Saturday, 13 October 2012

How long does a project take, and why?

I've been thinking about how long some of my projects take, and why - not sure if this is of interest to anyone else, but what the hell!

Project           Start "Concept/Hoarding Phase"          Start Terrain/Figures          Completion
Aliens              April 2010                                          June 2010                         est.2014
BF:BC2           May 2010                                          July 2010                          April 2011
BSG                August 2010                                       Feb 2011                          est.2014
Star Wars        Dec 2010                                           ...                                      ...
Vietnam           April 2011                                          May 2011                         scrapped/on hold
WW1 Fy         Sept 2011                                           Sep 2011                          April 2012
Planet of Apes Aug 2012                                            Sep 2012                          Aiming for Apr 2013
"next" project   May 2012                                           ...                                      est. 2015


1) I have a lot of projects (some might say too many!)

2) Concept/Hoarding Phase - Typically the concept/hoarding phase lasts for 2-3 months before I begin to physically start work on the project.  The exception is Star Wars where i've been stuck in a rut - part of this is that i can't decide if i want the game to look like a mass skirmish or try something different with the basing - this will drive the figures/terrain, and until i'm happy with that its still bubbling away.  The "next" project intentionally has a longer planned hoarding phase as the items I need for it are harder to get hold of - posting about it now would actually probably make it harder to get hold of what I need....  This phase starts with scribbling down a few ideas about what the table will look like, and how I want the game to flow (the actual rules dont need to be written, but i do need an idea of the game dynamic).  Hoarding generally involves scouring the net, fleabay and hobby forums for whatever I need - as most of my projects aren't necessarily mainstream the figures/terrain is sometimes harder to acquire.

3) Motivation - The two projects i've completed were both for Salute - my motivation was simple, fear of failure!  Once i've agreed to host a game (tables are booked in October) I don't want to let anyone down, so the project has to get done.  On the plus side, the new planet of the apes project will be for Salute 2013, so this should progress quickly.  All of my projects typically get a playlist of music/films/books that keep me motivated while im working on them, so really its having a deadline that provides me with focus - that and swopping between them now and again to stay fresh.  The Vietnam project is on hold as I scrapped the terrain - I wasn't happy with how it was going, so i'm going back to my original concept to have a rethink.

4) Sprint vs Marathon - I've been happy for BSG/Aliens to progress more slowly - I don't want to rush either of these and am happy to take my time over these.  Aliens is now back on course after sorting out my terrain, but both will take years to finish (and hopefully be worth the effort).  Having other faster paced projects means i don't feel the need to rush these two, as i've got other games I can play in the meantime.

I've probably got a couple more ideas that could fit into the "concept/hoarding" phase but i'm trying to hold off on spending cash on them, on the basis that i've got a finite amount of cash, and other more pressing needs!