The Red Market Dev Log #6 (November 2018, Part 1): I am Very Sick

In today’s fortnightly update: I’m very sick, and I haven’t done as much work as I planned because I am very sick.

In case you weren’t aware: I am very sick. I missed three days of work, and considering I’m only doing game dev two days a week that’s quite significant. I’m currently very much on the mend, and doing my best to avoid getting annoyed at myself for missing so much time on the project.

Here’s what I managed to do this fortnight:

  • Continue rebuilding the game from the ground up.
  • be very sick

As much as making this game is a test of my writing and scheduling skills, self-discipline, and technical abilities, and so on, it’s also a test of my ability to cut myself some bloody slack. I tend to be unhealthily self-critical, to the point where any amount of consistent, good work becomes ‘the bare minimum of what should be expected’, and any temporary lapse (regardless of reason or duration) becomes an unforgivable sin only atoned for by hair shirts, self-flagellation, and a good dose of crunch.

This last year or so has seen me improve on this quite a lot. I’ve steadily improved at cutting myself slack for minor lapses and mistakes, and occasionally even allowing myself to feel proud about my successes. And while my initial instinct after recovering from my illness this week was ‘I have to immediately cram as hard as necessary to catch up’, I’ve managed to keep myself from doing so. I have time built into my schedule in December and March to catch up, with extra time scheduled at the end of the project in July just in case. If something happens and I can’t finish everything by the end of the project, I’ll start cutting out things that are ‘nice but unessential’ until the game’s in a fit state to release on time.

As much as I’d like this whole game dev lark to be a professional, even full-time thing in the future: (a) my mental health is more important than a deadline and a set of features I arbitrarily decided upon, (b) rushing myself is just going to help me burn out, and (c) there’s no deadline for getting into professional game dev. So long as I’m working on improving my skills and building interesting games, I’m at the very least going in the right direction.

Until next time – I’m going to go play some Night in the Woods (which is lovely, by the way) instead of cramming into the early hours of the morning. Thanks for reading!

Nick

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