Thursday, June 28, 2012

Entrepreneurial Tips #1

Part of the goal of this blog was to help any others trying to make video games for a living help them do that.  By learning what worked and didn't work for me... and why.

So it's been over a year since I've started this, here's some definite tips.

  • Human Beings suck at estimations - Even so  you have to do them.   I've been off on every single one of my projects.  Not a fact I'm proud of, but it's a fact I have to deal with and a fact I have to get better at it.  I always try to look at the reasons this happens and it always comes down to things you could not see or predict beforehand.  Either you didn't have the experience, or knowledge or both.  And each time a new X-factor is always introduced.  So why do it?  Watch your behavior when you don't do it.  Or rather measure your resource usage.  It gets way worse.  Having deadlines forces you to try to make good on them.

  • Don't test, Learn and Earn - I made Weirding Wood way back near the beginning.  It was supposed to be my "test".  That test was only supposed to take 2 months to make.  It took 6.  When it came out, the "test" was successful.  I got feedback, but I didn't earn anything of significance.  Luckily I caught myself this time around with the Weather generator.  Being a test is fine, but your time costs you.  There's no reason you can't do something that pays while you get the experience doing it.  In fact it's down right foolish to not even try.

  • First Project make it small.  Got something in mind?  Good, make it 50% smaller.  Got that new idea in mind?  Good make that 75% smaller.  Remember point #1.  You're estimation will be off.  This has always crept up on me, and it always kicks me in the teeth when I don't follow it.  Smaller projects are easier to estimate, easier to test, quicker to do, less risky, they can have the same or greater output than many larger scale projects.  

I've made these mistakes and I've paid for them. So please learn for me.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, these tips are priceless and very important. Really helps to understands the steps developers needs to take.

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  2. This applies to many many things! Great tips Mark!

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