Your Attitude Matters. Even When Working Alone.*

Jul 31, 2014

Attitude is obviously an important factor when working with a team. Issues with attitude can come in many forms: rudeness, pessimism, unwillingness to adapt, and so on.

What’s less obvious is that attitude is just as crucial a factor in productivity when working completely alone on a project.

The Whole Team’s Problem

If you’re the only person working on the game – as is so often the case for beginning practice, small side projects, and artistic games for personal expression – then your mood is the mood of the entire development team.

If a game’s entire development team is feeling angry, is letting frustration overwhelm them, or simply stopped believing in the worth of what they were creating, we’d expect that to drag down the game being made.

If you’re working alone and are being unnecessarily hard for yourself to work with, that has to be remedied.

This might seem like a peculiar way of looking at it, but isn’t it much stranger to instead assume that the mood of the entire development team has no bearing on the work getting done?

Attitude’s a Key Ingredient

Regardless of how much talent, know-how, and time is available: if your attitude’s out of whack, the game won’t get done. If your attitude’s a bit better, the game may get done, but not as well nor as soon as it could be. If your attitude’s well-tuned, you can find yourself getting more done, at higher quality, and feeling better in the process.

On a team someone else is likely notice these kinds of issues and raise them as concerns to be addressed. What makes this sort of problem especially dangerous for lone developers is that it’s much more difficult to catch these in ourselves than it is for us to observe when they’re happening with others. The damage is still there but there’s no other perspective involved to help spot it.

Regardless of how much talent, know-how, and time is available: if your attitude’s out of whack, the game won’t get done.

Attitude is a broad word – on its own it’s no more specific than “disease.” Attitude issues are not confined to one kind of ailment, one set of symptoms, nor can it be fixed by one common solution.


If you feel like your body and mind are putting up resistance to what you’re trying to get done, that’s a signal that maybe something needs to change… (continued in ebook)

*This entry is now in the Videogame Developer’s Strategy Guide, available through membership in Gamkedo Club.

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