What do IndieDev Side Projects Cost Us?

IndieDev Side Projects

If there’e one thing I’ve struggled with lately of being an IndieDev, it’s getting sidetracked.  Side projects can both refresh us from our main job, or be unfruitful distractions.  I tried to figure out what category my latest distraction is in.

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My Most Recent Distraction

Since Early November 2014, I’d been in a bit of a rut.  I realized that my game, The Valley, was too big.  I blew up my own expectations of it, and my own high standards to make a game that is monstrously too big for me to handle anymore.

So I dropped it, again, and decided to focus on a side project.

I made a web app for the game League of Legends.   I distracted myself by creating a spreadsheet of the same thing a year earlier.

This time around, in an effort to know whether this side project was a waste of time, I decided to list some pros and cons.

What I Lost

  • This distractions lost my momentum in, The Valley.
  • I lost my routines and schedules that I’d created for staying organized.
  • I stopped doing art.
  • I lost 2 months of development time.
  • I played more video games to test it out (time wasted?)

What I Gained

  • I played more video games to test it out (time wasted?)
  • I learned AngularJS, a form of Java and I improved my skills at HTML and CSS.
  •  Prior to my break, I started to take more art tutorials in the belief that I wanted to focus more on concept art (Here’s my results).  What I’ve found is that I really just want to make the game and be the designer instead of just the artist.
  • I practiced actually completing something.  I mean, I felt like giving up on that app too, but I finally completed it a week later than I thought it would take, but it’s done.
  • I get to practice another chance of getting back up.

Un / Pleasantly Distracted

From what I read on forums and social media, Side Projects are a common IndieDev issue.

While I can’t change the past two months, I can learn from them, and go forward from here.

Have you been distracted before?  What did you learn from the experience?  Leave your answer in the comments below.