How I Organize Projects as an Indie Developer

When I was in elementary school, I had a reputation for being completely disorganized. Homework assignments were often lost or forgotten because they were swallowed by the dark abyss that was my backpack. Efforts were made by my teachers and parents to improve things, but sadly, progress from age 6 through 18 was not substantial.  Let’s also just say that I wasn’t the ideal college student.  I found a sanctuary in my first real post-college job as a web programmer at a small firm.  Because all the organization was done by the project manager, all I had to do was execute. It was simple and beautiful.

This all changed in 2002, when I got an offer to switch careers into something I had dreamed about doing since I was a kid: making video game soundtracks.  I took on my first ever paid gigs, with Amaze Entertainment, doing all music and sound effects for both Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets GBC, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers GBA.  Now, I was responsible for everything: making my own hours, choosing how to spend my time, problem solving at the project level. As a contractor, I was on my own. And it started out great… I remember the teams being impressed with my first couple audio deliveries. The work was steady but not overwhelming… at first.

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It’s Like an Online Notepad

Windows Notepad has always been my favorite tool for organizing projects and tasks.  And just today I discovered Simplenote, which is essentially a cloud-hosted, searchable and taggable collection of plain text documents.  There is a free plan with minimal ads, and the iPhone app is free.  So far I am loving it.   Will report back after a couple weeks of using it to see how it stacks up.

Used the Email Game Today

This is the perfect tool for an indie developer completely consumed in the final stage of a project, whose inbox has reached epic proportions.  I used the Email Game today and cleared half the inbox in about 20 minutes, not bad…  amazing what happens when you’re on the clock.

At the time of this writing, they have a default signature that includes a link to their site, which I had to remove.  Other than that it was a cool experience and I’ll try it again tomorrow.

Yes, Another Writing Book-Related Post

Yet another awesome Kindle book, Robert’s Rules of Writing, has given me this:

RULE 16. Write What You Read.

Basically, look at your bookshelf and your bedside table.  This is the type of stuff you know best, love best, and can write best.

If you look at my game library, the only puzzle platformers you’ll find are Braid and Limbo.  No wonder Escape Goat is taking way longer than I expected to finsh.