I usually release a new build of the game on the 1st and 15th days of every month. However, I won’t be releasing a new build today.
I’ve made around 15 improvements and bug fixes to the game since the last build, so, potentially, I could just release a new build containing those changes…but I feel that the build would be underwhelming, since it doesn’t contain a “big new feature” or a significant amount of exciting new content.
I don’t want to release something that will just make you say, “Oh, that’s it? That’s all? Meh. I don’t really care…” so, I feel like I should just keep working on the game, and not release a new build until I’ve got something I’m proud of that I really want to share with you.
In case you’re thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! Maybe there’s no build today because he hasn’t been working on the game, and hasn’t made any progress at all!” I’ll post a video of my recent progress on my Patreon, just to pre-emptively kill any potential conspiracy theories that I’m not actually getting any work done.
I have a few more thoughts to share about the subject of recent progress and future progress. If you’re interested, you can scroll down past this cool artwork that was tweeted by Tangsen_Malum!
Recent Progress and Future Progress
This isn’t going to be super pleasant to talk about, but I’ve committed to being transparent and honest with you, so I’ll share my current thoughts.
As you probably know, my current priority is to complete every task on a “checklist” of tasks that I want to complete before I launch the crowdfunding campaign. Earlier this year, I felt like I was making massive progress on this Pre-Crowdfunding Checklist at a very fast rate. I was really proud of myself!
Then, my progress started to slow down. The checklist started to shrink at a much slower rate. I felt really guilty about that, so I decided to do something about it: I decided to cut way, way back on leisure time. I decided to stop doing daily video game streams and try to avoid recreational activities altogether.
I thought this would make development go by faster. “Surely, if I work for 14 hours a day instead of 11 hours a day, I’ll make more progress, right?” …but, it didn’t really work out that way.
Despite freeing up a bunch of extra hours to work on the game, my rate of progress actually slowed down after I banned myself from doing anything “fun.” Removing all recreation and leisure from my life didn’t make me more productive; it just made me more miserable. I started getting distracted much more easily than before, I became prone to procrastinating, and I began making a lot more mistakes than I previously did. Even if I was sitting at my computer with my fingers on the keyboard and Unity open on my screen, I just wasn’t getting much done.
My reasoning was, “If work is the only thing that exists, then, surely, I’ll have no trouble focusing on work!” But, focusing on one thing 100% of the time makes it incredibly difficult to maintain interest or enthusiasm for that one thing. I guess this is what people are talking about when they use the term “work/life balance” – without something else in your life aside from work, you get sick of your job incredibly fast, and then your work output suffers.
Previously, my mentality was, “I gotta get as much work done as possible before 7:00 PM, which is when I stop working to stream video games!” but my mentality became, “Because I’ll be working from 10:00 AM until 12 midnight, I’m sure that a lot of work is going to get done…” This made me more likely to lose focus on work. I kept thinking, “There are still a lot of hours left in the day! I’ll be fine!” but every day ended with me saying, “Huh? What happened? We’re at the end of the day already? But I didn’t get enough work done…”
It turns out that attempting to improve your productivity by increasing your work hours is like…attempting to satisfy your thirst by drinking poison. It’s counterproductive.
My grand experiment – “Let’s see what happens if I just completely cut all fun, leisure, and recreational activities out of my life!” seems to have ended in failure. It’s starting to seem like I should return to my previous schedule of playing video games once per day, since my current strategy isn’t working at all.
…but, what if I’m wrong?
What if the amount of progress I’ve been making is actually fast, comparatively to what my progress would have been like, if I had stuck to my original schedule? What if I actually have been super productive over the past few months, and I’m simply not acknowledging it? What if returning to video games will just make my progress slow down?
It’s hard to decide what to think. It’s difficult to know what conclusion I should draw.
I would love to be able to provide you with an estimate regarding when I’ll be done with the Pre-Crowdfunding Checklist, but it’s nearly impossible to do that when I don’t even understand what the primary factors contributing to my productivity are.
At the end of a recent blog post, I said a few things that are still pretty important and relevant:
“The progress that gets done over the course of a month is not dependent on what I planned to do; it’s dependent on what unforeseen events happen over the course of that month.”
“if I realize that something is worth adding to the checklist, the checklist is going to grow. It will increase the amount of time that the game must remain in development for, but it’ll be worth it, since it will result in a better game.”
I suppose that’s still the best possible summary of the situation that I can provide at this point in time.
All I know is that I’ll just keep fixing bugs that get reported, keep making improvements where I notice I can make them, and keep making progress on the checklist with whatever time is left over.