Monday, June 24, 2013

Organizing a Project, Part 1

Organizing a project can be mind numbing at times.  There is always more work than you expect.  I’m going to write about my process of organizing a project.  There is a lot of dysfunction in my process and get hung up on details that a better organized person would avoid.  If you’re planning to start a gaming project here are some things you might want to ask yourself.

How long will this project take?
More often than not it will take longer than expected.  I always think I’ll get something completed long before I do.  For some reason I can get 90% of a project done in good time, but that last 10% kicks my ass.  The better you plan ahead the quicker you can avoid the wall.

Do I have time to put into it now and if it goes over my expect time? 
This is a big one.  KickStarters suffer from this in epidemic proportions.  If you are brave enough to put a release date then you should do your best to keep it.  Gamers are pretty forgiving, but if you want people to take you seriously you should do your best.  If you’re late let them know.  For The Manor I never have release dates, but I always set a date in my mind.  I think I’ve hit one.

Do I have the resources to complete the project?
Resources can be money, people, equipment and/or time.  Most gaming products can be done on the computer with free programs, downloaded to POD service and you are good to roll.  If you are like me you’ll need to find someone to do art for you.  Proofreaders are gold.  Get a good one, get two if you can. 

Will I still be interested in this project weeks from now?
This one is huge.  Some projects sound like a fantastic idea and then when the grind to finish it begins, interest begins to wane.  Is this something you want to invest your time into?  Sacrificing some nights with the family, missing a few movies and if you think you can just crash on the couch and play Black Ops II then forget it.  The last one I have still not mastered.  It is a serious commitment.  So make sure what you’re going to do will keep your interest weeks on down the line.

Do you know where your project is going?
Meaning is this going to be a print or PDF product or both?  Which store you’ll use.  Do your homework.  A lot of them are similar, but there are enough difference in submission, payments and costs.  A little time up front looking at stores will save you problems later on.  Or maybe you’re going to keep it in house.


  1. Do you have enough beer for your project?

    Will this project cut into my drinking time?

    What about Pizza, what kind of pizza should I order for this project?

  2. Very, very sensible things to consider. It would save people a lot of wasted effort.

  3. Great questions to ask before tackling so many kinds of projects (and not just publishing projects).

  4. Advise: Don't try it all at once, break it down into easy steps soon done. And be sure to do a system reference document (SRD) as you write down the rules, that way you'll have something to consult when you forget stuff.