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Battling Burnout: The Side Project Ritual

Laralyn McWilliams (Principal Design Director, Microsoft)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 19

Time: 10:00am - 11:00am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

You're home for the weekend after a long week of game development, and you feel it coming on: the burnout. Too much work, too little time, too much tension... You've set aside a couple hours for rest and relaxation. Why on earth would you spend that time on a side project--more game development!? This quick-moving, focused lecture steps through the many benefits of creative rituals, especially around side projects. Yes, you can build skills or even kickstart your indie career, but more important, side projects can be refreshing, rebooting, and restorative. Even if you whittle away at your side project for years--even if you never release it--the act of ritual creation is part of the evergreen path to both confidence and healing. Join me to discover how the ritual of solo game development can be a part of your own restorative process, and help you win the battle against burnout.


Attendees will learn about the many tools and paths available for game dev side projects, along with the science and art behind creating a creative ritual around solo work to help reboot from burnout.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for game devs at any experience level, but particularly for developers who feel exhausted and generally happy but yet not creatively fulfilled by their "day jobs."