So this is a blog post I have been holding back for a few days. Mostly because I have to admit several failures on my part. But, part of being open with your community is sharing your loses with your victories.

The biggest failure to admit here is that we can’t deliver the quality game we wanted to make for you by the end of May (as recently promised.) I’ve been full time indie for the past two weeks (more on that in a second) and we might just barely be able to hit all our initial goals for Organ Trail: Director’s Cut by the end of the month. My problem though, is that the game is not really turning up the way I wanted. With all the new features we are promising; it’s still shy of a product I am proud to release. Maybe my nose has been in it too long to tell anymore. The new idea is to make a beta build by the end of the month and start playtesting it through test flight. Then, if people love it, maybe we can let it go. I have trouble letting go sometimes.

So, how’s being full time indie going?

The Plan

The original plan was as follows.

  • Wake up early each morning
  • Make breakfast and pack lunch for my girlfriend
  • Workout for an hour while listening to podcasts
  • Shower, hygiene, etc.
  • Work until girlfriend gets home from work (approx. 9 hours)
  • Slip in extra work at night and during weekends
  • Kick ass. Make games.

The plan was to be a better, healthier, more productive person as an indie than ever before. I also gave up the following:

  • No more video games (short game breaks are okay but no Skyrims or Mass Effect 3s)
  • No more Reddit
  • No more coffee

So guess what happened?

Staying up late to work mixed with waking up early to work out: I became very sleepy.

My biggest failure has been that I cannot stay the fuck awake. I get tired if the sun is out. I’ve always been nocturnal and cutting out coffee while trying to be a “morning person” has proved to be at terrible idea. The distance between my “office” and my couch (impromptu bed) is too short and tempting. I talked with some of my other friends that work from home and most of them have told me they have the same issue so they work at night. The dilemma is… If I work at night, I miss all the social happenings; including spending any time with my girlfriend (who moved in with me a week before I quit my job. (So brave.))

Well shit. I’ve been sleeping up to 12 hours a day and working like 6. Luckily, because of weekends, I’m still clocking in about 40 hours but I was sorta hoping for 60 or more. Someone recently told me that the first few weeks are always rough. I certainly hope that’s all this is. I know settling in to a new routine can be hard but I’m also really afraid of falling prey to bad habits.

The Bright Side

Although I have been skimping out some days, I am working out more regularly than I’ve ever been able to maintain in the past. Expect me to get so sexy that you will have to call your significant other and apologize for thinking about cheating on them once you get a glimpse of my godly visage. As well, I’ve been making my own food so I’m easily spending a quarter as much money on food. My girlfriend keeps trying to teach me how to cook but I have no patience for making food. What’s wrong with hot dogs, PB&J and cereal every day? I get the healthiest kinds I can! And without a commute, I save like 80 bucks a month on transit. That’s like… a month worth of food now. I’ve also been biking on the rare occasion I go outside which is good for the fitness aspect.

And although progress on the game feels slow, we are making progress. Here’s a list of features we have mostly implemented as of the past two weeks:

  • Bear Boss
  • Talk to strangers
  • Pause Menu
  • Achievements
  • Tombstones
  • Credits (our credits are fancy (and fun) )
  • OpenFeint Integration
  • Under the hood improvements

Most of our contractor work ends sometime this month so we will have all the additional art and music we need to make the game. I have a few neat surprises in store for you guys (assuming you are a fan (and not someone who reads about us because you hate us.))

We also spent an entire day last week packing and writing addresses by hand for 300+ custom reward packages. We have about 70 left and we are doing those tonight actually. So if you are a Kickstarter backer, expect to see those coming soon. Again, I feel bad about how long this took and we will be making some changes to the way we handle something like this if we ever do it again. *phew*

So the moral of the story is that working from home is hard. I don’t like feeling like a person of weak willpower. I also don’t want to keep pushing the game back. But I can promise you that I won’t release the game until it’s good. I’m sorry if that means you have to wait another month.

I think I’m going to pick up coffee again. I assume it will fix most of my problems. Maybe I can drop it again when I don’t have less than a month to deliver a game.