Do Indies Crunch?

I happen to have a convenient two week block of spare time and a game that needs finishing. I plan on crunching.

But wait you say! Crunching is bad! Yes, I’ve heard that too – here’s a good article detailing why. I’ve also experienced the fun that crunching for a big publisher isn’t.  And yet, free of the shackles, I’ve got my Red Bull on my desk ready to go.

As an independent developer, you basically get to control your own destiny. You pick what game you make, the genre, the platform, the price point and even the release date. You don’t have a publisher breathing down your neck threatening to take away funding. On the other hand, you don’t have that funding to begin with. And you need to eat, so shipping isn’t really an optional part of the job. Crunching to get there is up to you.

My reason for crunching is obviously to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. But I also know that I can afford to take it relatively easy after this stretch. I figure that if I’m following agile methodology and sprinting all the time, shouldn’t I jog at some point? Maybe the interval training analogy is flimsier than I thought.

So indie developers, do you crunch? Why?

About Ben Kane
I'm a game developer with a heart of gold.

One Response to Do Indies Crunch?

  1. Hey Ben, we crunched before releasing Square Off to Dream Build Play ’09 and we crunched hard. Most of the art and gameplay code (not engine) was done in about 6 weeks. I think it was worthwhile (clearly it was since we made top 20). We had a strict deadline and really just had to cram in as many features as possible.

    To follow your analogy, that crunch was a sprint. Before and ever since it’s mostly been a gentle stroll with the odd jog thrown in (XBLIG update, WP7 release). It’s really hard to sustain anything more than a slow jog when it’s not your day job!

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