Time is ticking away

It’s time to talk productivity in developing flash games. We all know the basics of productivity: the more productive you are, the more games you can produce in a set amount of time. In order to make a living as a flash developer or build up a reputation, you need to be putting out quality games at a consistent level. Wondering how to get up to that level without spending every waking hour working away in front of the computer? In this article, I’m going to go over a concept called Parkinson’s Law, and how it can help you develop games more consistently.

The Philosophy

Work expands to fill the time available for it’s completion.

Think of the last time you had a whole day to do a project. You probably killed time and take lengthy breaks as you tried to stall the act of working on that project. Since you knew you had lots of time, you decide you will get to it eventually. The same principle applies when you have a ton of work to get done. You’ll attack the work head on with few breaks in between because you don’t have the time to take those lengthy breaks.

The point I’m trying to get at here is that just because you have a lot of time on your hands doesn’t mean you have to spread your work out over all that time. Why not get it done immediately? Stay focused as if you only had a certain amount of time to devote to the work, and you’ll be done much sooner. By doing this, you can not only get your work done sooner but you’ll have the leisure to pursue your own personal projects and hobbies for the rest of the day.

Applying Parkinson’s Law to Game Development

If you give yourself a month to finish your game and have it ready for sponsorship, it’s going to take you a month to do it. However, if you give yourself just 3 weeks to complete the exact same project, it will be done within 3 weeks. Your shorter deadline forces you to become more focused on your game, allowing you to kill procrastination and finish your game sooner.

Not only will this principle have you finishing your game quicker, but it allows you to think about the aspects of your game that are the most crucial for it’s success. With less time, you will be able to hone in on the features that will make your game fun, instead of wasting time on features that don’t add to the gameplay experience. By applying it on the small scale and setting aside, say two hour increments to work on your game each day, you will get the essential development work done and be free the rest of the day to do as you wish. It cuts down on time wasting frills that may not necessarily be useful your game’s success, and helps you get your polished game out into the wild as soon as possible.

This article was written with Parkinson’s Law in mind, in under 45 minutes ;)

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