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Poll: Hours per day (21 votes)
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Crunch for indies (Forums : Development Banter : Crunch for indies) Locked
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Apr 5 2013, 2:47pm Anchor

Do you work overhours for your game? If so, how much?

Crunch time seems to be a big problem in the game industry, so I wanted to know how that relates to indies. Also, do you feel your productivity actually dropping when doing long hours compared the regular 4/6/8 hours?

May 15 2013, 5:20am Anchor

Out of curiosity, why do you wonder?

May 16 2013, 10:43pm Anchor

I think most indies have better time management unless their income depends on it.  Isn't that the main reason to go indie... well, besides creative freedom and lack of upper management?

May 17 2013, 7:05am Anchor

A deadline is a deadline, indie or not. If you've promised your fans a game by September, you're giving them a game come September, or your giving them a damned good reason why you aren't.

Since there's usually no convincing the internet such a thing exists (don't look at me like that, you know it's true), and it's already August and you're not done, you're basically forced to either spend money hiring the people you need to get it done by September......or you're crunching from 5 to midnight.

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May 23 2013, 12:25pm Anchor

Indies are in the game industry =P

 Making games was always a hobby for me so I'd spend silly amounts of hours making bits and pieces. My productivity only dropped if I lost my motivation and I'm finding a deadline fast approaching is a pretty good motivator.

 We've been given a grant to finish off our game and with that came a deadline of 6th September 2013. At the moment we are dead on track for meeting it, but if things go awry due to illness etc.. we can't get missed time back so a crunch period could be inevitable to meet the deadline.

May 23 2013, 2:03pm Anchor
Endijs1 wrote:Do you work overhours for your game? If so, how much?
Crunch time seems to be a big problem in the game industry, so I wanted to know how that relates to indies. Also, do you feel your productivity actually dropping when doing long hours compared the regular 4/6/8 hours?

"Crunchtime" is a symptom of bad time management.

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Jun 10 2013, 1:38am Anchor

Hmmm right now probably 2 or so at least but I spend most of my dev time managing my team and marketing. Haven't even had time to get back to coding! But it's a nice change of pace ill admit...

Edited by: Koobazaur

Jul 6 2013, 11:53am Anchor

I'm 18+ months into full time development and I'll share my experience. Initially I worked extremely long hours doing 10-12 hours a day because I was so excited about what I was doing and progress is so obvious at those early stages. However those hours are not really sustainable. I found myself going around in circles a lot of the time while trying to solve problems because I'd burned out mentally. 

Over time I tested many different work schedules and finally settled on the classic 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. I might fiddle with odds and ends over the weekend and there are times when I'll work longer hours to meet a personal deadline, but whenever I work longer I burn out and then need a few days off to get my energy and mental acuity back.  I've found the goal to average 40 hours a week keeps me fresh and alert and problems get solved instantly rather than going around in circles. Although I would like to work more hours I've found it to be counter productive. I'm way more efficient and get more work done that way. I often have to force myself to stop so that I'm ready and eager for another 8 hours the next day.

Hope that helps.

Jul 16 2013, 6:40am Anchor

We have a team of ten people working on Interplanetary, and we agreed in the beginning of our project that we will avoid crunching but do it if necessary to stay in the (admittedly pretty tight) schedule. So far we have managed to avoid crunching pretty well, but right now the alpha release deadline is making things a bit more hectic, jumping it up from 7-8 hours to 9.

Personally I think crunching is okay as long as it's not the norm and your team is ok with it. If some people are willing to crunch and others not, it could create a nasty divide.

Jul 21 2013, 12:03am Anchor

I'm an indie game producer who has worked major crunch hours while working in AAA studios (16 hours a day, 4 weeks, 8 hour both week end days and no overtime pay). Crunch will have to happen sometimes because the one thing we can't schedule in games is how log will it take to make it fun. A game design may new 10's of hours of tweaking to make it a 'fun' game. But if you are an indie company who has periods of crunch all the time then you need to look at why?
 
Why are you crunching? Is it bad management or bad schelduling? Is it how you are working or how your team is working? Look internally and see what may be fixed or just changed to make your process better.

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