producing PRODUCER 2021

08 - the week of september

I’ve never stated it directly, but I was trying to finish Producer by the end of September. This would have given me all of October to fix bugs, polish details and prepare the marketing.


September is over and Producer isn’t finished.

I genuinely tried though. It’s been a brutal week of cutting and cauterising. Whole areas and NPCs were removed. Fleshing them out would have been unfeasible. I believe that the freed-up time has been spent well.

I’ve spent a lot of time on deepening the connections between the different acts, adding bespoke reactivity and reworking the semi-systems. The main accumulative variable function has seen a final, radical overhaul. I am very proud of it now. It not only reacts to your accumulative decisions, but also knows about your current trajectory.

I’ve formalised a lot of the patterns that suit my strange narrative framework. I’ve learned a lot about using insinuation and callbacks to connect characters and concepts without calling for additional code.

I’ve written a lot of prose this week. It’s been fun, but I’m also afraid it reveals too much about who I am deep inside. I guess that’s good. I’ve tried to write in ways that create very funny single screenshots, hoping that people will share them on social media and stuff. This is how marketing affects development.

I’m going to give a very short talk about Producer at a local meetup next week. Thinking about what I’m going to say has given me a new perspective on the game and my work. After 3 months, this has been very welcome.

Nevertheless, I have to finish the game in October. I also have to do some playtesting. And prepare the marketing. And a lot of other things.

This last week has shown me that I can do it, as long as I actually, genuinely try to finish.

It’s been more than a year of Producer by now. As usual, only very little of that time has been spent on trying to finish the game. Most of it was idle exploration. Lazy daydreaming through code. Endless iteration over the same three details.

This highly iterative phase of hopes and dreams appears to be a necessary part of my creative process, but there is a crucial point where it turns to procrastination. Beyond that point, I’m actively delaying the work because I’m afraid of what’ll have to be cut to get it done.

Now, as I look back on a whole month of relatively ruthless culling, I feel like a weight has been removed from my shoulders. I’m looking forward to flesh out the scenes that are left. I’m excited to add finishing touches to the artwork. I can’t wait for next week.

Making games is hard, but DAMM. It’s a lot of fun as well.

It’s been a very busy September.
It’s going to be an even busier October.
I’m very happy that I get to do this.


PRODUCER 2021 on Steam