Budget, Scope and Schedule

May 07, 2018

I can't help but wonder if how to keep indie dev from not working themselves to death has more to do with learning how to budget, scope and schedule.

Thimbleweed Park (a kickstarted project) was around 6 months late and no one crunched beyond a weekend here and there. How did we do that? We scoped, budgeted and scheduled.

We fucked up a lot of things, crunching was not one of them. It would be nice if the press talked about all the projects that are doing things right, rather than focus on... oh nevermind.... what am I thinking.

It's a crime that so many Kickstarter projects are asking for far less money than they need to finish. It's unlikely they did serious scheduling and budgeting. Or maybe they did and said, "fuck it". That's a problem.

I've talked to a few indie devs that didn't ask for enough money to finish and they say "But we wouldn't get to make the game otherwise." Yeah, OK, fair, but then don't complain when you kill yourself in the process.

It's a big problem that indies can't raise realistic amounts of money to build games. It's a horrible cycle and I've stopped backing Kickstarters where they are not asking for a realistic amount.

Not a week goes by that I don't run into an indie dev that is jumping headlong into a project and they haven't done any serious budgeting and scheduling. The ugly truth is: if they did (and were honest) they would never start.

Maybe that's not all bad.