In the last three years, I’ve been participating in The Thousander Club. Scott Hsu-Storaker started in back in 2006 after reading my blog post called Action vs Waiting, Practice vs Talent, which focused in part on the idea that to become an expert on a topic, you need to put in a lot of practice. Expert chess players have put in thousands of hours over many years to hone their skills. They don’t necessarily have natural talent. They couldn’t have been born knowing what to do. They simply focused their time and efforts on getting better. They practice. A lot.
From my old post:
10,000 hours over the course of 10 years might make you a master, and it sounds daunting. Well, yeah. It is. That’s a lot of dedicated hours. But 1,000 hours is doable within a year if you work full time, and you can be an experienced expert. Already have something taking up your full time? 100 hours can be done on the side, and you can still be somewhat of an expert. 10 hours could be a dedicated weekend or spread over a few of them, and you’ll definitely learn enough to be dangerous. Even dedicating an hour to a task will give you practice with the basics.
Scott is a 3D artist, and so he records how many models he creates. His goal is 1,000 3D models. I liked the idea of the club so much that I participated, and I’ve been keeping track of the number of hours of game development I’ve put in. I’ve also been keeping track of the number of game ideas I come up with.
Over three years, I’ve managed 576 hours of game development and
773 775 game ideas. It’s far short of the 1,000/year goal for each, but it’s progress. My first year I did 262 hours, and the second year I did only 146 hours. Last year I did 166 hours, which is a slight improvement, but I obviously still haven’t done as well as the first year. Using these numbers, I can measure myself against myself. I’d like to see 1,000 hours hit this year, but it is going to take a lot more dedication and focus than I’ve been giving in the past. Through 576 hours of game development over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot, and I look forward to the experience I will gain this coming year.
1,000 hours in a year comes out to about 3 hours per day. That’s doable if you are focused. You could even skip a day or two and double up on the weekends. Will you join the Thousander Club this year?