Game Development Personal Development

Thousander Club Update: February 13th

For this week’s Thousander Club update:

Game Hours: 10.5 / 1000
Game Ideas: 58 / 1000

Since I technically started tracking the last week of January, I’ve decided to readjust the total numbers I should keep as weekly targets. Today I should have 63 to keep on track for 1,000 hours by the end of next January. Otherwise, if I kept the old numbers, I would constantly feel bad for not catching up with almost a month of inactivity.

I’m hitting my goals for game ideas, which are fairly easy to come up with each day. I could think of three to 10 ideas in a few moments.

On the other hand, game development takes time. I can’t immediately get one, two, or three hours of game development. While I can’t always dedicate hours of development each afternoon, I think I might need to come up with a simple list of 5, 10, or 15 minute game development activities. I managed to get 30 minutes of programming before going to my day job this past week because I was finishing up some code I wrote to experiment with TinyXML. I think if I can take advantage of more “weird” windows of time, I should be able to make greater progress than if I expected to work during scheduled sessions.

6 replies on “Thousander Club Update: February 13th”

I see you have 10.5 hours. I have trouble with .5’s. A little of obsessive-compulsivness in me, means every hour has to be an hour worked. No half-hours. On the downside, sometimes I go into another hour and then have to think of something to come up with to finish out the hour. Actually that was only for the enchantedlands story stuff i was working on. That night I just didn’t want to start character work, so I decided to fudge 40 minutes 😉 In any case if I *go over* again i’ll just start on a new character or whatever. Of course once i’m done with the character sketches (as in bios not drawings) I may try to make sure to keep it on one of the hours.

As far as readjusting your hours, I don’t think you should. Granted you may have had a long break, but I think they’re important because you did work. What if you have another bout and you decide the next time to readjust the numbers. By the end of the year you may have done 1000 hours and not even know it.

By the way don’t let my hours impress you (not that they do at all now, i’m just saying when I reach what looks like more than your hours, remember i’m counting by day and you’re counting by week). I think Scott is counting per week as well. But I can’t do that, if I start to wait until the week, then i’ll stop counting my hours and then we have a problem. So I sort of need to count mine daily. Anyways keep up the good work!


I wasn’t very comfortable with the 0.5 hours, but it was more because I felt that I should have been able to do another 0.5 this weekend and didn’t. B-(

As for readjusting hours, I only adjusted them to take into account when I started working for the year. I didn’t do anything for the first three weeks of January, so I started tracking from the last week.

And I do keep track of my sessions on paper. I just total them up and put them up for the week. I’ve given myself permission to not work on game development every single day so daily hours don’t matter as much as the weekly totals. On the other hand, perhaps that is a great way to guarantee that I won’t hit my target numbers.

Well everyone has their own way of working. So if daily works for you then do it.

I’ve got to work on development every single day, I still don’t make enough money to live on, and I don’t have a “regular” job.

However i’ve given myself permission to only work 7 hours a day if I wish. That is to count a day I should be doing at least 7 hours or more. But I can stop at 7. On the other hand this last week has been busy not for development, so i haven’t been able to do 7 hours a day. Also I give myself permission to take weekends off.

That’s it, weekends and evenings off. Even though I still get work in.


I have several points.

First, I think your strategy is good, but only for the short run. It’s a good strategy for getting started.

Second, I think you already know this, but productive development requires chunks of time. Anything worthwhile requires large chunks of time. (As a reference, see Peter Drucker’s Effective Executive and Steve McConnell’s Rapid Application Development). One 2-hour session will produce more work than eight 15-minute sessions, since development requires a lot of concentration.

Third, you might be better off using your 15 minutes or 30 minutes in thinking of ways of being more effective at work. Learning to be more effective at work/school (or anything you don’t like 😉 )will allow you to have the chunks of mental ram needed to work on games (or any development). Brain power is a vital asset in developing software. It will cut down on your development time.

Lastly, you could spend your 15 or 30 minutes eliminating a lot of low priority tasks from your personal or work life. I think you know the long-term benefits of this. Eventually, you will be in a position to rearrange your schedule so that you do have large chunks of time (2-3 hours, 1 or more times a week).

I think you will eventually find something you are comfortable with.a


Having 2 kids and another on the way and having migrated over to being the fireman/den mother at my current job splits my whole day up into tiny little pieces. I find that if I did not count the little 5-20 minute bursts I would not make much progress at all towards my goals. I think is probably the biggest reason I shifted over from being a character artist on other people’s MMORPGs and set up the low poly coop projects as mini-projects that can each be completed in a couple of hours at most. I find certain tasks, such as uvmapping, are easier to jump into than, say, texturing.

I keep an Appleworks spreadsheet in my dock and type in the time whenever I start working and then when I stop. It calculates the rest for me — I have calcualtions for each day, each week and the overall total. This only works because I carry my iBook with me wherever I go and most of my work is done on the train.


Tarek, thanks for the tips! I’ve already found that when I get a window of a few minutes, it helps to flesh out some ideas for things on my projects list. I felt more productive today, for instance, because I was able to go through a few of the things on my Projects list and jot down ideas and possible actions to take. Even though I couldn’t work on the actions at the time, it helps to have the Next Actions already thought out for me when I do have the time.

Scott: I want a laptop. B-( I used to keep a spreadsheet, but I found that plain text allows me to analyze it when I am at work since I can SSH into my home machine.

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