We have now been working some 9 months on Together Alone. And although our todo list is still quite extensive, at least we now have a todo list! So the end is in sight. But as so often happens when a project gets near the end, I start “fixing” things. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but also not always that productive when you are trying to finish a project.
Whenever a project has a tight deadline you just start producing to get it done. During the project there is often not a lot of time to reflect on the quality of what you are doing. And just as often that’s a good thing! Looking back at your own work to learn from mistakes you made is always a good idea but doing so while you are still working on the project not as much. In my experience (or maybe that’s just me) you then keep going back to the stuff you already finished to keep fixing little things nobody would’ve noticed anyway without actually improving the end result.
In my actual day job I often find myself in that situation where you have just enough time to get something done. And funnily enough that often leads to most creative ideas. And even though afterwards you see things that could have gone better or you wished you had more time to polish some elements the end result often feels very satisfying. With a personal project like Together Alone, where you basically have all the time in the world, that feeling can very well be the exact opposite. Too much time to tweak and fix things you probably shouldn’t be fixing. After a bit you can only see the things that annoy you about a drawing or a design.
So, with Together Alone I really try to stop myself from going back to the artwork that is already finished. I don’t always succeed, but in general it goes quite well. What probably helps is that we keep pushing each other to get everything finished and working. And every now and then I try to work on something that isn’t directly related to the game to keep myself sane :-)
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