"half of your development time is not spent developing the game"

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by tolworthy, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. tolworthy

    tolworthy New Member

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    I read this quote (or something like it) on another board, and I wonder what people here make of it? The writer, an experienced game developer, said that fifty percent of the time spent making a game is actually spent in meetings, or with lawyers, or on promotional activities, or with other activities besides actually creating the game.

    The more experience I gain, the more I think he is right. Especially if you inclue time spent making parts that, after testing, turn out to be not as good as you thought so the time was essentially wasted.

    Is the fifty-fifty figure accurate for you? If so, what sort of things fill the "other" fifty percent for you?
     
  2. Andy

    Original Member

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    (game development) != (game coding)

    That's why this "development" term is used.
    Even when you browse the web and checking another games or even reading general news you work on your games development if you would use such your experiences properly.

    I suppose so. ;)
     
  3. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale New Member

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    Also, there is the percentage of debugging and testing the game which takes up a large portion of development time. The bigger your game is, the longer this process is. MMORPGs for example, have huge debugging and testing cycles that can take years.
     
  4. Anthony Flack

    Indie Author

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    Er, I probably spend half my development time playing the game.

    Not essential testing, either. I'll often poke about for another five minutes or so after testing the thing I wanted to test. Sometimes I'll just idly potter about in the game. Actually, I do that quite a lot.
     
  5. Philippe

    Original Member

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    I do that too. On the one hand, it's one of the greatest joys of developing a game, on the other hand, it's almost a bit of a productivity killer.
    I also find that I tend to procrastinate less when it comes to implementing features with an immediate visual result in the game.
     
  6. ragdollsoft

    Original Member

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    Coding a game is not like coding an app. You need inspiration.
     
  7. george

    Original Member

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    oh i beg to differ !!! you need just as much inspiration to code an app as you do a game, maybe even more, especially if you are developing a really good/unique product. think about it, an application is a solution to a problem (it is inspired by that problem or need). game coding is hard, but us applications developers have it harder in lots of respects. but it is easier to make "big" money with applications instead of games for indie developers (for the most part)...
     
  8. Artinum

    Original Member

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    Procrastination aside, that's a good thing! If you, knowing all the tricks and traps of your own game, find yourself playing it for the fun of it, you've created something pretty good.
     
  9. Coyote

    Indie Author

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    Where does all the time go?

    * Actually developing the game
    * Managing other contributor / contracts / team members
    * Marketing
    * Maintenance of website
    * Testing
    * Managing external testing / feedback
    * Working with affiliates / portals / game distribution
    * Playing other games (It's... um, competitive analysis, yeah, that's it!)
    * Surfing the web and responding to posts when I should be developing my game...

    I actually think it can be pretty accurate - I think 50 / 50 is maybe a bit extreme over the entire course of development (though it certainly gets that way - and even worse - towards the end of the dev cycle).
     
  10. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    here's the stats from my current spreadsheet that tracks time spent:

    Admin 1%
    Planning 0%
    Research 2%
    Forums 1%
    Organisation 5%
    Code 43%
    Bug 2%
    Testing 4%
    Graphics 10%
    Sound 4%
    Music 0%
    Level Editor 0%
    Level Design 1%
    Marketing 0%
    Web Page 0%
    Demo 1%
    Release 2%
    Staff 0%
    Publisher 25%

    This game is not finished/released yet and I'm working with a producer who made the plan, is giving me all the graphics and music and who will be marketing which is why my figures have low numbers for those stats but a very high figure for publisher comms. And look, code is <50%!
     

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