It’s been two months since my last dev blog. Seems like I’m still not much better with making a habit out of doing these posts, which isn’t great considering I know a few of you actually read them! Especially the awesome people on Discord.
So where have I been?
Well, I’ve been in the same place, mostly. I did take a week off to spend in Wells, which my wife and I spent exploring Somerset. Mainly my attention is split between too many different things, which is making it difficult to keep on top of everything.
To give some background on this, I have a few main responsibilities. Firstly, I have a full time job. This obviously takes up most of my time, not that I’m complaining as I do enjoy it, but my time for Jamo Games is restricted to evenings, weekends, and early mornings.
Secondly, I have the bills to pay for Jamo Games. These are things like software licenses, accountant fees, equipment etc. Which brings me neatly onto my final responsibility, my client work. To make sure my Jamo Games bills are paid, I make pixel art for other games. I’ve done it for a long time, and while my bills aren’t so high that I have to take lots of work in, it still takes up a large percentage of my time. I do this work to make sure that I can keep the lights on.
Finally, I also like to have a life. With all of this work you can imagine how hard it is to keep a somewhat sensible work-life balance, and burning myself out will do no good at all for anyone.
Taking all of into account that means I have very little time to work on my own projects.
Don’t take any of this as an excuse for why I’ve been quiet on here though, or slow with game updates. None of these responsibilities are new, and in theory I planned around them all (except throwing coffee on my laptop that cost me three weeks dev time…). I overestimated my ability to be able to cope with all of this, and Echo Terminal is the project to take a hit because its the only one with any room to give up.
Okay, what next?
Well, a slight change of tactic is in order. When I released The Botanist, I made enough money to not have to worry about taking on client work for a while. I also got a new computer and some other bits and pieces. If I can repeat the same number of sales with Echo Terminal, then I should be able to give up client work completely, and become, in a very small way, self sufficient.
Over the last few months I have taken on a fair amount of client work. The problem with doing it with limited time that I have is that the extra I make on top of my bills each month doesn’t amount to much, so I feel like I’m just taking two steps forward and one step back. I’m not building anything, just kind of existing and grinding.
However, that work has given me a small runway with which to finish Echo Terminal. Being able to focus just on that once these projects are wrapped up should allow me to finish the game fairly quickly, and I hope it will give me a runway for my next project.
If not, then I can go back to client work, although I’m not sure I want to use up what little time I have one that if I’m honest, I’ve done it for a long time and I can’t see a way to progress further than I have.
I realise this is probably the worst kind of post. Long, rambly and not very educational, but it’s my journal and it helps me to get my thoughts in order. I try to be honest about what is going on.
I’m just trying to say that I’m doing my best, I’m making changes and I’m trying to make the most of what little time I have on what matters the most.