Making Pie: documenting the making of an indie game Pt. 2

“In order to make an apple pie, you must first invent the universe.” (Misquote of Carl Sagan)

This is a continuing series about all the things that go into making an indie game, from the universe up.

Something I wasn’t expecting to learn when starting this project was management. Three very different people are coming together to try and create a huge project over a long period of time. For a team that is working on a totally digital product, there is a huge amount of squishy, unsettling, distinctly organic work to do.

For example: Code Monkey needs X Muguffins from Art Monkey before he can do anything more. Art Monkey does not understand this. Art Monkey cannot understand this. His simple, creative brain does not grasp Code Monkeys finely choreographed and mathematical interpretive dance explaining this necessity. Art Monkey goes back to the (in his view) more important and immediate task of improving his crude scratchings, and devouring ticks he has picked off himself.

If Code Monkey does the obvious thing and starts hooting and throwing dung at Art Monkey, it may goad Art Monkey into creating the Muguffins, but it will hurt AM’s feelings, resulting in less overall productivity, and may just result in a giant poop flinging monkey fight.

On the other hand, if everyone is working together, fulfilling their role as necessary we can be a finely tuned machine, like a well balanced dungeoneering group. Doing this well is very hard. It involves interpersonal skills, communication skills, organizing skills, a good grasp of the nature of the project, and of projects in general. I’m sure it involves many other things that I am not aware of, because I am, in fact, not a star project manager entrepreneur billionaire philanthropist playboy.

Unless your considering hiring me. Then I’m totally all of those things.

-I Out

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