Before I started creating a game, I worked in politics. I started out as a researcher to a Member of Parliament, then I worked for the Electoral Commission and the (snappily titled) Local Government Boundary Commission for England. In my last job I was responsible for political engagement for Quakers in Britain. The point is, I know political legislation and I know project management, and I’ve been involved in many, many awareness-raising campaigns…but I’ve never actually dealt with physical components before.
Physical components add a whole new layer of complexity. Multiple authors writing a report? Oh yes, I’m very familiar with that. Graphic designers and artists using different software (with the obvious consequences)? Oh yes, that’s something I’ve seen! But things needing to be shipped? Storage which isn’t measured in bytes? Import tariffs? It’s all new.
Which brings me to my main thought. Timelines are different when there are physical components involved. There is more which is outside of your control. If I’m working on a website and I worry I might not make a deadline then I can sit up all night. (I don’t do that often – my motto is “panic early”!) With this game, there are many elements when that principle simply doesn’t apply. I can’t make a ship carrying my goods move any faster. I can’t make the printers print my goods faster.
So the timelines need to be longer. That extra day or too of breathing space needs to be an extra week or so. With physical components there are more ways in which delays can creep in, and fewer ways to speed up the process. And I have less control in general.
In summary…I still think we’re going to get Disarm the Base out in time for Christmas, but oh my it’s going to be tight.