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Envy, competition and comparison.

A topic by LebbyFoxx created 9 days ago Views: 106 Replies: 8
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Hello developers of Itch!

Today's discussion is about envy, and dealing with competition among other developers. When it comes to developing games, how do you deal with envy when comparing yourself to others and their games? How easy is it for you to brush off jealousy when you see others projects? And also do you feel that talking to communities and working collaboratively helps fight off that emotion? Also, do you ever feel out of place and inadequate due to the tools you use compared to others and 'professionals'?

 I would like to know your thoughts surrounding this common feeling when developing games. Personally when developing games by myself for fun on Itch I do not feel this way, it is only when I compare myself to my peers and their projects when jealously becomes prevalent. 

Thank you for your time and I would love to hear from you guys soon! 

-Caleb (LebbyFoxx)


I am not a developer, but jealousy in life is normal. Try not to fight it, but watch out not to do or say silly things because of it.

If you happen to be jealous of something at times, it actually means you appreciate what you are being jealous for.


I think there is a subtle difference, jealously springs out of a feeling of entitlement while envy is not as bad, coveting others' success. In any case, like Halloween Astronaut said, it's normal, and you shouldn't castigate yourself for those feelings, and envy is often a motivator, I want what that person is having.

But I think you're on the right track about community and collaboration. It's easy  to look at celebrities and feel it's unfair they have so much success, but personally, although I'm not that interested in collaborating on specific projects, I'm inspired by people here and those I follow on twitter, as I can see the effort and learning they put in and the help that they put back out into the community, so I'm rooting for their success, even if I'm mildly envious when they achieve it!


To have many things does not mean to have happiness. There are suicides among celebrities, there are fatal addictions, there are too many opportunities to develop poor traits of character. It is not a good thing to envy them. There is a price tag on everything in life.

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Envy is unavoidable in the world of game development - too many insanely talented folk out there creating amazing experiences. Only natural to compare and critique your own work more. I think envy is healthy for the most part, though; inspires us to greater heights yadda yadda etc. 

Personally, I try to convert that envy to a learning experience. If somebody has created something successful - it's good to work out what contributed to that success and apply it to your own work (I'm talking more about strategy/production/business here, less art/design which is obviously not so cool to copy...).


There is a lot said in this thread about how envy can fuel motivation of one and thus inspire greater deeds. But what if the envy becomes overwhelming? What if it simply makes one feel bad? Then, I would actually suggest quitting. Personal peace of mind and emotional stability is far more important than a couple of indie productions, that either how will only add to an already oversaturated landscape, where terms of public appreciation diminish. Perhaps join a company, so that you could both make games and have it less of a personal matter, if that makes sense. But then, you are not in charge of the entire creation, only a minute fraction of it, so there might be things about what you do that would demote your constructive approach, making you just a work tool. In other circumstances, find another reason. Maybe you need to make that game, in order to be able to point it out in your CV. That is an unrelated, neutral approach, to have making games as a mean to achieve other goals - save for earning money - thus probably speed your career or show off your ability to apply certain solutions.

If comparison is bad for you, find way to avoid it.


Be thankful for what you have. Just the fact that you are alive should make you feel grateful. 


Envy eh, I LOVE that feeling (not really actually)

For me I got three ways. 1. Try to be better then your previous self. 2. Make them your friend or at the very least show them appreciation for a job well done, and 3. Make them a ugly as #### monster or something (if 2 and 1 fail)

Last time this happened was with me and the TouHou fan Jam 4 (I was in 41 place -_-) (also in case your wondering the game is called "Celestial")  

And I will admit I felt 'frustrated' due to my game being 2 and a half stars 0_0

However, I decided to post a little note showing my appreciation to everyone who joined the jam and hoped for some constructive criticism (which i never got)

If i could shorten this into one sentence it would be "Don't act like a total ####"          (also now that i think about it, that post i made probably came out like i was crying XD)


I would agree with @X2Sたr on the healing properties of appreciation. Try to openly and directly express appreciation of what you feel like being possibly envious about. Tell what you particularly like about the thing. Maybe such approach will simultaneously give you pointers on what to improve in your own projects. That is the merit of constructive communication.