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Karyme Virginia

How Much is Too Much?

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Here, I introduced myself, but I didn't pose any questions. Now I've thought more about what I wanted to ask.

Eric Barone, also known as ConcernedApe, created Stardew Valley entirely on his own in 4 and a half years. He is such a huge inspiration to me. Like him, I have multiple talents and interests, and one of the biggest things that draws me to game development is the potential to utilize most, if not all, of my skills. I don't want to just be a programmer, or just make art, you know? I want to be with the game, almost every step of the way, from concept to publication and beyond.

But that's a lot of skills to cultivate. How do I balance it all without suffering in every area? How much is too much?

Skills or talents that I have, in some quantity (meaning, I have the capacity to do this well, someday):

  • Programming
  • Visual Art
  • Music and Composition
  • Writing and Storytelling

The most intimidating aspect to me is the overall design, handling things like mechanics — like it currently bewilders me how someone would go about balancing stats and numbers in a game. But I see that also as a challenge, a skill that I can cultivate with time as I create and finish more and more projects.

I'm thinking that, if I were to be part of a team, I might want to be a Game Designer. Just because I could be a jack of all trades well enough to communicate and work with others specializing in certain areas of the game's production. But my heart is also in Indie, and in "Doing it all myself."

How do I make it work? Can I do it? Is it worth doing?

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1 hour ago, Karyme Virginia said:

1. How do I make it work? 2. Can I do it? 3. Is it worth doing?

1. Perseverance.

2. I don't know. That's for you to figure out.

3. Of course it is, if you want to do it. 

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How much is too much?

Too much is too much when you are unhappy and not enjoying yourself. Sometimes, we like the idea of doing things but not actually doing them. If you find that doing all those different things is making you unhappy, than you should reconsider how you spend your time. But if you genuinely enjoy what you do, then by all means keep doing it.


How do I balance it all without suffering in every area?

Well first, if you are talking about improvement you need to make sure you are practicing properly and that you are applying what you practice to actual projects. You can spend lots of time doing things and not get any better because you aren't challenging yourself properly.

Also, you can evenly divide your time among the different skills you mentioned to make sure you aren't "suffering" in any area. But as your life gets more busy you will find that you may not have lots of time in a day, and doing everything may no longer be viable. In that case you should probably decide on which skills are more important to you and focus on those. If you focus on everything you may never master one thing, but that may be okay if that's not a goal for you.

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focus on what needs to be done.

Being a multi skilled person is fine, there are some of them every where, but there not really seen as much in the big companies, a big company will ask you to chose one and stick with it.

Smaller companies/projects will be more likely to appreciate the jack of all trades,master of none mentality.

With that diverse a skill set, maybe you should be a producer?

You can talk shop with any of the disciplines and help out, or that would leave you doing none of what u want.

You also need to decide if you will take on all those roles in a project, or if you will just stick to officially doing 1 or 2.

For example, I can do PR, writing, HR,production. yet I have 3 titles, yet I fulfill 4 roles.


Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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That's all on you. You might think you want to cultivate all of these skills, then find out that you like one or two or even three more than the other. 

Try them all out, see if you want to stick with them. If you can? Great! If not, you know what you'll need help in. Either way, you'll learn, and that's the most important thing.

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It is extremely rare for one individual to create the big, popular games.  It happens on rare occasions, and the individuals have their names sung, but it is more likely that you win the lottery than you create a popular game all by yourself.

And even when one person creates it, often they get help once they grow past a critical point. Minecraft is often called out as being only developed by one person, but by the time Notch reached out with the big public beta in 2011 he had already formed a company and there were 15 people, I believe was the count.  Chris Sawyer had his own personal project of Roller Coaster Tycoon, and while he did the work he also brought in an artist and a composer before it came time to publish.

They are outliers. They are exceptions. Nearly all completed games these days are a team effort. 

Bring in whatever other resources you need to complete the project.

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