幫助獨立開發者提高生產力的5種方式

作者:Damian Wolf

生產力是任何開發者生命中一個非常重要的元素。不管你是網頁開發者,系統程序員還是遊戲開發者,如果因爲生產力而獲得讚賞對你們的職業生涯來說真的會很有幫助。

image(from gamasutra)

image(from gamasutra)

遊戲開發是一種多元化工作,需要開發者擁有各種不同的技能以及毅力纔有可能獲得成功。但是在與傳統遊戲開發者相比時,我們會發現獨立開發者面對着完全不同的工作要求。

獨立開發者的目標是在一定時期內獨立創造一件可持續產品。也就是說獨立遊戲開發者是獨立工作的並且需要在特定時間內完成自己的作品。有時候他們所面對的工作量甚至會讓最優秀的開發者也喘不過氣。

對他們來說處理這種問題的最佳方式便是生產力,即最有效地利用自己的時間。在本文中我們將爲獨立遊戲開發者分享一些提高生產力的有效方式。不管你是新手還是有經驗的獨立遊戲開發者,這些方法都能幫助你更有效地進行遊戲開發並有條理地完成工作。

嘗試不同工作時間

因爲每個人都是不同的所以我們不能去遵循唯一的生產力模式。作爲獨立遊戲開發者,你應該最大限度地發揮自己的個性。這也是你需要去嘗試適合自己的時間表的原因。你可以從標準的每週40至50個工作時間開始,並標記你能夠完成的任務數量。

儘管一週80個小時的工作時間對於遊戲開發者來說很常見,但我還是不建議你們這麼做。根據調查,對於遊戲開發者來說平均每週的工作時間是60個小時。加班工作也不一定能爲他們創造更多利益。你可以先從每週工作40個小時開始,然後逐漸轉向更嚴厲的時間安排。認真觀察什麼纔是最適合自己的工作時間。

靈活是作爲獨立遊戲開發者的你的最大優勢,你不需要在任何人手下工作。這能讓你完全控制自己的工作時間和生產力。從早晨到深夜,你可以自己決定生產力最旺盛的時間段。

避免耗盡體力

當你在嘗試不同工作時間時,你還應該避免耗盡全部體力並以此保留生產力。耗盡體力與厭倦某物並不同,不要將其搞混。通常當你決定大力加班且工作量超過自己力所能及範圍時你便可能遭遇體力耗盡的情況。

雖然你應該去挑戰自己的極限,但同時你也必須清楚何時該抽身並停止工作。當你開始覺得缺少動力和激情並且精神耗竭時,你便會有耗盡體力的感覺,所以你應該避免出現這些情況。耗盡體力不僅浪費成本同時也可能導致你的後退。所以你需要嘗試去找出可能耗盡體力的任何症狀並經歷去避開它們。而如何你發現了這種症狀,最好去尋求醫生或專家的幫助。

提前計劃你要做的所有事

現在你已經明確適合自己的工作時間以及何時自己的生產效率最高。同時你也清楚如何避免體力耗盡。但是你還需要仔細去規劃你將面對的種種任務。如果確實少當計劃,你的生產力便會大大降低。獨立遊戲開發其實便是關於在不同領域間的穿梭。即你不僅需要設計遊戲,你還需要擔負起編程,測試與營銷工作。

而適當的計劃能夠帶給你超越別人的一些優勢。就像對於新手來說,提前做出計劃能讓你從心理上對之後的工作做好準備。

你需要明確的是你在隔天想要完成的工作,並在出現其它緊急情況前始終堅持這一計劃。同時你還需要確保自己所做的計劃足夠現實,不要去嘗試那些自己不可能辦到的事。

使用工具去保證生產銷量

編程工具能夠幫助你最大效率地進行遊戲開發。如果你不能有效利用這些工具,你便會白費力氣進行一些重複勞作。如果你是獨立遊戲開發新手,你可能需要嘗試最有效的免費遊戲引擎並選擇最適合自己的一種。同時你不應該頻繁改變編程語言或遊戲引擎,這可能只能讓你白白浪費時間。

宣傳你的作品

當一切都準備就緒,即你明確了工作時間以及選擇了合適的工具,你可能會開始產生厭倦情緒。即出現缺少動力和拖延症的情況。對此的最佳解決方法便是參加在線社區並去宣傳自己的遊戲開發。

例如來自瑞典的IndieDeveloper便經常在Livecoding.tv上宣傳自己的遊戲開發。他們正在創造一款名爲《CloudWatch》的殭屍遊戲(遊戲邦注:這是受到《使命召喚》的殭屍模式的啓發)。還有來自美國的Phanxgames也經常在Livecoding.tv上宣傳自己的《RPGLegend》。還有許多熱衷於宣傳自己的作品的開發者,他們也從中獲得了更多動力並在遊戲發行前吸引了更多粉絲去關注自己的項目。

結論

雖然上述列表還不夠詳盡,但卻能夠幫助你成爲更具生產力的開發者。而提高生產力的一種最新方式便是讓你的用戶能夠關注你所進行的項目。所以宣傳便是最佳方式,你必須最大限度去利用當前的網絡機遇。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

5 Productivity Hacks for Indie Game Developers

by Damian Wolf

Productivity is an important aspect of any developer’s life. It doesn’t matter if you are a web developer, system programmer or a game developer, a reputation for productivity can really help your career.

Even though productivity for programmers from different sub-fields can be seen through a single lens, a game developer’s productivity is a different ballgame altogether.

Game development is a multi-disciplinary trade that requires a variety of skills, rigor, and persistence to succeed. However, indie game developers are like snowflakes and have completely different work requirements when compared to traditional game developers.

Indie game developers are self-contained developers with the goal to create a sustainable product over a period of time. Clearly, indie game developers are on their own and need to finish their product in a specific timeframe. The massive workload can seem at times overwhelming for even the best developers out there.

The best way to tackle difficulties is to be productive – to make the most of your time. In this article, we help you do just that and share some intriguing productivity hacks for indie game developers. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or experienced indie game developer, these hacks will help you get a better grasp on your game development and be in charge of what you are doing.

Experiment with worktimes

Not everyone is the same. We all are different and that makes it hard for everyone to follow one particular pattern for productivity. As an indie game developer, it is important to make the most out of your own personality. That’s why you need to experiment with what schedule works for you and what does not. Start with a standard 40-50 hrs per week workload and keep a tab on the number of tasks you are able to complete.

Even though an 80 hour week workload seems to be pretty common for game developers, it is not advisable to walk that path. Surveys have hinted that it is common for game developers to work 60 hours per week on average. Also, working overtime doesn’t yield them any monetary value. Summing all these up, it would seem to warrant you to work at least 60 hours per week. However, don’t go forward with this plan. Start slowly with 40 hours per week, and then move on to a more rigorous routine if needed. See what works and what doesn’t, and adjust accordingly.

Being flexible is the biggest advantage you have as an independent game developer and not working under anyone. This gives you the ability to be in full control of your work hours and be productive whenever you can. From early morning through late-night, build your schedule around the time of day you feel the most productive.

The Productivity Strategy Guide addresses how being in “The Zone” is important to make the most out of your time. Even though it is not possible to stay in the “zone” all the time, experimenting with your schedule can yield better results. Check out the guide to learn more.

Avoid burnout

While you are experimenting with your work time, you should also be mindful of burnout and understand the need to avoid it to stay productive. Burnout is not the same thing as boredom, so don’t confuse them. Burnout generally takes place when you decide to work an excessive amount of overtime and go beyond your capacity.

While you should challenge your limits, you should also know when to pull the trigger and stop working. Feelings of burnout generally start with less motivation, emotional, physical and mental exhaustion, and avoiding responsibilities. Burnout is costly and can easily set you back a lot. That’s why you should always try to look out for symptoms of burnout and avoid it altogether. If you feel this condition applies to you, see your doctor and seek professional help.

Read this article if you want to know more about burnout and how to avoid it.

Plan everything you do and plan ahead

Great, you now know your work times and when you are most productive. You also know how to avoid burnout and stay at the peak of your performance. However, you need to to carefully plan the tasks you are working on. Without proper planning, you will be less effective. Indie game development is all about shuffling between different trades. You not only have to design the game, you also need to code, test and market your game when it is ready.

Proper planning can give you a real edge over others. For starters, try to carefully plan the day ahead, perhaps the night before. This will enable you to be mentally ready for the next day.

All you need to do is note the things that you want to accomplish the next day and stick to it until and unless something urgent comes along. And make sure the plan is realistic, don’t try to do more in one day than you can actually achieve.

Use tools to stay productive

Programming tools are required to make the most out of your game development. Without proper usage of these tools, you are just reinventing the wheel most of the time. If you are a beginner indie game developer, you might want to check out the best free game engines and choose the one that best suits your needs. Also, do not try to change the programming language or the game engine frequently, this will lead you nowhere.

Broadcast your work

With everything in position, from work schedule to which tools to use, one thing that always haunts an indie game developer is boredom. It leads to low motivation and procrastination. One excellent solution is to join an online community and broadcast your game development.

For example, IndieDeveloper, from Sweden, regularly broadcasts his game development on Livecoding.tv. He is currently building a zombie game known as CloudWatch and is inspired by the zombie mode in the Call of Duty games. Another developer, Phanxgames from the US, broadcasts his game RPGLegend on Livecoding.tv. There are others who enjoy broadcasting their work and enjoy benefits including better motivation and creating a fan following and attention to their projects before they are released.

Conclusion

The above list is in no way exhaustive. These hacks will help you to become more productive in your pursuit. One of the latest ways of boosting your productivity is to have an audience that follows your project. Broadcasting is one of the best ways to garner an audience and make the most out of the current opportunities available online.(source:gamasutra