Sunk Cost Fallacy

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is a cognitive bias that occurs when individuals continue to invest time, money, or effort into a decision or endeavor because of the resources already committed, even if it no longer makes sense to do so.

Yes, an LLM summarized that but I am in the midst of this particular crisis :wink:

I used to be something of a regular contributor around these parts but I vanished for some years after becoming overwhelmed and consumed by a new career in Aerospace AI (yeah, not the silly chat bot or virtual assistant nonsense kind) thus my contributions both in the community and also my Cardano project diminished.

Suffice to say I had the opportunity to take a break and go on a short tour with my band last month thinking it would be great to get away from computer science and disconnect for awhile and have some fun that did not involve any robotics or coding. Ironically, I ended up talking to a guitarist from another band who was working on a solidity smart contract literally in the van on the road between venues.

This was kind of inspiring but mostly reminded me about all the progress I was making and new things I was learning back when I had more down time post C19 when there was literally nothing to do besides computer work at home. He seemed vaguely interested in helping me bring my project over the finish line but I have not setup or shared any source code yet as I am not sure I even have time to pick it up again myself.

All told I probably only invested a few paychecks over the course of 5 years because I only really paid for the artwork which I could not do myself. The real investment for me was the time coding up a web based game that could teach basics, fundamentals, and most of what the average user needs to know about blockchains as a “Learn-to-Earn” model unlocking tokens over time.

The design is done. It took many iterations to get from an initial RPG concept to a more casual edutainment game as I discovered how limited on-chain data storage and fee structures were regardless of how creative you get with code and side-chain or off-chain integrations. To that end I eliminated almost every complex exemplary feature down to simply minting and burning of playable characters.

The back-end is mostly done. I can mint and burn tokens on-demand that represent a distribution of playable characters that also have the utility function of unlocking content in game. It also includes a Cardano only AI powered chat bot for providing additional context for the in game courses and curriculum. The only part that is missing is deploying the infrastructure since developer mode is faster on localhost for obvious reasons.

The front-end is maybe half done. The real-time battles using off-chain or on-chain characters is good enough but probably could use some juice. The school has basic dialog for course content and the aforementioned AI chat bot assistant to get hints and context in game. The endless scrolling platform for driving content between school and battles could use more interesting puzzles. The only thing that is really completely done is the Cardano wallet integration to facilitate interactions with the blockchain via the back-end game server.

I would guesstimate another 6 months to launch on testnet (preview/preprod/whatever) given that I really only have 8 hours per week to dedicate to this project maximum. Then maybe half that to work out bugs and adjust based on any feedback before deploying to mainnet? At which point good luck everyone as after making all the repositories public for posterity I probably will move on to something new and interesting in VR/AR or elsewhere in technology …

The question really is do I actually want to spend the rest of my free time this year trying to finish what I arguably already abandoned?


Hello @DinoDude

Doesn’t really sound like a “Sunk Cost Fallacy”.
Sounds a lot more like you lost interest in that specific project and protocol in general.
Nothing wrong with that. Peoples interests change all the time.

If it makes no sense to do it, then the only reason to keep doing it is some kind of sense of completion (or regret). Seems like a deeply personal choice.

Are the reasons for abandoning it still there and valid? Did anything change to make you reconsider?
If not, then you already had your answer when you abandoned it the first time.

:point_up: Would you rather just move on to something new and interesting now? Is the thought of this unfinished project holding you back? If you just walk away now, would you care?

If this was my predicament I would move on. We have limited time in life, so no need to spend it on things we don’t really care about. Fill your days with things that you find important and meaningful.

As for Cardano, it will be here for a very long time. You can always come back.
:blue_heart: :cardano: :blue_heart:


@DinoDude thanks for filling us in because I was wondering what had happened to your project.

From my point of view — editing submissions to the Developer Portal, including NFT projects we had to turn away because of lack of distinctiveness (i.e. they were “games” as per playing cards, but no blockchain integration) — your project would be part of a vital next step forward into a new market for Cardano and therefore a good candidate for Catalyst funding.

I’ve never done anything but a solo project on Catalyst, but in viewing other proposals I’ve seen that sometimes people only start with an idea + a plan to recruit other personnel. If you’ve already done the bulk of the project and expect you could contribute 8 more hours every week for 6 months, you’d be well ahead of many other proposals.

If not started a Catalyst bid for Fund 12 (submissions end in 2 or 3 days) I have it on reliable private authority that there will be a Fund 13 round before the year is finished. It sounds to me like your inventory & plan above would be readily turned into a project proposal… which I think would be very persuasive to voters if it were filled with links to samples, artwork, code, and maybe some live components of your partially completed project. :sunglasses:


It really just comes down to time and I just do not have enough of it available. Unless I quit my day job and work on Cardano projects full-time I suppose. If I am completely transparent the amount of funding I would need to even consider walking away from my primary source of income is astronomical compared to the proposed value of my little prototype end-to-end integration though.

I will fire up my laptop this weekend and dust off the codes and at least see about breaking it up into smaller repositories for outside contributors and collaboration at least. There really is never such a thing as being “done” in software engineering as you can always make things better or add more features and functionality.

Hahaha I could extract my horrific attempt at implementing a CBOR encode/decode utility class in GDScript for use in the game client’s Cardano wallet bridge first! Maybe someone else has better ideas for handling the floating point formats that are totally broken. Luckily, I did not need any decimal places for the dinosaur tokens or checking lovelace balances :flushed:


Sunk cost fallacy is buying enough hardware to stand up 2 relays and a core for the last 3 years and not minting any blocks with a couple small loyal stakers, but since I support the project, I’m in it till the hardware fails.

Sounds like you lost interest.


Nope, I love coding and I have definitely not lost interest! In fact, I am angry at myself for not dedicating more time to my hobby projects, like this one.

Computers are basically my entire life, apart from music, and I have been working on my Cardano project in between this and that. Something about having some interest and encouragement made me feel obligated to complete DinoDapp despite many experiments and prototypes I have left behind in the dust previously.

The crux is coding for my day job pays 6 figures per year, coding for my company pays 5 figures per year, and coding for blockchain costs me 4 figures per year. My investment in Cardano is roughly a paycheck … not trying to be offensive but I am here for the technology NOT the cryptocurrency.

Anyone in my shoes would not give up their salary and benefits for a stake pool or another tangent like a band that wants to rehearse on work days. That said, I am not one to judge so to each their own. As for me, I do not think I will ever complete this project on my own as it currently stands … this is maybe a cry for help to rectify that?

Edit: Nobody cares about my tax bracket except me … you will understand someday.

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Also much to my embarrassment I tried to clean up my script and document the CBOR implementation that is used by game client: godot-fu/ at master · AJG85/godot-fu · GitHub

Be brutal my friends …