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2006 - Reassess and Renew

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Wavinator

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I like that the beginning of a new year is considered a time of renewal. It gives you a chance to wipe the slate clean, and I'm taking this time to do that Straylgiht.

I've not been at all happy with snail's pace of the project this past year. Yes, there have been many reasons for the slow progress, but the bottom line is that I have not kept my word. I've declared that I would do things, and I haven't done them. An idea I've found to be very effective is that "successful people are successful because they do what they say they're going to do."

Straylight hasn't been very successful at all. I've lost about six people who had signed on to do art or coding due to the lack of progress. I never finalized the design or technical needs spec, and a lot of the early momentum I had a year ago dried up.

I look at this as a time for failure analysis-- what went wrong, and how do you fix it so that it doesn't go wrong again?

The biggest problem with this project simply has been time. In December of '04 my goal had been to work part-time as much as possible in order to have as many hours as possible on the project. Initially this worked, but I made a mistake in taking on a writing project as well. Not only did this cut into Straylight, but the writing project itself had some management problems (spec changes) that required me to give up many more months on Straylight (I even had to quit a part time job in order to devote two months to the book).

So ultimately this has been a failure of time management on my part. It partly stems from overcommitting--too many projects, too many obligations, heck, even too many friends! O_o But time management is something that can be fixed.

So my strategy is this:

  • Work 20 hours a week on Straylight. (Just completed my first stint this past week, btw.)

  • Get more manpower as originally planned. (As a start, I've got a phone meeting this week with a dean of a local art college to discuss offering a work for credit arrangement to some of their students).

  • Keep this place updated so that I'm visibly accountable for making progress or not.


With a little luck and a lot of effort, '06 will be the year that Straylight really starts to take shape!
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This is an all too common problem, and the reason why many people don't succeed. My phrase to sum this up has always been "People enjoy thinking about making games, not actually making them." which I think rings true in most cases.

However, it seems like you are gonna try and step things up a bit, good luck to you! =D

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Thanks to both of you. EDI, that's all too true. It's also possible to burn up lots of time fiddling with your recipe thinking you're going to make something perfect, when perfect is forever a moving target. But in the end both simply become pitfalls to watch out for.

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