What To Do? I’m In The Zone But It’s Midnight

Seriously. I started updating gameplay design after 21 o’clock (had couple of short tweeting breaks) or so and noticed few minutes ago that it’s 23:42 (this is a scheduled post by the way), and that I’ve done great progress in writing the gameplay doc.

I started to wonder what I should do. I know that our baby will wake up early, and I need sleep. Thus, I’m checking the clock and thinking if I should stop writing (even though I feel “all the pieces are coming together great and writing the design doc just flows!”) since tomorrow will be hell if I stay up too late.

Now I’m writing these thoughts on my blog and I’m being afraid that I might lose my momentum on the gameplay design area.


Here’s what I will do: I will continue 30 more minutes. I will write rest of my ideas down (I think I’m getting near the “end” for today anyway) and will head to bed after that.

I’ll schedule this post to appear after some hours – and I’ll be at sleep while you guys comment (so that I won’t spend any more time on updating this blog and commenting your comments).

What would have you done?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I would give some more time to write down the ideas and thoughts that seem most important and rare (meaning the have smaller chance of showing up in my head), briefly mention some of the less important stuff and then go to sleep.

    One thing I really noticed is that at evening, something might seem like awesome idea and great design decision, but in the morning (or few days later) you’ll see all the flaws and problems that come with that idea/design. That means there’s no point in writing it all down to tiny details as soon as the idea visits me.

  2. Nice to hear these comments. The fact is that our baby will wake up around 6-9 and keep everybody up :) (well, sometimes at least).

    And I know the next day will be crappy if I feel tired.

    Thus… I actually was pleased about my plan. I continued about 27 minutes, and started to feel tired… and end of zone anyway. So, it was good half an hour, and also got enuf sleep.

    Best of the both worlds I’d say.

  3. One thing to consider is advise from Ernest Hemingway:
    “You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again.”

  4. Carried on and regretted it the day afterwards. I always do that otherwise I just roll around in bed unable to sleep due to the mental energy and I none of the work is done.

  5. yeah well I agree. I also prefer to work at night. You gotta use your flow and in the night nobody disturbs you(maybe also a reason why we prefer to work at night)?.
    But anyone of you having issues with people saying ‘decent people don’t sleep till 11’ or something?

  6. I’m wondering why writing games works that well at night while it takes some willpower to get it running during the day. Most coders I know personally are night owls.

  7. ++ on the above comment, if you don’t have to get up early, and you don’t have a wife bitch’en at you to go to bed, and you are on a roll in the zone, roll till it peters out man.

  8. Unless I NEED to be up in the morning, I just keep on working. Killing your productivity when it is going strong has never ended well for me.

  9. Does anyone else find that work from home game making completely destroys your regular sleep schedule?

    Of course, babies will do that too, but it seems that having a ‘day job’ was the only thing that kept me awake in the mornings. (not that I miss waking up at 5am)

    @Juuso – were it me, I would scribble down stuff like a madman. I usually write down game ideas before bed anyway, I find it helps me sleep. (just don’t code! that’ll keep you up) Hope that helps!

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