Confessions of an indie game developer by Brawsome


All you indie developers are probably well aware of the kind of distractions and pitfalls you have when you're working for yourselves at home, but it's well worth noting that happens to pretty much everyone else in the same position and even the simplest tips from fellow indie developers who've been there is well worth considering.

Alistair Doulin from Brisbane's Bane Games wrote a blog entry on working at home a few months ago titled "Working from home as an indie" where he suggests organising a well defined work area, proper working hours, seperating your personal and your work email addresses, as well as keeping motivated, as ways to avoid many of those pitfalls.

Similarly, the latest blog update from Brawsome developer, Andrew Goulding, has the Jolly Rover developer discussing some important rules he's set himself to keep himself productive as well as healthy. In his "Confessions of an indie developer" write-up, Andrew admits to putting health and perhaps even hygene on the wayside when he's well focussed on developing his games. Just because you work at home doesn't mean you don't change your clothes, people!

Some of his tips include:

Drink water, eat fruit
I used to do this, but lately my day has been coffee-coffee-coffee, sandwich, coffee-tea-tea dinner. Which is no way to be at my best, it’s just common sense. I couldn’t imagine allowing my kids to do this, even when they’re older.

Get out of the house
While developing I have gone a whole week without stepping out my front door. Yes, really. Going for a short walk at lunchtime can do wonders for the afternoon workload, which is normally filled otherwise by coffee and slouching.

Get dressed
I’m not saying I develop games naked, but there can be very little motivation to change out of what you’ve slept in as you roll out of bed to your desk, but surprising as this may seem, this can turn your mindset from hobby to professional. Put on a shirt, have a shave (if you have to) you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.

I bet a lot of indie developers will admit to many of the issues that Andrew has raised in his list, particularly with the coffee, lack of excersize, and even the change of clothes. So check out his blog post, adhere to his advice, and for goodness sakes, look after yourselves!


souri's picture

I have failed all but one on that list.

Anonymous's picture

I agree with those 3 points! I find I'm most productive after a 20 minute walk first thing in the morning followed by a coffee and a light breakfast. During the walk I think about my day and clear my mind. Honestly it helps the entire day, you are focused, you know what you are going to do and ready to work! It's not just about walking it's about focusing on what you want, away from distractions. Even during winter I still I highly recommend it. What I've found is unless you do it first thing in the morning the day goes on chances of doing it later are slim. Also what happens if you don't do it is, you get tied and need a lot more coffee during the day because your body never woke up from seeing natural sunlight and your body clock never started.