Blackwell Legacy. It’s been out and selling for two weeks now, and I have had enough time to destress and depresserize and think about the past four months it’s been in development. As I’ve mentioned before, it was probably one of the most intense, most stressful, and yet the most wonderful experiences of my adult life.
A few entries ago, I spent a chunk of time talking about stuff I did “wrong.” I was very self-critical, and reading it again I sound very whiney and angsty – something I swore I’d avoid when I started this blog. That said, I’d like to post a pseudo correction. None of those things were actually wrong, per se. I’m constantly learning and re-evaluating and adjusting my approaches and methods when it comes to development, management, and marketing. As cliche as it sounds, my mistakes are simply opportunities to learn.
So. What did I learn this time around? I can safely say that deadlines were meant to be broken. There’s a reason why almost every game company in existence has missed their various deadlines, and they didn’t do what I did. I didn’t just announce a general release period, I announced a specific release day. As the deadline approached, I forgoed sleep and all social contact in favor of meeting the deadline day, and I nearly destroyed myself in the process. I don’t think I can put myself through that again, so for my next project I’ll be announcing a much more flexible release period. Sleep and food exist for a reason, and I now know why!
A period of “crunch” time is expected in any deadline project, even necessary. However, I’ve learned that you need to be smart about it. If you’re going to crunch, try to do it earlier rather than later. It’s far easier – and much more productive – to spend late hours working on a project when the deadline isn’t breathing down your neck. If you put things off until the end, and it’s 2am the night before a deadline, you’re not only tired but also frigging STRESSED. Not a good combination.
What’s my lesson for you budding game designing folk? Am I saying that deadlines are bad? Heck no. Deadlines are extremely important. They give you something to shoot for. If there was nothing at stake, you wouldn’t work as hard. But, don’t forget to relax. Pace yourself. Try to sleep regular hours (when possible). Don’t forget your friends and family.
Next time around I am going to try to make a definite production schedule. This was one of the reasons why many things were left until the end. More on that later. In the meantime, here are more Cooper pics:
A scene from an upcoming episode of “Doctor Who”
My building’s elevator has this country dog looking confused