Going For It–Errors of Commission versus errors of Omission, and lowering the cost of failure


Mech Retriever Dev Blog


Greetings! As I’m working through implementing the code of Mech Retriever, I’m reflecting back on how far it has come. Almost two years ago it was a feeling that a game like it should exist, a feeling that overtook me while I was floating down the river with my buddies, some of whom are on the team right now.

The feeling that it should exist was quickly replaced with a feeling of adrenaline and the feeling that it *could* exist…And even though had just had a vague, high-level idea, I went for it. So much has changed and unfolded since then, but the core principle of a “Mech-Building Game” has remained. And I’m glad I’ve gone for it, even with everything I had to learn and keep fixing.

It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to have all your ducks lined up before trying something, and to worry about failure. But while some amount of planning is necessary, it’s important to go after things and try. You’ll fail and you’ll learn and you’ll be successful sometimes, and the more you stick with it the more successful you’ll be. They say people don’t regret the things they did nearly as much as the things they didn’t do.

One favor you can do yourself though is to lower the cost of failure. Try to do things incrementally, a little each day, and be flexible to changing things quickly and evolving. In practical coding terms, this means use source control, unit tests, and short iterations of feature development instead of long-winded changes. In game design/test terms, it can mean not printing out nice cards and just using scrawled-on index cards for a while until you’ve tested the mechanics of your game painstakingly.

Got an idea? Go for it, and keep failure cheap so you fail and learn and evolve often. Happy creating!

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