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I want to write games, good games, games other people might like and I want to make a little bit of money from doing it. But I am one guy, with a full time job, a family and a desire to also have a social life.

As any Indie developer will know there is never enough time to do the things we want. Read any good article on the subject and you soon realize you need to be a great Developer, Tester, Graphic Artist, Marketing Genius, Publisher, Researcher, full time Blogger and so the list goes on.

Today I worked a full day, researched how to publish games in China, how to make a jar file into an executable for Windows, read blogs about Android games piracy, watched some great game demo videos to see what I could learn from them, I had a meal with the family, checked on my website analytics and sorted out the flat battery on our car. What I didn't do is write a single line of code.

I have published one game. I kept it small, I focused on getting the basics working and accepted it was not going to set the world on fire. However I learnt a lot and now have a better understanding of what I still need to learn and how I can get that knowledge.

But there is a finite amount of time in a day and small part of that is available to develop my second App. So how can I find order in this chaos, how can I wear so many hats and do it all without going crazy? By day I am a Program Manager, quite a good one, and now I need to use those skills when developing a game.

So first lets define the team (I know I play all parts!)

  • Developer/Tester:
    • Scope out minimum requirements for my game. What must be in to make it acceptable to publish
    • Scope out the nice to haves, the little fun things that I enjoy but don't have to make it into the game
    • Break it down into manageable slices - What could I do in a weekend, how about in an evening
  • Blogger/Researcher:
    • Schedule time once a week to blog. Probably an evening after work
    • Allow time to read others blogs, research and keep up with industry news
  • Marketing Manager:
    • Press Kit
    • Build up list of sites that might be interested in my game
    • Improve my Website
    • Videos/Demos
  • Financial Manager:
    • Work out budget and stick to it
    • Learn more about how to monetize my product
  • Husband:
    • This is a long list! Point is I need to keep it real.

Now the project side of it. In a typical week for me I know that on two days I can spend maybe a couple of hours on this, three days I can get away with 4 hours and at the weekend maybe 12 hours. Thats 28 hours, thats actually quite a bit of time (add that to the ~45 hours a week for the day job and thats a lot of working hours....).

  1. 2 hour day - Blogging
  2. 2 hour day - Marketing/Financials
  3. 4 hour day - Research and Learning
  4. 4 hour day - Work on a fun item - doesn't have to be all slog slog slog
  5. 4 hour day - develop
  6. Weekend - develop

And now I have the bases of a plan to refine and improve on. I don't need to worry I am not covering all the bases. I can focus on the really important items.

I can get good at this and make it the new day job...

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