First of all, in case you didn’t know yet, the Summer Sale has started! All my games on my own site are discounted by 50%. No need to enter any coupon code, the discount is automatic. On the site the full price are still displayed but when you add the products to the cart you’ll see the discount 🙂
Visit www.winterwolves.com now!
I don’t use any time-tracking softwares, but yesterday was working on Steam’s Nicole build, and started to think how much time I spent so far this year on this and other tasks. Everything is approximate but should give you an idea:
- writing blog posts like this one: usually I write them in advance since I don’t like to rush things (even blog posts!) and I’ve never missed a Friday post since a long time 🙂 Sometimes posts are done fast, like this one (about 1,5 hour spent on it) while other times I need to think more. I’d say on average 2h each blog, so let’s say 25 weeks x 2h = 50h or 2 days
- adding a game to Steam: this varies greatly too, some games like the RPGs with many achievements and cards took me 1-2 weeks, including testing, fixing bugs, preparing assets and so on. Also the first times I was more inexperienced and spent more time to figure out everything. Let’s say on average 1 week each x 10 games (last 2 will be live next month) = 10 weeks
- managing people: this year was rather bad, since had to replace several writers, deal with delays, etc. Probably the worst since I’ve been indie 😀 Anyway, those things eat up time like crazy, because you need to explain everything again to the new people, and maybe previous ones wrote some stuff that you had to read, etc. I also need to check other aspects of the games like art & music, because even if rarely there are problems (small stuff, but finding out late that you are missing a certain asset is bad, so you need to be careful). Then there’s giving feedback to people, email exchange, etc etc.
Considering that I’m always working on at least 5-6 projects at same time, I’d say that I spend minimum 14h a week on this. 25 weeks x 14h = 350h or 14 days / 2 weeks
- support: unfortunately I need to do support 🙂 I get several emails every day, most of them are quick, others take more time. I’d say in total I spend 1h a week on this, so 25 weeks x 1h = 25h or 1 day
- forums: I read forums and answer people when I can. This could fall under support, but in some cases I discuss my design choices or talk with people to get new ideas and learn what they want. Probably I spend too much time there, even if recently I am reducing the amount and length of my posts 😉 Because even when I don’t write, I check new posts and read them (they’re talking about my games!). Same thing for Steam and other sites / communities. I’d say I spend 1h a day on this on average, so 25 weeks x 7h = 175h or 7 days / 1 week
- various marketing activities: sending newsletter (I need to make a web page every time), facebook, twitter, buying some banner ads, etc. Even in this case I spend for sure 1h/day, I still think is worth it because while the results aren’t quick, helps build up my “brand” or at least make people aware of my games. Again, is 25 weeks x 7h = 175h or 7 days / 1 week
So what is the total? Let’s see: 14 weeks and 3 days! and since we’re about halfway in the 2014, 26 weeks passed (a year is made of 52 weeks). It means that I was able to actually work on the games only for about 11-12 weeks this year! :O
And yet I still managed to release 1 game (Roommates) and finish a beta of a RPG (SOTW) ? I think I’m working too much, really! 😉
Of course, some things like Steam were totally unexpected: thankfully (or not?) I’ve ran out of games to be approved, so is not like every year I’ll have to make so many Steam builds! But for example, I didn’t take into account also the time to make the mobile builds, since that thing is really hard to quantify, but still are precious hours that I can’t use to making new games.
Now you understand why is taking so long for me to finish SOTW? beside the fact that what was initially supposed to be a small game turned out to be a big game! 😉
I don’t want to lie, I will probably take a short break once SOTW is done, since jokes apart I’ve really been working too much lately, so need to enjoy life a bit too. But stay assured that every game I announced (like Undead Lily, or Queen Of Thieves) will be finished, sooner or later 🙂