I’ve set myself a deadline to publish Dead Wake in approximately two weeks, and this morning I was pondering how good it is to have a set deadline. I’ve touched this subject earlier (check out for example these articles: establishing a deadline is pretty easy, deadlines are not evil and 21 things that will help you finish your game), and I think that deadlines can be a good, positive force that will help you accomplish more.
There’s couple of things where I perhaps wouldn’t use deadlines, or at least feel they aren’t so effective:
- When setting some highly unsure point at very far from the future (“our game is completed in year 2015” – who cares? Instead one could try break this deadline into series of deadlines)
- When setting an impossible deadline, it serves no point (“our game will be published in 3 month with all these features – and much more than guys can handle – and we have these resources and won’t get any more help and we’ve already promised this to the press, so start working!”)
I seriously think that one of the practices that has helped me with the Dead Wake project has been establishing small approximately bi-monthly deadlines. Sometime I’ve missed the deadline, and sometimes there wasn’t everything I wanted – but it has still been a good motivator to have deadlines.
I know we all hated deadlines when in school we were forced to deliver essays at a set date… and I know it might seem that it would feel so good to go without a deadline, but I really think we gotta consider using deadlines. If somebody isn’t setting us deadlines, we should take action and set a deadline for ourselves.
Everybody knows we are lazy bastards, so it’s better to set us a deadline and start whipping ourselves a bit.