A few years ago, the writing app Scrivener was gearing up for its next major release. Scrivener for Windows v3.0 had been in beta for ages, with a long list of new features to bring the app (mostly) up to par with its macOS older sibling. My writer friends and I were hyped as all heck for the shiny new software, even contributing to the beta testing cycle a little bit because we were so impatient to start using v3.0 for real.
And then, finally, after multiple months of delays, Scrivener for Windows v3.0 was officially released! I cheered internally and immediately bought the non-trial version of the app… And then I forgot all about it, and never used it, because I never used the previous versions of Scrivener to begin with.
I have a problem. Maybe this isn’t just ‘my’ problem; maybe this is something that plenty of people struggle with. I don’t know if that would make it better—the possibility that this is just a silly flaw in my own brain, or that it’s a tragic quirk in human psychology as a whole. But for now, let’s just call it my problem to keep things simple.
I have a long pattern of getting hyped on tools I end up never actually using. Years ago, it was Scrivener. Years before that, it was yWriter. At some point in the middle of that, it was the Pomodoro Technique of time management. That last one isn’t even a product that you have to buy! This isn’t just about products.
It’s not even just about writing. A few weeks ago, while browsing itch.io for tools that might help me with my indie game development, I stumbled upon a really neat piece of software named Tilesetter. Automated generation of all the standard blocks in a 2D pixel art tileset, based on a few template tiles? Hell yeah! But oh, what’s this, there’s a Discord server? And the developer recently posted that the next major version is going to be released soon?! HELL yeah! Time to put on my hype hat and start getting excited!
(Although, in the case of Tilesetter, the only reason I haven’t used it much yet is because my current game project doesn’t use tilesets. My next one might, though, and I’m eager to use the existing version of Tilesetter to make those tilesets.)
In a similar sequence of events, I’m not working on any multiplayer games yet, but when I eventually do, I’m planning on using Fish-Net as my multiplayer networking package for games made with Unity. And even though I haven’t really used it yet… for some reason, over the last month, I got really into following the discussions, the dates, the bug fixes, etc. for the very recently released Fish-Net v4.0… Why do I keep doing this?
If I’m being completely honest with myself, it’s probably not even about tools. When I went overboard last year with collecting Pokémon TCG cards, my method of expanding my collection was to look for any and all cards that looked like they’d be fun to ever include in a deck of any kind, and then I just went wild and got them all. (Well, the cheap ones, at least! Haha card games are expensive.) And what a surprise, most of those cards haven’t ended up in decks yet—they just ended up in a box. Just like Scrivener for Windows v3.0, and probably a bunch of unused things I don’t even remember anymore.
Hype is weird and dumb and probably a little irrational. But dang, it sure makes life more fun most of the time.