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Kind Words

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Mike Bossy

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I wanted to give some thanks for the kind words to my last entry. I didn't want to sound like a whiny bitch and wasn't looking for affirmation on my work but I wanted to make sure that this journal really represents the full spectrum of emotions that pop up while creating a game. With that said GD.net and it's members are a real help for boosting morale as well as providing a positive challenge. There is nothing cooler than seeing some of the work people post here and using it as motivation to keep moving forward.

The emotional swings of being a lone wolf are definitely different than the swings in a group setting. Sure I have down days at my day job but the peaks tend to be ironed out by people on my team. Someone is always around to help get you motivated or cheer you up. Not the same when it's you and your laptop at a coffee shop. Caffeine can only cheer you up so much. :)

With that said I'm wondering if the dream of working for myself is a sustainable one? Do I need the team atmosphere to keep me motivated, excited and happy? I often take my daily working environment for granted but I think I'd miss it if I wasn't there. I tend to focus on what sucks about work but the reality is that being on a team of smart people working towards the same goal can really be fun.

So maybe Lone Wolf isn't necessarily a good and realistic thing. But I think it is viable as a startup plan. Get things moving, build some base tech, IP and/or reputation and then move onto building a team. Makes moving full time harder but perhaps more satisfying.
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I find when I work on a "lone wolf" project I often stall for long periods of time, because it's hard to overcome problems without another person to bounce ideas off and to motivate you to put the hard work in to clear that hurdle. It also helps to have someone else involved to "shame" me into doing work: it's easy to not do the work when it's only me, but I really hate it when I let someone else down by being unmotivated.

However, I also strongly dislike all the extra administration that has to go into large team dynamics too. With large teams, I find you spend too much in your time trying to keep everyone working in the same direction. I prefer small teams, if you can find the right sort of people to build the team.

There are some advantages in aiming to be a lone indie developer. As well as not needing the extra admin for communication between team members, you also need to make proportionally less sales in order to pay for your living expenses. You can also make your game exactly how you want, which can help give your games a unique quirky personality.

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