Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why Am I YouTubing An Entire Game Development Project?

For a few weeks now I've been posting new episodes of a YouTube series I've been doing this month called Let's Make A Game. Now that I'm most of the way through the project, I wanted to think a bit about why I'm doing this, what I think people might get out of the videos, and what I hope to get out of it for myself. The best way I know to do that reflection is to write about it, and to share those thoughts.

So, Why am I YouTubing an entire game development project? Why would I put myself out there so publicly for anyone and everyone to look over my shoulder for twenty-five straight hours as I stumble, typo, and mistake my way through a skill I'm still learning and still very green on? And, why exactly would I think anyone cares enough to watch me code, mostly in silence, for twenty-five hours?

Why would anyone care to watch?

The truth is, I don't really expect anyone to. And that's okay. Part of this project required that I be okay with my own definition of success. So far, I have gotten some people watching the videos. I don't know if anyone will continue to watch more of them, and I'm positive that no one will watch all 25 episodes. But that's okay.

Maybe some people are just curious. Or, maybe someone will just be energized by the idea of someone doing this, even if they don't care to site through the whole thing. I'm sure everyone has better things to do with their time than watch me code for over a full day.

But, watching me code isn't actually the point.

Why do this when I'm not very good at it yet?

Because I'm trying to better. Of course, that's a very shortened answer. I hope that the process makes me better about scheduling. I want to practice this sort of video creation, because maybe I'll do more of it when I'm better at this in the future, and I want to know what I'm doing so I can produce semi-decent videos when they actually have good content.

Why do this in the first place?


The genesis of the project wasn't actually a desire to share any part of the process at all, though I consider that a fun plus. Instead, it was entirely for myself. I've been doing this One Game A Month thing for a few months now, the goal being to release one game a month of any quality or scope, and its gone well. But, I realized, I don't really know what's going into these projects. Sure I released one a month for about three months, but I don't know how much time I was actually working on each of them.

The episodic nature of the video series was a good opportunity to do one of these projects in a rigid time-box that I could track, document, and scope within to both practice and observe how I'm able to estimate what I can complete and what I can accomplish in a specific number of hours.

Hopefully this will feed back into my ability to plan these projects, and larger ones.

What's next? Will I do more?

I'm sure I'll do more video content about game development, but I'm just as sure that it won't be in this format. It has been very demanding, to be honest. Later, I might look at a series of Unity tip videos, for example. And in 2017 I hope to work on larger projects, putting a lot more time into them. But this video project has been a big time sink. I spend a lot more than an hour making each one-hour episode!

It has definitely been worth it, but I'm looking forward to wrapping it up.

If you found this post interesting, you can find all the episodes at my Let's Make A Game playlist.

1 comment:

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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