There were a lot of actions ongoing the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately they weren’t related to the development of Timbertales, at least not directly. Today I want to introduce my new office and my daily business. With the beginning of 2017 I am finished with freelancing and working full time again on Timbertales. It is time for some insights of my daily business!
The new Office
I always wanted to have an external office, because working at home can be very hard and challenging. So I decided to rent an office after 1 year of developing at home. This was quite a hard time. I had to stay motivated and disciplined all the time. Working in my gaming room was another challenge. Nevertheless I am quite happy with my productivity level I could keep up. But as I said I always wanted to split up private and business concerns.
So lets talk about the new office I have about 13 square meters with 2 desks, printer, WiFi, 2 racks and my task board. The office is about 10 minutes from my house away by car. The cool thing about the office complex, where the office is located, is I can use the conference rooms, if I need to. There is also a kitchen for coffee or tea. At the entrance is a receptionist for daily post. After one week of working in the new office I am pretty sure, that it was the right decision and I can increase my productivity here.
I absolutely love to sleep, so I normally start my day around 10-11. After my morning routine I usually drive by car to the new office and start working. This includes developing, planing, marketing and of course paperwork. As game developer I always try to have as much time as possible for developing, but this is quite hard sometimes. Even for a one man company there is a little bit of paperwork to do and I am quite good in shifting paperwork until critical deadlines.
I always try to reserve some hours at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day for marketing or paperwork. This allows me to develop in one time block. With the start of the new year I also try to keep track of my time spending for everything as strict as possible to identify where I am wasting the most. When I leave the office in the evening around 20-22 usually everyone else in the complex gone since hours. After the dinner I usually play Xbox or PC. At the moment I am playing Van Helsing II a lot:)
Agile development process
For developing itself I use some kind of an agile approach. I have two task boards a digital and an analog one. The digital task board is managed by PivotalTracker, I like this tool very much and it is free for small usage. There I keep track of all my stories and tasks for the releases. Also the backlog is handled there. After I prioritized my task I sync them manually to cards and pin them on my analog magnet board. During the day I completely work with the magnet task board and sync the digital one as my last task of the day. I am quite happy with this approach for daily tasks so far. For my road map I use a standard calendar and spreadsheets. Game design and balancing is usually also done on spreadsheets.
This week I removed the registration process and made the game more accessible. After the installation you will just have to choose a nickname. If you want to restore or backup your account you should connect it with Facebook or google play service through the account settings. With this step I hope to get more player in the game and receive more feedback about the game. Earlier I lost a lot of players within the registration process.
The next step is to rework the premium system. My idea is just having one place to exchange money for in game currency. Every spending option in the game will be available for in game currency. You will be able to earn in game currency by playing as well. So the whole buying process is just optional and shouldn’t be a requirement at any time! Also every premium option is only an entrance, unlocking or cosmetic change it will never effect the game play itself. The new version is scheduled for the end of the next week. So don’t miss to sign up: Timbertales – Beta