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Fortunately, I Have My Priorities Straight

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Once upon a time I had this idea of developing my own games and then selling them through the internet. I thought up a nice puzzle game with lots of colours and I told everybody that I would have it done by the end of 2004. That gave me about ten months for a ridiciously simple game.

The end of 2005 is nearing. The game is called Trichromix and, in case you haven't noticed, I didn't release it yet. It's done, though, and it has been for six months or so.

Now, before you start, I have good reasons why Trichromix isn't for sale yet, really I do. Well okay, I don't. But I have a couple of not-so-good reasons. I'll mention just one (mainly because the other ones are not just not-so-good, but also bloody-stupid and my pride can take only so much at a time).

In 2004, my good friend Stefan and I were running a company called Mimmick. We developed custom web applications. We had some fun and little success. When I decided I wanted to do game development, I thought Stefan and I could do it on the side, dividing our time between custom applications and our own games.

Didn't work. When you are working for customers, that work takes priority. It's not like you can call them up and say "Listen, I know you really wanted that feature that allows you to save your work, instead of typing it all over again every day, but we didn't do that. We made this really nice puzzle game instead. It has a lot of colours and everything. O, by the way, could you pay the bill? We're a bit short on cash." So, I realized that it was either working for customers or working for ourselves. And I preferred the later.

This eventually led to Stefan and I going our seperate ways. We parted on good terms, by the way. Really, we did. Stefan, how about coming over for dinner next week? See, we're still friends.

So, in 2005 I was on my own again. I worked on Trichromix, while blogging about all the mistakes I was making. Except that I didn't think they were mistakes at the time. I called them 'progress' or 'learning' or some such. I still do, too.

And then I got hungry. People asked me if I could build them a simple web site (they're always simple) and I started saying 'yes'. You know, for a bit of money. It's just a simple web site. It's not like I'm doing it full-time. I'll still work on Trichromix, too. Dividing my time between the two.

Since August I've been knee-deep in a web application development for a customer. Nice work. It turns out I'm actually rather good at it. Not that everything goes perfect. I mean, next time I work with a customer, I'll definitely... Hey, wait a minute! Didn't I decide not to do this kind of stuff anymore? About a year a go? Oh yeah, now that you mention it. Good thing you reminded me of that.

I won't do custom web development anymore.


Alea iacta est.

Feels good, having your priorities straight.

Yesterday I got a call from a friend. Whether I could work with him on a simple web site for a customer. I might have said 'yes'... Might've. Yes.

To be continued, I guess.

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mahlzeit says:

If the game is finished, or at least a good 1.0, then why not upload it, set up a shop and send out a press release? There's no point in waiting, really. You can always make improvements later. When I uploaded 1.0 of my shareware app I never thought people would pay for it because it didn't quite live up to what the competition was offering, but orders did start to come in after a few days. If I had delayed the release with 6 months until the next version was ready, I would have missed out on 6 months of sales. It only costs some effort to set everything up and then you're ready to go. Why wait...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 8:59 PM

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