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Programming Part-Time

So I know I haven’t made much visible progress on my game since I started this blog. And I think it’s due in large part to working on it part time.

Since going back to work after the new year, I haven’t had a normal sleep schedule. I got used to staying up until 2 AM every night instead of my typical 11 PM. I’m finally starting to get back to my “normal” schedule. But until now, this terminal sleepiness has made programming after work difficult.

This is a situation a lot people get into when they start trying to start up a business or project on the side. A full-time job can be really draining and after one and a half hours of commuting and eight and a half hours at work, the last thing on anyone’s mind is putting in work on a side project. The only thing keeping me working on my game is my intense passion for games in general and my strong desire to turn this into a career.

While I don’t expect to quit my job and start developing flash games full-time in the near future, releasing and selling my first game is the first step towards that goal.

Even if I produce a mediocre game that sells for $50 after I put a couple hundred hours into it, it’s still worth it. If I want a career in video games, having released one will help. If I want to turn this into a business, having released a game is necessary. Even if all I do with this is use the experience to improve my programming skills, it’s worth it.

So I’m resolving to get this game finished and ready for sponsorship on Flash Game License by May 1 of this year. If I have to rush the last bit and release a game that’s barely more than a prototype, I’ll do it. Stay tuned over the next 3 months to follow my progress. You’ll know as I get closer to the deadline whether I’m going to release a crappy game or something actually worthy of playing.

Let me know what you think of my goal in the comments. Is it not ambitious enough? Too ambitious? Should I instead follow the advice of this article on Lifehacker and schedule some time each week to work on my game?

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  1. mayasaietz
    January 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Hi there!

    Really cool blog! I’m an aspiring game developer, and it’s really cool to be able to follow your progress here.

    About your goal of finishing in May: Whether it’s too ambitious or not ambitious enough really depends on the scope of the game – I don’t really have a clear idea of how big and complex you want it to be. One piece of advice I heard at Nordic Game Jam this weekend was to keep your mechanics really simple so you can spend more time on level design. Having polished, well working levels is worth much more than extra features.

    I’d love to hear a bit more about your game idea – what are the core mechanics, what art style are you going for? Just in case you’re lacking inspiration for feature blogs 😉

  2. January 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Seems like a pretty good goal to me. They say that no matter how much more time you give yourself, the amount of time it takes to complete a project will expand to fill the amount of extra time you have. So giving yourself a firm deadline is a good thing (…probably something I should do more myself).

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