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Development Diary 6- Mental Risk Management

by Daniel Bishop on 04/30/13 09:02:00 pm

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.


(Update, a playable prototype of my game is now available at please check it out and offer any feedback you might have. Thank you!)

It is one month before I am planning to press the go button on my Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make Necromancer, The Fight For Life as professional as possible. I hope I can produce a quality product, release something that people will enjoy, and do justice to the vision I have for the game.

I spend a lot of time on Kickstarter, attempting to see what makes certain campaigns successful and others not. Trying to determine what I need to bring to the table has definitely been useful in shaping my project.


Radio The Universe, a recently successful one-man video game project, made over $80,000, originally had a goal of $12,000.

Of course i have insecurities and doubts- I worry that each week Kickstarter is becoming more crowded with high quality game projects and that mine will become lost in obscurity. I worry that people won't believe that I can complete the game to a good standard. I worry that I will somehow fail to accurately get across on Kickstarter my vision for the game.

But when doubts creep in the periphery of my mind's eye, I turn to my nerd roots and remember the lessons that Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic Dune taught me as a young boy-

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

It takes a certain childhood to feel comfortable taking

 life lessons from a man dressed like this


I still try to hold that true now; the mind is a fragile thing, and the worst, most meaningless defeat will be to let my own worries and insecurities paralyze me into inaction. If I give my fears too much head space, I risk abandoning the project altogether.

I may jokingly refer to it as naivety, but ignoring potential negative outcomes is sometimes necessary to keep calm and carry on. But overcoming risks by properly acknowledging them and planning for them is also extremely important. It is a difficult skill to only let risk occupy the logical part of the brain and none of the emotional (as much as possible), but getting better at it is a great skill to develop, especially for creative projects.



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