Do You Make False Savings?

By false savings I mean things that look like a good deal, but in the end they cost you a lot. False savings can be anything such as poor deals or using cheap labor just to notice that the level of quality is far from satisfactory. Here’s another example for making false savings: Not spending $5,000 on proper tools, but then wasting $50,000 (and lots of time) to hire a clueless guy.

That’s pretty common I think. Companies might be hesitant to get external consultant or perhaps hire an “expensive” short-term help, because they think it will be “too expensive”. Then they continue working the old ways, using the old tools just to realize they might have saved a lots of time by hiring somebody to aid them.

Many indies are also guilty of doing false savings. For example, they are hesitant to spend $100 to buying some art assets. Instead, they learn from the net (since it free, and ebooks might cost like $20 – after all, that’s like 4 meals at McDonalds) and spent months on learning how to do art. Then the worst element of the equation is that they work part time. Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply do one week more for contract work, and then use the salary to purchase those assets? It would have saved them a lots of time – and money in a long run.

How about you, are you making false savings?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Blueskied, by $100 I was actually thinking placeholder art package (for some reason that got to my mind first). Could have been clearer. “work one week more” I meant doing “contract work”… or working at “hamburger store” or whatever to earn some money.

    papamook: Heh :)

    Jake: that’s so true. Sometimes it might be question of “principle” though that might get us moving ;)

    dkah: that is a very good statement. Naturally if you just want to have fun working on the game, then it’s perfectly fine to do like that. Good point.

  2. You forget that most hobbyists, even if they are not clear on this consciously, do not have the goal to ship a game, but to make one. These teams seldom finish, because finishing is no fun, making is fun. Everybody in the industry knows, the last month(s) before a master are the hardest. The 20% nobody signed into. Where only bugs are fixed, nothing new made, ideas chocked for the good of the product, panic rises and it is no fun at all.
    Hobby teams often do not buy things, because they want to make them. Learn how to do them. That is the fun. It is the case with many hobbies. Making is important not finishing. That is the difference between professionals, even part-time ones, they want to finish and hobbyists, they want the ride.

  3. Here’s an example, switching bank or credit card or energy provider or insurance. Sometimes the saving really isn’t very much yet the admin required to do it is very time consuming and boring. Sometimes you are better of just working those hours instead and pocketing the extra cash, esp. if you are on a good hourly rate. e.g. you switch bank and make an extra £10 per year on Interest, yet that switch took you 2 hours and you get paid £30 per hour.

  4. i had a false-saving situation yesterday at the servo buying a snickers for a dollar, they offered me 2 for $1.50, obviously a saving there but I only wanted one snickers and yet i almost spent 50% more than I needed to

  5. For $100 you don’t get much art. You need to spend thousands of dollars for the graphics of a game, which i am planning to do for my upcoming game.
    What do you mean with ‘work one week more’ ?

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