Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Indie Hats

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 5, 2015

I have the brain of a programmer. Or maybe I just have the programming of a programmer. This bites me in the butt as an indie. If I’m not coding, I don’t feel like I’m doing “work.”

This is wrong, wrong, wrong, and I have to keep working at it. Because, with that attitude, I will sluff off important things like design, writing, business development, and working with other people in order to get what I psychologically feel is getting ‘real’ work done. That causes some nasty avoidable bottlenecks, because I feel this need to be “productive.” It can also mean (as has happened on this project quite a bit more than once) that I end up with some stuff in an advanced development stage while other stuff hasn’t even been prototyped yet, meaning I don’t know if the stuff that’s “advanced” is actually what I want in the end or not.

On larger projects, it’s a lot easier to lose sight of things.

One of the big challenges of going indie is learning to be comfortable in all these hats. You may despise the whole business / marketing / sales thing, but you must embrace it. If you work with others (and maybe if you don’t), you have to embrace project management. It’s your game, so even if you work with an artist, or sound designer, or composer, the buck ultimately stops with you for decisions and direction on things you may not know much about. Ditto if you are primarily an artist and have to work with a programmer. You may not have the skill to do his or her job, but you have to know enough to work with your programmer and provide some basic instruction, guidance, and oversight.

And as I keep re-learning, it’s not a case of learning to do it once, but over and over again to avoid slipping back into old habits.

Filed Under: Production - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • McTeddy said,

    I’m kind of lucky. While I think like a programmer, I have a distinct hatred for actually doing it.

    This makes it very easy to “Plan” or “Prepare” or any non-programming work. I just wish I didn’t suck so bad at the marketing jobs 🙂