Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Indie Studio of the Living Dead

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 28, 2014

While I sometimes wish I could be one of those total coding animals – the ones who can just go for 16+ hours with hardly a break – I don’t know if I’d want the kind of personality that would allow that.

Coming off of an intense 10-hour workday, with a break for dinner, and trying to jump into game development from there is difficult.  Especially after many nights of working on this demo for Comic Con. There’s a certain point where all that is left is whatever you can fly on autopilot. It’s hard to get creative and inventive, but if there are mechanical tasks that can be completed by zombie-like plodding and straightforward problem-solving, those can work.

Maybe I should break my task lists up into, “zombie” and “non-zombie” tasks. On those nights where I just don’t have anything left, I can focus on the zombie list.

The problem is that this demo doesn’t have much time left, and we’re behind schedule. And … at the day job… our current projects don’t have much time left, and we’re behind schedule.

When game-making is only a hobby, you don’t need to worry about stuff like this. Even as a second job, there are times you can move things around to keep life on an even keel. But sometimes…

… yeah, sometimes. Exhaustion takes its toll. Lemme tell you… I never imagined I’d be wishing Comic Con was further away, or wishing that it was already over.

Ah, well. I hope we get this all done, and I hope people like it. That’ll make this worthwhile.

Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Binh said,

    Hang in there! You’re awesome and what what you’re doing is worth!

  • Binh said,

    it! (Grr, tired brain is tired.)

  • Xian said,

    I don’t see how you pull it off as it is. After I get home there always seems like something that needs done. Last night I went ahead and did yard work, getting it out of the way so that hopefully I can get a lot of gaming time in over the holiday weekend. Another big time sink is due to my wife not driving, so anytime the kids or her needs to go anywhere, that interrupts what I am doing. The kids are of the age where sports, band, visits to friends, piano lessons, and so on are daily occurrences, and of course requiring either waiting there or making a return trip.

    I manage to maybe carve out an hour or so out of the day for things that *I* want to do for relaxation, but there is no way I could tackle a project like you doing.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Sometimes I think I need to come up with a better way. Unfortunately, with the kind of revenue I make from these games, quitting the day job is not even close to an option.

  • Anon said,

    This isn’t the first post about “time management lamenting” that Jay has done and it won’t be his last.

    Of course he has all the rights to it, being his blog and all 😉

    But – as it’s open for discussion – let me play devil’s advocate here for bit…

    Apparently it’s totally normal for some guys to either neglect what you really want (programming/gaming/other hobbies) or you did want earlier (wife/kids)!

    How on Earth can Jay get his dayjob, his game development, the blog (with many long & insightful posts about game development), the family and other interests (steampunkt, writing some friggin books) under one roof?

    How does the evening look like? Do you lock yourself in the moment you come at home or does it look like this:

    30 minutes for house/garden chores, 30 minutes for gaming or at least checking what the competition does, followed by dinner (20 min.), game development (45 min. unless in crunch mode: 1 hr.), another 30 minutes for emails & the blog, a whopping 1h15 of quality time with the family/wife, another 45 minutes at the computer (for those errors you discovered while you sat with the family/wife), 15 minutes of personal hygiene and finally some bountiful 10 minutes of the old in&out game to sleep well…

    How can extensive gameplaying including blog posts (think Wizardry 8) actually be done with those time restrictions?
    Do you guys secretly get up in the middle of the night for another 2-3 hours?
    How can you be good in the job if you don’t at least sleep 6-8 hours (depending on your needs)?

    And what I don’t get at all is: Why do you do this?

    Is it normal for you guys to put your plate stupenduously full to be normal? Do you live in a society where this is being demanded from you? Did you marry and get kids (and then, naturally, a big expensive house and a station wagon) to make a few checkmarks on your list of life?

    I think it’s great when the family is at least part in this (judging Jay’s steampunk photos now) but how often are they not?
    When will you be content? When you are 60 and all the kids are adults and out of the house and the wife has given up and only considers you guys incorrigible weirdos? (and then spends the rest of her life on pottery, collecting glass figurines or feeding the cats)

    I would have pulled the emergency brake a long time ago (I have, in fact, but it’s not about myself)!

    Before you all get angry, remember? Devil’s advocate…

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The answer to “why” is a toughie. I don’t know. Some nights are a lot tougher than others. But my wife has been joking since my very first job that I’ll never really retire. I’ll keep making games (and / or writing books). I don’t think I’ll ever be content. It’s what I do and it’s what I’m passionate about.

    I already know I’m not going to live long enough to make all the games I want to make. Not even if I live to be a hundred years old.

    My only real trick is not sleeping 8 hours a night. Cut that down to six, and you have fourteen hours of extra time every week. I figure game development is pretty sustainable if you can devote 15+ hours a week to it, although maybe not the size of games I make. Find an extra six hours a week (at night, on the weekend…) and you’ve got 20 hours.

    I need to get better at the time management thing, because I find myself craving distractions pretty badly the more tired and stressed I get.

  • Anon said,

    > I need to get better at the time management thing, because I find myself craving distractions pretty badly the more tired and stressed I get.

    That’s exactly the point – you simply can’t run in a treadmill without a break. Your body *and* your mind will take breaks, even if you don’t want do…

    Also, what I tried to point out with the ridiculous schedule in the other post was that you can’t “time manage” everything.

    Example: When I came home from work today I was barely able to stay awake for a single hour, even though I slept normally the night before. Stress on the job can do that. So I went to bed and slept for a solid three hours (= as long as I needed).

    That’s not exactly time managment, isn’t it? 😉