Multiple Projects Advice?

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Caveat Lector
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Multiple Projects Advice?

#1 Post by Caveat Lector » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:04 pm

When it comes to creating projects, from your experience, is it best to try to do one or two at the same time, juggle several at many different stages in development, or just keep any ideas you have on file until your current project is finished?

So far, I'm struggling to find another artist for Rainbow Love and it's taking such a long time to get finished, I'm thinking of maybe focusing on other dream projects I've only just begun to outline. But I also wonder if that would just mean more work than necessary, and if I would just drain my bank account even further due to having to pay several artists at the same time.
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Re: Multiple Projects Advice?

#2 Post by kitsubasa » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:40 pm

I haven't finished any games at this point, so I can't talk from a position of completion, but I have two projects on the go at the moment-- one I've been working on for a year (LSHW) and one I've been working on for three months (Seven Stories). Based on my experiences working solely on LSHW vs. working on LSHW+SS, here are the pros and cons I've found:

ONE PROJECT

Pros
-All your time can be dedicated to the one project, so progress is quicker.
-It's easier to set deadlines and projections for completion of aspects since you're not dividing attention. If you know you can write 2000 words in a day and you have a month, you can assume you'll be able to write a 60k route in that time, and not worry about interruptions.
-If you're paying for assistance (art, music, etc) it's easier to keep track of who you've currently got working and what, if anything, you owe them. It's also easier to remember to follow up on assets, and do prepwork for others.
-You're focused, work flows fine from one asset to another, you're never setting the whole project down, switching gears to another one, and then returning later to slower work because you've forgotten where you were at before setting it down.

Cons
-Burnout comes a lot quicker, if you hit a wall of some sort you lose all productivity because you've got nothing to switch to and keep rolling on.
-If you need an asset to continue (IE. GUI assets to finish coding) you can be held up and have nowhere to go

MULTIPLE PROJECTS

Pros
-Lots to do and less to get bored with! If you have two projects with completely different tone (for example, I've got modern action-adventure GxG stuff vs. historical contemplative BxB stuff to switch between) it can be helpful with keeping things rolling-- get stuck with one, do a 180 to the other, rinse and repeat as necessary
-If you're the type to line up a lot of ideas, it can give you more freedom to work through them quickly
-If someone else is stalling you, you can pick up the other project and chip at that
-Provided they both get done; satisfaction of more projects completed

Cons
-Obviously this slows down progress for each project and makes time projections less reliable. 'I'm going to have this done in a fortnight' you might say... before realising your other game has a truckload of character designs or coding to deal with, and putting off the work you'd intended to do on the first
-If you're paying for help, keeping books balanced can get a bit more convoluted. Remembering to keep track of all the people you've hired can get a bit heady, especially if they're half before/half after payments and you're needing to reserve cash for people potentially turning stuff in
-Swapping between the two, while fun, can take another hit to productivity. You'll forget what you were doing before you returned to work, you'll mess up your tone from one to the other, referencing systems might fall apart in organisational documents...

All up, I personally prefer having multiple projects, just for the variety, but it can be quite tricky! I think it's down to preference, whether you can afford it, and whether or not you're alright with milestones and timing getting a bit hard to predict. : )
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Re: Multiple Projects Advice?

#3 Post by Alte » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:34 pm

I've work on multiple projects before and keep a personal list to make sure I'm not leaving anything out.

My advice for short terms is to start working on what's possible. If the project that requires assistance becomes a priority, it takes time. While waiting for a member to finish their role, take advantage by working on an existing project. It's good use of productivity as long it doesn't interfere with the project that's in the works with the client.
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Re: Multiple Projects Advice?

#4 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:35 pm

One project at a time is by far the most efficient way of doing something. Multitasking only gives you the illusion of productivity, when in reality you just end up with multiple unfinished things instead of just one. While there are exceptions, and I think being a producer of projects is one of them, if you are actually involved in the projects themselves you would probably be better off focusing on the problems that need to be solved with one project then starting on another. The human mind is much better at this form of problem solving.

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Re: Multiple Projects Advice?

#5 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:47 am

One! One! ONE!

ONE PROJECT TO RULE THEM ALL

If you have multiple single projects under your belt, maybe then it's time to try multiple at a time.
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Re: Multiple Projects Advice?

#6 Post by netravelr » Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:17 am

I think if you're doing it all by yourself, one is the way to go. However, if you're commissioning art/writing it can be worthwhile to work on another project while waiting on other members of your team to complete things; as long as you've finished your part of the project. I think focusing on one project til you've done your part is a good way to go.
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