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Coding At Five in the Morning
by Scott Macmillan on 11/20/12 11:23:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


(Reposted from

Since my last update, progress was slow for a while.  Life took a hectic turn in general, but the real killer was the time shift at the end of daylight savings.  Previously, I could get up at 5am and know I had until at least 6am - maybe 7am - to work.  The time shift simultaneously had the kids waking up earlier and me being more tired when they did.  That took a good couple weeks to sort out, but happily things are now starting to work better.  By which I mean, I'm getting work done.

These mornings look like this:

  • ~5am: Our younger of the two children, Tamsin, wakes up and starts fussing.
  • I get up, get dressed, and take her into the living room.  She gets toys and a playmat, I get a Macbook Pro.  We both get to work.
  • Between 6am and 7am: Peter wakes up.  I get him set up with something he can do with minimal supervision, and get some more work in.
  • 7am: I wake up my wife, and we get going on the day.

This usually has me off and at work between 9 and 9:30am.

There are also the odd evenings where I work, but this arrangement allows me to mostly reserve that time for everything else - spending time with my wife, household responsibilities, and whatever else comes along.  It's a big relief not being forced to decide between those things and game development on a regular basis.

During these sessions, I've been working on two projects - Project Quigley, and a small game I'm making for Peter for Christmas.  Peter is a big fan of double decker busses, and I'm making him a simple Unity game where a tap will move the bus, and it loads and unloads passengers.  Since that is coming along well, I'll soon be switching the majority of my attention back to Quigley.  I'll have more to say about the bus game soon - there's a chance it will get proper art and sound and go up in the App Store.

Quigley is at a point where I'm putting out the short vision doc I have for it out to some designer friends and soliciting feedback.  Simultaneously, I'm starting work on some low-level level features I'll need for the game.  First up is the 2d map, which we'll be coating in Angband tiles.

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Luis Guimaraes
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Best time of the day to work, somehow you work 3 hours producing a lot of stuff, and then when you look at the clock, it's only 30 minutes passed. The total opposite of working in the afternoon. But only if you wake up early, overnighting doesn't carry the same effects.

Peter Eisenmann
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You're my hero! Seriously, everyone squeezing daily work, family life and two game projects into a 24 hour day, deserves respect.

Scott Macmillan
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Hah, thanks, Peter! My bleary 5am self appreciates the thought.