100 Experience Points
An Adventure in Indie Game Development

What Are You Giving Up?

If you’re making a game (or any other project/product) in your spare time, while working full time, you don’t have time to do everything you used to. Something has got to give.

As you set out on your indie game development journey, you need to ask yourself, What am I giving up to make this happen?

I can’t tell you what you’ll give up. Different people find value in different things. What I can tell you is what I’m giving up.

  1. Facebook. I just recently deactivated my Facebook account, and I’m planning on leaving it that way for the full 100 days. I’m growing tired of FB anyway, but still manage to waste at least 20 minutes a day on it.
  2. Lolcats. Mostly. In my Google Reader, I’ve unsubscribed from icanhascheezburger and a few other “for fun” sites. I just don’t need to spend any time there. Cats will now only show up on my Facebook feed (oh, wait, that can’t happen!) It’s not that I’ll never see any more lolcats, but I don’t need to intentionally consume it daily.
  3. Video and computer games. (With the exception of my own.) Between work and making a game in my spare time, I genuinely do not need more time in front of a computer. If I need to be entertained, a board game or a card game or the like will hit the spot.
  4. Most TV and movies. I’ll make a few exceptions here and there when I really need a break, but again, I’m staring at a screen enough as it is. I’ve got DVR. I can watch shows I’ve missed in 100 days.
  5. Staying up late. I want to talk about schedules another day, but I’m quite certain that it will be important to me to get the right amount of sleep.
  6. Long lunches at work. My schedule at work has a fair amount of flexibility in it, as long as I get all of my hours in. But a 20 minute lunch instead of a 60 minute lunch means going home a little earlier in the evening.

And now for a list of things I’m not giving up:

  1. Sleep. For lots of reasons, I think it really shouldn’t be OK to trade hours of sleep for time working on my game.
  2. Time with my wife. Besides being fun, and being a stabilizing factor to what will inevitably be a crazy 100 days, you just need some downtime to be with the people that you care about, from time to time.
  3. Running. It’s winter. In Utah. It looks like this. I always cut back on running in the winter, and plan around storms and inversions, but I’m not giving up on running. In fact, running has always be a time for me to just be alone and think. It’s always beneficial. Not to mention the physical exercise makes you healthier, giving your more energy all day long.
  4. Some time for fun. I eliminated video games and TV earlier, but you still need some downtime. My latest passion has been board games. It’s nice to get off of the computer and spend time with other people. Lately I’ve been really enjoying Pandemic and Eminent Domain.

So what are you giving up? What’s got to give to make room for some time to actually build a game? And what things aren’t you going to give up on?