Time distribution. One year later

About one year ago I wrote an article entitled “Time distribution on game development“. On this article you can read about what tasks I was working on when developing New Sokoban and how they were distributed on time. That post was written a few days before the approval of the game.

A year has gone since then and a lot of things have happened and changed. In today’s post I would like to present a new chart revealing important differences on time distribution on my everyday work. After that, I will try to get some useful conclusions.

On this new chart I have included less categories which are more general:

  • Programming. This includes software enginering, coding and bug hunting.
  • Project Management. This is a general category that includes tasks such as project, planning, resource distribution, project coordination, meetings, etc.
  • Blog. You know, I spend a lot of time on this blog.
  • Art. This is a general category that includes all those kind of tasks that are executed using tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Assets generation, icons, marketing screenshots, etc.
  • Networking. This includes attending to the e-mail, twitter followers, event assistance, meals with colleagues, meetings with potential clients or collaborators…
  • Other. There are a lot more tasks that I have registered during the last year. Here we have, for instance, audio, marketing, game design, brainstorming or documentation.

So, I think that this data reveals some interesting issues, specially if we compare it to what I published one year ago.

The most obvious one is the important reduction of the artistic tasks. One year ago, coding and artistic tasks had almost exactly the same amount of time dedication (34% and 33%). That was because I was working alone and exclusively on a game (New Sokoban).

One of the most important conclusions I got from New Sokoban development was that my artistic skills were not good enough to create a professional and polished product. So, slowly I started to change my mind and try to find valuable companions that compensated my weaknesses and potentiated my strengths (and vice versa). So, the last year, I have been part of various teams.

The logical consequence: I have a Computer Science degree, so I tend to be “the programmer” of the team. The Programing category gets 69% of time dedication and art only 2%.

There is another factor that has contributed to the reduction of the artistic tasks: I have been working also on regular apps, not only games. So, you know, the amount of assets needed on a regular app is considerably lower than on a game.

This is also why categories such as game design or audio are included in the Other category. The percentage is very low.

Another important observation is that a new category has been included: Project Management. In some of the projects I worked on, I took the Project Manager role. Task planning, team coordination, meetings… were some of the tasks I have also been in charge, in addition to coding. This has been very interesting and I’m very proud of the work done in this category.

The third largest category is still this Blog. I’m really proud of that. The percentage has been reduced compared to the article from one year ago (from 11% to 5%). However, the absolute number of hours dedicated to the blog are roughly the same. The percentage has been reduced because now I work more hours per day…

I would be happier if the percentage of UX Design (or game design when talking about game development) related tasks were higher (they are included in the Other category, so the percentage is very low…). To tell the truth, some UX Design hours have been probably included in the Programming category. I have some problems to separate UX Design from software engineering and design. My mind tends to switch from one to the other without control…

Conclusions

As you can see, time distribution of my everyday work has changed a lot in a year. I have learned a lot and acquired very valuable experience on project management. I have also teamed with talented artists that allowed me to focus on the tasks I do better (design, software engineering and programming).

But… but… something is wrong… Sometimes I feel that all those changes are caused by the pressure of money. I’m happy to keep myself self-employed but I have been forced to take too much freelance work. However, to be realistic, freelance work is what currently allows me to pay the bills…

I hope that this is part of the process and that in a few months I will be able to work exclusively (or almost exclusively…) on my own projects. Wish me luck! 😀

This post is part of iDevBlogADay, a group of indie iOS development blogs. You can keep up with iDevBlogADay through the web siteRSS feed, or Twitter.

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About Toni Sala

Indie game designer and developer
This entry was posted in General, Home, idevblogaday and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time distribution. One year later

  1. Enrique says:

    You forgot to mention how much time do you spend playing with your own games 😉

  2. Toni Sala says:

    Sure I play them a lot! But I have not registered it on my spreadsheet! lol

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