Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Curt Schilling .38 Studios story hurts me

I was a big fan of Curt Schilling as a baseball player after the 2004 baseball season, when he pitched with a safety pin holding a tendon in place on the mound.  Great grit and determination.  Which is something I understand.

Unfortunately, he decided to get involved in something that looks easy, but is not--namely, making video games.  As you may know from reading this, I spent about $60k of my own money and some years of my life making my own video game, which, while a bit rough--EXISTS.  I just wish I could market it....

See, this is the key thing people don't understand about software development.  Finishing.  Either you can finish a software project, or you can't.  Most people can't.  Most software companies can't.  And video games are some of the most difficult, challenging software projects you can do.

It looks like fun, and it is fun to play, but it takes an unbelievable amount of work, skill and management capability to make it happen.  The fact of the matter is that most software companies suck.  Either they are run by salesmen (or baseball players) who simply have no understanding of what they have taken on, or they are run by programmers who are convinced they know everything--when they don't.  There is a very small subset of people in this world who can manage a programming project with competence.

And indeed--if you can't manage yourself, how can you possibly expect to manage a team?

They key is finishing.  At every step along the way you have to be asking yourself, "is what I'm doing right now going to help lead directly to finishing the project."  And when you have a team, that applies to every member.

Not to mention that you need to have a fairly deep understanding of the technology involved.  It ain't point and click, by a long ways.

Curt, what would you say if I showed up at the Red Sox training camp to try out, when I'm overweight, 41, and never played organized baseball?  Good Lord, dude.

But I'll be the first to concede that one of my great motivators was all the people telling me that I was quite mad taking on a full featured multiplayer first person shooter on my own, that it couldn't be done.

Well, go play it mother fucker.

Just good luck finding someone to play with, since nobody knows about it! lol oh the pain...what I could have done with that $50 million.  We'd have 50 games, Curt!

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