How do you schedule things out?

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Nagibator
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How do you schedule things out?

#1 Post by Nagibator » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:17 am

Currently, I am working on a rather large project. It's nothing I can't handle, but procrastination has always been an issue for me. Given the fact that I am a "one man team", that puts me in charge of coding, art assets, writing the story, and finding royalty free music that doesn't pierce your brain when played in a loop. I wouldn't consider any of these things hard, just time consuming. And I usually will hit a small bump and then use it as an excuse to go and buy McDonald's (or something along those lines). So I ask you, what is your mindset and how do you keep things efficient?

On a side note, I acknowledge the fact that I'm fairly lazy, but scheduling has always been my way around that problem, especially when I was in high school.
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#2 Post by parttimestorier » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:28 pm

I find that it helps to set up a to-do list, and sort things on the list based on how important they are and how time-consuming they'll be. Something like programming a complicated gameplay segment would be at the top of my list, while smaller and lower priority things like finding that one extra sound effect I just realized I'll need or seeing how a different colour textbox looks would be at the bottom. That way I'm always aware of how much work I have to do, and I can pick something from the list to work on depending on how much time I have. If I'm doing nothing else all day I can start on one of the big things, but if I'm busy with my real job or just having trouble focusing I can at least get one of the small things done. Having a routine can be really helpful as well, like trying to stick to doing some work on the game at a certain time every day and getting used to that.
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#3 Post by Nagibator » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:38 am

parttimestorier wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:28 pm
I find that it helps to set up a to-do list, and sort things on the list based on how important they are and how time-consuming they'll be. Something like programming a complicated gameplay segment would be at the top of my list, while smaller and lower priority things like finding that one extra sound effect I just realized I'll need or seeing how a different colour textbox looks would be at the bottom. That way I'm always aware of how much work I have to do, and I can pick something from the list to work on depending on how much time I have. If I'm doing nothing else all day I can start on one of the big things, but if I'm busy with my real job or just having trouble focusing I can at least get one of the small things done. Having a routine can be really helpful as well, like trying to stick to doing some work on the game at a certain time every day and getting used to that.
Much appreciated, I'll definitely categorize my work by priority and complexity.
Last edited by Nagibator on Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#4 Post by Mutive » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:03 pm

I force myself to work on the game for a period of time each day, few (to no) excuses. (e.g. I might let myself have the day off because I'm moving cross country, but not because I feel tired)

After that, I tackle the most critical and/or difficult stuff first, leaving more "fun" stuff for later.

And little by little, it gets done. :)
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#5 Post by Nagibator » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:33 pm

Mutive wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:03 pm
I force myself to work on the game for a period of time each day, few (to no) excuses. (e.g. I might let myself have the day off because I'm moving cross country, but not because I feel tired)

After that, I tackle the most critical and/or difficult stuff first, leaving more "fun" stuff for later.

And little by little, it gets done. :)
Thanks for the response. May I ask if you do art as well? And if so, which would you put first? Art or programming. I find programming to be slightly easier but at the same time some of my programming requires art assets that I'm not entirely sure I need until I'm working on them.
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#6 Post by Mutive » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:43 pm

Nagibator wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:33 pm


Thanks for the response. May I ask if you do art as well? And if so, which would you put first? Art or programming. I find programming to be slightly easier but at the same time some of my programming requires art assets that I'm not entirely sure I need until I'm working on them.
I don't!

So I should add one more thing - I prioritize scheduling anything I *can't* do above what I can. (i.e. if there is art from an artist to slot into the game or edits from someone kind enough to proof read, I get those done ASAP). This is both so that I don't end up being done with the game but waiting for the artist (which would suck) or having someone get fed up with me because their work in the game isn't visible.

Up until I got the art for my game, I used placeholder art. It allowed me to program around it, although I will end up needing to make some adjustments to reposition animations now that the final art has arrived. :)
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#7 Post by Nagibator » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:51 am

Mutive wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:43 pm

I don't!

So I should add one more thing - I prioritize scheduling anything I *can't* do above what I can. (i.e. if there is art from an artist to slot into the game or edits from someone kind enough to proof read, I get those done ASAP). This is both so that I don't end up being done with the game but waiting for the artist (which would suck) or having someone get fed up with me because their work in the game isn't visible.

Up until I got the art for my game, I used placeholder art. It allowed me to program around it, although I will end up needing to make some adjustments to reposition animations now that the final art has arrived. :)
Much appreciated!
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#8 Post by Katy133 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:33 pm

I use Trello to make lists on what to do next. The trick is to come up with manageable, small goals to work on. Don't write "Finish all the art." Instead, make a checklist for the art assets, and list each individual sprite or art asset you need to make. Divide the story into scenes to finish, and so on.

I've also been doing drawing livestreams on Twitch. I stream using a schedule (3 days a week), and it's really made me more prolific in completing my artwork.

In the past, I've used Habitica, which is a time management website where you can create gamified rewards for completing tasks.
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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#9 Post by Aviala » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:46 pm

My situation may be a bit different than most people here since I actually started a company (which is basically my job now) and I'm on my way to supporting myself on game sales but for me it helps to set work days and rest days. I usually have stuff on weekends like D&D games and gatherings with friends so working from monday to friday is convenient. I'm close to graduating from university and I only have class on Tuesdays. On days I'm at school I don't force myself to work much after.

It's all about listening to yourself and your body. Are you procrastinating or are you actually too tired to work? It helps when you can recognize when you need rest and when it's better to just get the work done. Be firm but forgiving: try to work steadily but if you end up procrastinating on something, don't beat yourself up over it. Nobody's perfect and you're not a machine (hopefully :'D).

Even if you have a day job and work on your game in the evenings/weekends, I strongly suggest having one day a week when you don't do any work. I know from experience that while it's possible to work 7 days a week, it'll end up losing more time than saving it because at some point you'll crash. Patience and just working on your game bit by bit is the best approach. As for scheduling, I plan my work tasks for the next week and I have some vague goals on when I want to release the game but from my previous 2 projects I've learned to never set a release date for the game until it's basically done. Both times I did it I ended up having to crunch really hard to finish the game (and even then they got delayed).

I make to do lists but I rarely set hard deadlines on anything unless I have to because personally it stresses me out a lot if I'm behind schedule. Every week I just pick a few things from my to do -list. I don't make super detailed schedules especially long-term.

I think you'll need to try stuff until you find an approach that works for you!

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Re: How do you schedule things out?

#10 Post by PeterKmiecik » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:46 pm

Make features list instead tasks list.
Group features, starting with MVP, then add all the rest.
Sort them by: most important on top
Then do the most important items first in iterative cycle in between these from MVP.
After MVP is done, You can just go down the list until You run out of time/money. This way You will focus only on the most important stuff, keeping to the 20/80 rule.
Rest can be skipped really, especially if Your budget have dried.
EDIT: I use Trello for sorting things out and I love it !

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