Why Being First In Things Will Help You Succeed as an Indie Game Dev...
The chances are that your unique idea... your unique innovation... is also somebody else's unique idea too.
And if a game developer is too late, and delays their development, then they will be dominated by competition.In this article, you're going to learn the importance of "being first in things". Then you'll discover 3 ways to help you finish your game 2 times faster -- without loss in quality.
Somebody Else Is Doing The Same Thing You Are -- Who Will Get Their First?
Let me show you exactly what I'm talking about...
Isaac Newton discovered calculus. Around the same time, so did Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
Charles darwin discovered the theory of evolution. So did Alfred Russel Wallace around the same time.
Einstein is credited for the theory of evolution. But Henri Poincaré, Olinto De Pretto, and Paul Langevin all came up with the same theories of the relationship between mass and energy.
And more importantly, my next example... Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and H1Z1:King of the Kill. Both came up with the "Last Man Standing" sub-genre.
In a recent article with PC Gamer, Anthony Castoro (General Manager for H1Z1) said;
"Sometimes people might speculate that, oh, we were doing this because of PUBG, [and] we just chuckle because we were in the meetings in February where we decided to do it. "
You see what I mean? Multiple independent discoveries happen all the time. The chances are that there is somebody else that has the exact same idea as you do.
And whoever gets their first, will be the one to get the credit.
Why Being "First In Things" Is Most Important Thing When It Comes To Selling More Copies Of Your Indie Game
I was lucky back in 2005. Nobody was developing apps and services for people who wanted to scan their slides into digital. I was there first. And as time went buy, other people had the same idea. But ScanCanada.ca was always the leader because I was there first.
I'm not telling you this too show off. I'm telling you this because being first is the best advantage an indie person can have.
When you have very little money for advertising... when you have no idea how to market your idea... when you have no publisher who will promote your game... then your best advantage is to be first.
And don't be fooled by "quality". There are a lot of issues with PUBG. There were a lot of issues with Pokemon Go. There were a lot of issues with games that come to the market first.
Just look at all the Early Access games. They're all broken. But gamers can't help it. They want to play games that are "first in things" even if the game is less quality.
And that's my entire point here: gamers want to be first in things too. They are willing to play broken, unfinished games, just to be the first to play something NEW.
Being NEW is your best advantage as an indie game developer. Yeah, quality is sacrificed when you rush things.
But there is a way to finish your game 2x faster AND maintain a higher quality game. Let me show you that next...
The Min/Maxer Technique: 3 Easy Steps To Help You Develop Your Indie Game 2x Faster So You Can Be First
You've probably heard me talk about Edward Deming. People love Tesla. But my hero is Deming. Why? Because his strategy on efficiency and quality have personally helped me finish projects 2 or 3 times faster, without loss in quality.
Deming's idea is that if you break your jobs down into batches, and focus on each batch before moving on to the next batch, you'll finish your job faster. And at the same time, this focus on one single task also improves quality.
However, if you jump from one task to another, these little inefficiencies add up. And you take longer to finish a job. What should take you one hour, actually takes you 2 because you're jumping around from task to task.
Deming went to Japan after WWII, with the allies, to help Japan rebuild. It's no coincidence that Japan became a leader in electronics so fast after that time. For example, Deming worked co-founder of Sony Akio Morita.
So anyway, here's exactly what to do...
Step One: Group Jobs Into Batches
When developing an indie game, you have a lot of work to do. You have Programming, Art, Design, Music. And each of those jobs can be broken down into even smaller jobs.
For example, in Programming you have AI, Physics, Game Play. In Art, you have Concept, Animation, Character. In Music, you have Soundtrack, Sound Effects.
And each of these smaller tasks can be broken down into even small tasks.
So, what do you do with this? Why break down your jobs into smaller tasks? Let me show you in step 2...
Step Two: Focus On Small Batches Before Going Onto The Next Batch
It's important to break down your jobs into bite sized batches because it'll stop you from jumping from one task to another.
Remember, Demings number one idea is that you lose time when you go from one task to another. It's better to finish one task before moving onto another.
Why? Because this type of focus helps you finish your tasks 2 or 3 times faster. And this level of focus on one job at a time improves quality.
That's why it's important to break down your jobs into small, bite-sized batches. You have a clear direction on what to do. You're not just floating around, and working on what you "feel" like working on.
But there's one more insight to help you finish your game 2x faster, without loss in quality...
Step Three: Work On Your Biggest Challenges When You Have The Most Energy In The Day (and Then Work On The Fun Stuff When You Have The Least Energy)
It's tempting to go and work on a small batch project that you enjoy doing. Maybe you love programming game mechanics and hate working on AI.
So, it'll be natural to want to work on game mechanics, the part you love, when you have the most energy.
But I say, don't.
When do you have the most energy? Is it in the morning? Late at night?
I'm asking because that's the best time to work on those small batch projects you least enjoy doing, or are the biggest challenge.
Why? Because when you have the most energy in the day, is when you'll be able to muster all your focus on the job. And that means you'll get it done faster, without loss in quality.
And the small batch project you love doing, save them when you don't have that much energy.
Your Biggest Takeaway Is This...
Being first is important when it comes to indie game development.
When you don't have the advantage of a big brand name, or don't have publisher money, or don't have a marketing budget, then your only advantage is your agility to be in the market FIRST.
Your biggest advantage is that you can come out with a new innovation in video games FASTER than anybody else can.
And it's up to you to improve how you manage your time so you can be first before anybody else.
So, do this right now:
List all your jobs. Break them down into smaller jobs. Which jobs are the most important or the most challenging?
Tomorrow, when you have the most energy in the day, put in 45 minutes into that job. Take a 5 minute break. Then put in another 45 minutes into that job.
You'll see that in 2 hours you'll have done what would normally have taken you maybe 3 or 4 hours.