know how often you hear this, but you're really young. When you're 14, you have no way of truly comprehending how young 14 is. Even if you already have some idea of your strengths and weaknesses now, your understanding of them will grow as you continue to put yourself out there and slowly chip away at these projects. Over time, you'll gain a much better understanding of how to leverage your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. You'll also find it easier to not constantly compare yourself to others or compare your current status to where you think you should be by that point. When it comes to something as involved as game design, you're just not going to have an extremely robust understanding of your strengths and weaknesses at 14.

To give you a personal example, I remember being 15, and thinking GIRakaCHEEZER, who was 19 at the time, was absolutely amazing (I still think he's a very talented person). I kept hoping to myself that I'd be as skilled as him one day. 10 years later, I can't say that I've done the same things he did, but I can say that I have a much clearer understanding of our interests, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, and how that formed the different types of projects that we've worked on. And knowing how I've charted my own course based on my own interests, strengths, and weaknesses, I'd say I'm proud of what I've built. There are some areas where I feel like I've matched or even exceeded GIR's skill level, but that's kind of subjective. There are other areas where he's better than I am, but I bet I could be just as good or even better if I really worked at it. And then there are some things that he's just always going to be better at than I. One thing I'll definitely never match is his skill level on music, and that's something I accepted a long time ago. I realized over time that my goal was not to be the next GIRakaCHEEZER, but the first HaydenStudios. It's a healthy balance of being inspired and motivated by others, but not getting discouraged by the fact that you aren't able to do all the same things that other people are.

Not sure if that was helpful, but just thought I'd give my thoughts on the situation based on what seemed to be going on. Oh, also, it probably doesn't help that you're in your freshman year of high school. Not sure what your ongoing experience is, but for most people, freshman year of high school is rough, so that may be contributing heavily to your stress levels.
Your work's improved a whole lot since you first joined up here
@HaydenStudios I really have no idea how to respond to this properly, but if I'm gonna be honest, I really want to get Project Ampersand over with.
At this point, I don't even know if I can finish Project Ampersand. Whenever I feel like development will speed up, it just slows down again.
When Project Ampersand first entered development, I wanted to make something I'd actually finish for once. I've felt like I'm obligated to finish Project Ampersand, and If I don't finish it, that proves that I can't finish anything.

Once I finish Project Ampersand, I want to shift my focus from Cave Story modding, to stand alone original game development.
The reason I got into Cave Story modding was to practice game development. Because Cave Story was (and still is) my favorite video game, I thought I'd become at least decently skilled from modding the game. That was what I was thinking all the way back in 2018. I can't believe I thought I could be taken seriously with the a certain "OC" and "catchphrase" I had back then. I ended up procrastinating on the mods I was making back then, and none of them saw that light of day. Even worse, I became controversial here and in the CSMC because of the ways I acted and ended up being banned from the CSMC Discord server twice. Honestly, back when the drama from 2018-2019 involving me was going on, I was really stressed. I was stressed because a lot of people didn't like me. I became what I didn't want to be. I ended up getting defensive, and I claimed that everyone hated me, and some other shit.
To this day, I can't stop thinking about it. I still feel guilty because of what happened, and it greatly demotivates me.
There's also some other stuff that I'd rather not mention.
There's a lot of things I want to do in my life, but I'm just not currently skilled enough.
If I'm gonna be honest, I kind of want to take break from Project Ampersand, so I can focus on becoming better at stuff, but I've been forcing myself not to because I put another Cave Story mod on hold and it ended up being abandoned. (That abandoned mod in question is Cave Story Subsurface)
I really don't know what else to say, so I think I'll end this comment here.
Okay, so Project Ampersand seems to be the main thing weighing you down right now. My philosophy is that if a project isn't giving you fulfillment, then you shouldn't be working on it. Leaving a project behind can be tough, but if it's just weighing you down and stopping you from doing other things you'd prefer to be doing, then it really is best to move onto something else, at least for now. If your goal was to gain skills in game design and you'd prefer to be working on something else, then maybe Project Ampersand has fulfilled its purpose. I have no way of knowing whether or not that's actually the case, it just sounds that way based on how you describe what you're feeling. It is extremely common to drop a project that isn't complete due to the fact that you've gotten what you want out of it and you're ready to move onto something else, and it's not something to be ashamed of.

As for this 2018-2019 drama you're talking about, I guess I'm not active enough in the Discord server to know what happened, but we all have moments in our past on these forums or in the CSMC that we're not proud of, and recovering from those mistakes can be a painful process. That's one thing you just have to move on from as quickly as possible and not let get to you. The main reason being, probably nobody thinks about your past mistakes as much as you do, and probably nobody cares as much as you do. I don't judge people based on how many mistakes they make, but by how well they're able to own up to their mistakes when they do make them, and learn to start doing better. It's the people who refuse to own up to their mistakes and refuse to improve their behavior that piss me off. I think you'd be surprised how many people in this community feel the same way. Maybe there will be those one or two people who will always remember your worst moments and continue to think negatively of you, but that's their problem. Anyone who continually holds silly internet drama against you simply isn't worth your attention.

You don't need to make a big announcement to the community or anything about turning over a new leaf, but if you feel led, you can passively mention here and there that you have moments in your past that you're not proud of. I think this post was a pretty good example of that: