(IGMC related) How to survive a tight deadline?

Rhino

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A month to go. Attempting to make a complete game around an hour of competition-worthy playtime. How do you cope?

Do you have any tips on how you remember to look after yourself, take breaks, keep things fun instead of stressful?

I made the rash decision to enter yesterday afternoon, and since then I haven't been able to sleep and had a panic attack. Not the best start, but I'm hoping some time out for deep breathing will get me back on track. I'm not ready to give up yet even if this'll kill me (I fear it might.)
 

leenat40

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I really don't know myself. I have an idea and have done just 1 small map and 3 lines of dialogue in 2 days... Ouch
 

Bonkers

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It never kills anyone to try, but if you concerned about the long run just remember a few things from someone who's done this particular contest twice now.

1) You need to eat and sleep, don't forgo your usual routine and try to become a machine. It won't go well.
2) Make time to go walking outside, or to the store so you can change your scenery. You cannot exist in front of a screen for a month expecting work to get done simply because you've allocated time for it. Don't punish yourself if you don't have a productive day.
3) Outline, planning, and being able to adapt are the biggest assets. You will suffer setbacks, but you needn't suffer. Remember that if it hits the cutting room floor or the project changes it doesn't mean you've failed.
4) Emergencies happen, and during these sorts of deadlines you realize that you have priorities.

It isn't for everyone, but if you feel it's too daunting alone you can always team up with people. It's a big forum and you can find someone your comfort level to help keep the process engaging and pleasant.
 

Andar

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Plan and budget your time.

You want a game of one play hour, as that is the time allocated for the judges.
And that is not choosen for the judge, but because it is the maximum that can usually be achieved by a single person in a month. On average, one play hour needs 100 hours development time (although this depends on a lot of details and the real factor can be higher or lower for a specific game).

So time your game and story, reserving about 10-20 hours for overhead and basic databasing.
Then you know how much time you can spent on each part and know early when you're in danger of running out of time.
 

Rhino

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Thanks for your advice! :kaojoy:

I was going to wing it, but I think drawing up a schedule is probably a good idea. It's a structure and will hopefully make me feel less out of control. Will probably make sure I allow extra time for the unexpected set backs. It'd just be such a shame to come so far and miss the deadline by an oversight.

@leenat40 It's still early days. We can do this! :thumbsup-left: Hearing other people's progress in the thread is a bit more intimidating then it is motivating, but I guess we all have the area we start with and prioritise, so I'll try not to panic that I haven't even opened the editor yet.
 

Gin

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A month to go. Attempting to make a complete game around an hour of competition-worthy playtime.
@Rhino a complete game in a month is enough time, as long as you don´t overthink it.:popcorn:
Just remember that the only person you are competing against...is you! :unsure:
You have to know you´re strenghts, messure your flaws, and conquer your weknesses in order to make it worthy for you.:kiss:
We are our best moral compasses, and when you feel it´s good enough for you, then when people play it, they will feel all the love and comitment you put into it(trust me, even haters will gonna hate it with extra love...eheheh.):guffaw:
So, the rules to make an 1 hour game in one mounth are, as follow:
Rule number 1-Have fun with what you do.:cutesmile:

Rule number 2- Eat whatever your hearth feels like, but eat...(and trow in some fruit and veggies, cause those can never go wrong):popcorn:
Yes you can have chocolates too...>_>

But veggies and fruit, and soups are also cool.:p
Rule number 3-Sleep stress free and carelessly, sleep everywhere if you want(as long as it is safe to sleep in that place, of course)
...Or ou may wake up having to show some of your powerfull kung fu>_>
No more stress... Remember that you set you´re own goals and either you make them or you don´t for whichever reasons, everything will always be fine...:kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss:
 

Sharm

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My big rule is to start. It's easy to build things up in your mind or think you've got nothing creative to give but I've found that just doing something towards the goal, no matter how small, is often all you need to get past the feelings of worry and stress and lack of creativity. Blank pages are intimidating, you've gotta add something, anything, to make it not blank anymore.
 

Lihinel

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Don't survive, just die.
Then get resurrected.
The addition of brains in your new zombie diet might even help with the creative work.

If it makes you ill, drop your participation.
The secret to creative success is a very boring everyday life with many routines.
 

bgillisp

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My suggestion is to just try. I entered the 2014 IGMC with the intent of doing the best I can, and if I don't finish in time, I'm no worse off than I was before the contest started.

In fact, I had a couple setbacks in the 2014 IGMC. First, I heard of the contest 6 days late, so I was 6 days behind schedule when I started. Then, I scrapped my entire project on day 11 and started over. And, on day 14 my project crashed with those infamous errors as my project didn't save well the night before. But, I still got it entered in time. So plan for some setbacks, and BACK-UP your project!
 

Rhino

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@Gin Thanks for the Supernatural gifs. It's nostalgic to me, I feel better now :guffaw:

@bgillisp Yikes, I couldn't imagine starting over halfway through :kaoeh:

I think I should probably make a daily backup. My first build of the project had extreme lag just walking around a tiny map, and I have no idea what caused it. Luckily (?) I had nothing done so it was easy to just start from blank again.

I definitely agree with what Sharm says. Having an empty project is so scary. I can't do anything until I get my assets made though (curse my desire for a custom aesthetic... I think I'll end up with a 'pretty' boring result, but having something complete after so many years would be so nice)

Still not able to sleep, but haven't had another panic attack so I think that's a win :thumbsup-left: Trying to listen to everyone's advice about keeping a routine and not take myself so seriously. I hope this thread is helpful to other people who are stressing too. Let's take a deep breath and make something cool!
 
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bgillisp

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@Rhino : Well, two things made it survivable. I had already started over 5 days ago, so the amount of lost work was not as bad as it could have been. And...I managed to recover the project after redoing the first map. So it could have been much worse than it was.
 

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