I am simply exhausted when I read about a developer who received funding for their game 6 months ago, but claim, "I have been working on this game for over a decade!" I am annoyed with the authors who throw out useless information, "I care so much about the feature that I worked on it for 2 months!"
How is this useful? Why even say these things? Sure, in a personal interview I want you to express your feelings about how much devotion you have to the idea. However, it can often confuse readers, amateurs, or people like me who love knowing these tiny pieces of data. What does "2 months" mean? Are you exaggerating, or insinuating exclusive devotion to that feature? If you aren't exaggerating, then why would anyone but a fool devote 2 months to such a small task? Don't all the professional developers constantly warn us about avoiding time traps and focusing too much on something which doesn't need work?
How often do I read on this very website, that the "biggest mistake" was to put too much time into something that produced too little results?
However, I don't want to be a hypocrite. Part of my annoyance is the fact that like the majority of humanity, I have done this as well. "I have been working on my game for almost 4 years now!" Eventually, I felt like I was lying to people when I said it. Embarassed, I would follow-up with, "Well, 1 year of just idea development, 1 year of learning and developing game artwork, and 1 year of learning to program on a more advanced level. Oh, and there was the 6 month break I had. Oh, and this ranges from 0 hour per day to 18 hours straight, depending on the time. Oh god, why am I still talking!?!? Just Run Ronny, Just Run! No....hit them with the shovel! You can't be embarassed if they're DEAD!"
My biggest problem in programming my game, is time management. I either don't put enough time into development by sitting down to focus, or I spend too much time on something that won't produce any real results. For example, writing this blog about how I'm going to program, instead of actually programming.
Two Birds with One Stone. A simple program I can tap on my tablet, to keep track of how much time I'm spending actually developing my game. This same program can double as a way to keep track of how long each feature takes me. Well, perhaps I won't be able to find one that awesome on my tablet, but I already found one for the PC I do all my work on. By my game's completion, I can give EXACT numbers.
Imagine this to be a standard in the indie scene. Real Scientific Data. Useful Information. It may not be the most useful given the variation of different developer's abilities and work speed, but it couldn't hurt. It is also a measurement of one's own efficiency. It is a way to make yourself a better developer, and finish your game on time.
Want to help the newbies, because you were just recently one before completing your game? Tell them what your skill level was before you started your game, and then devulge exactly how long it took you to make your game, along with a fancy spreadsheet with details on what features were the quickest to resolve, and what took the most time to do. Tell them your biggest inefficiency with your time, and how you were effieinct in your best areas.
This puts a digital, even scientific meaning to the old addage of "punching the time clock".