SAGE 2021

SAGE 2021 is here!

(Episode 2 Poster/Titlescreen by sqrly jack)

And since this is a full on blog and not just like a Twitter account, or whatever, let's have a little more in-depth look into what this release was like.

I started this year thinking I'd somehow magically be able to pump out not one, but two full missions (one being optional), an entire optional area of the Great Forest that lead to this optional mission, and optional sneak challenge maps where you can find junk parts and other secret items (If you enter Robotropolis outside a mission context)-- oh-- and of course another run level with new mechanics.

This would of course have been on top of everything that actually released in episode 2!

Now in some cases folks who work on side projects like this would delay their release in order to get that extra content out... maybe that delay would last a whole other year. As the delay increases, the felt sense of pressure for your release to be extra amazing also increases! This psychological, self-inflicted form of "debt", in my view, is what can kill even the best projects. That's a big reason as to why I split Sonic RPG into episodic releases, and it's a big reason as to why I never do waterfall style planning (e.g. you plan everything you are going to do ahead of implementing it).

You need that extra flexibility, in my view, not only to release something on time, but to refocus the sum of your efforts on polishing and building on whatever it is that is feeling really great in your particular project.

In agile style planning you have three different knobs to turn. You can either change your release date, change your project scope, or increase the number of people working on the project. And given that we're talking about non-profit fan projects here, increasing the number of people is not super likely (at least not reliably), what I'm suggesting is that you consider changing your scope before you consider changing your release date. Hitting release dates is good for motivation and when you're working on a big side project, motivation is everything.


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