Game Development Personal Development

Thousander Club Update

Besides attempting to work on game development for 1,000 hours this year, I also wanted to come up with 1,000 new game ideas. The Thousander Club is definitely a great way to raise your game.

As a reminder, I should have about three hours or ideas per day. Below I list my actual numbers versus the numbers I should be at:

Game Hours: 1 / 83
Game Ideas: 11 / 83

Ahem. Not so good, but I didn’t join until the second week of January. Still, it doesn’t justify the majority of the missing numbers.

If I notice that I am getting down on myself too much for not hitting the right numbers, I might start displaying them differently. Until then, I think it is good to know what progress I am making as well as how far along I should be. I will try to post these updates regularly on Monday.

7 replies on “Thousander Club Update”

This is fantastic to see — I think that all of us keeping our goals top of mind and sticking with it is far more important than any number associated with it. 11 ideas out of 1 serious hour is great. It means you are being very honest with youself about what hours are truly productive. That has been my biggest challenge — how to shift unproductive time over to productive time and how to be brutally honest with myself about it. I am at 33 hours, mostly because I had already gotten started when I suggested the idea. Can I post your hours to my blog occasionally once you really get going?

Also, I have a question for something I am working on, if you have any thoughts on it. How many man-hours do you think it takes to produce a fully-formed indie game? How about a multi-million dollar AAA nextgen game? Right now I am landing on a standard studio model of a team of 10 (programmers, artists, admins, producers) working fulltime+ for 18 months, or about 30,000 hours. It has to do with the Thousander Club idea.


I do notice that I’m a bit more conscious of what I do. I’ll start to ask, “Should I really be doing this when I have game development to do?” “What is the best use of my time right now?” is once again becoming an important question. So far it has created more guilt than productivity, but I’m quickly turning it around. B-)

You can post my hours on your blog. I think it would be great to see how everyone’s progress is going.

As for man hours to make a fully formed indie game…I’m not sure. Game in a Day shows that you can make some really great and fun games within 24 hours, and similar competitions have featured completed games from two days to a couple of weeks. I think it is generally expected to take six months to create and polish up an indie game, but it obviously varies depending on the scope and type. A indie match-3 puzzle game might take months but an indie space simulation might take years.

Have you heard of Brooks’ Law? The idea is that as more people are added to a team, the number of communication channels increase exponentially. When you have a team of two, it is a lot easier to communicate than it is when you have a team of 10. That’s 10 people to keep on the same page. Imagine mainstream developers working with teams of 50 or 300!! There are ways to mitigate it, but the idea is that the man-month is mythical. The Mythical Man Month by Brooks focuses on it.

Suffice it to say that it is difficult to discuss how many man-hours it would take because the communication overhead changes drastically as you add more people to a team. Of course, a team of one now has to deal with doing everything himself, which is also inefficient because he/she can only handle one thing at a time.

Brooks’ Law is exactly the premise I was working on independently as a topic for a blog, although didn’t know it by name — I didn’t know someone had already explored it in detail. I guess I have some research to back up my personal experience of managing a design studio for the last 5 years. Now I have some reading to do.

Gb – I don’t think you’re doing bad at all. I only have 7 hours logged into the thousander club. I always seem to stay up late, and get up late, and then not get anything done. I’m going to try to change it real soon. I just have to readjust my sleep schedule.

Planning on challenging myself to do my adventure game in 100 hours to add to that 7. The point will be getting the important part of the game done quickly. By the end of that 100 hours I should have a fully working game with all the areas, characters, puzzles implemented in the crudest fashion possible. There should only be enough graphics to portray the story i’m trying to tell. The thing this won’t have is polish, balance, and content. I can spend any number of hours on that once this is working.

I just want to do something that shows results as quick as possible to get me motivated to do the rest.

Keep up the good work.

What’s frustrating is when you wake up the next day thinking to yourself, “What the heck did I do last night that prevented me from making my game?” You feel guilty, which is demotivating, and you naturally resolve to not only do better but to try to make up for it. And of course, you can’t.

Since I’m doing weekly updates, I should compare my time compared to the 21 hours I was expected to handle that week. I can still see my progress towards 1,000 hours, but this way I don’t waste time feeling guilty about the past.

This weekend should be a good chance for me to get some quick points on the board. I imagine that motivation shouldn’t be less of a problem afterwards.

Good luck to you!

“What’s frustrating is when you wake up the next day thinking to yourself, “What the heck did I do last night that prevented me from making my game?” You feel guilty, which is demotivating, and you naturally resolve to not only do better but to try to make up for it. And of course, you can’t.”

That’s exactly what happens to me. Welp here’s to future success!


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