I took on a Job. The Challenges of part-time Gamedev.


Additionally to my self-employment as an author/gamedev, I took on a job. Even though I could make a living, I did it barely for way too long and it was time to change some things to get more financial stability. It's nothing special, non-food retail, 30 hours a week (plus overtime - it varies from around 25 to 40 hours in any given week normally).

I started working at the company in July (actually at my birthday but I didn't mind it) and quite like it. You can learn a lot of things in retail (if you want to). One thing especially which was an eye-opener for me, is how much is decided in any given moment. I knew it in theory but seeing it everyday really changed my perspective. Does the customer buy something or not, do I get more paid overtime or somebody else, will a rule be enforced strictly or do they turn a blind eye, etcetera is decided in a matter of seconds.

I liked having the flexibility and time being self-employed and certainly this was a reason I avoided being an employee but the biggest thing I feared was loss of focus. Sometimes I doubted my fear and thought I was unreasonable but now I know, it is in fact a problem. Since July I continued doing game development but it often lacked the direction and vision needed. Sure, having less time doesn't help but it's absolutely the loss of focus which cripples the speed of development right now.
If you ever asked yourself why developers quit their jobs to pursue their dreams - it is the extra focus you get doing so and putting in a lot of extra hours if you have an idea and want to implement it immediately. You still can do it but doing an all-nighter when you need to get back to work in the morning is just not something I want to do.

And now? I think it will just take time to adjust to the new situation. There are thousands of developers who have a part-time or even full-time job aside of game development. But as long as I'm struggling I figured I just update my released games. Yesterday, The Blood Mage got a small update and will get another one very soon. Updating your existing games is something I value greatly and it's easy to incorporate into my daily life. It's normally not tied to a schedule since it only happens occasionally that a player asks for a change or mentions a bug and doesn't require the focus which is needed to create a vision for a big project like a game or book.

We will see what the future holds but I certainly want to release new games and I will figure out a way to do it.

Back to the Blog >