Learning from my mistakes L1 – Don’t Panic

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Hi, for those that don’t know, I’m Jon Hayward and I have made a LOT of mistakes. In fact the earliest blog post on this site (March of 2006) is not the earliest mistake I have made, no, that was far earlier. You see making mistakes is rather important, you learn from mistakes and if you’re smart, you don’t repeat the same mistake and you move on quite quickly. What my aim is to remark on some of the situations I have been in as a series of lessons, more for my own benefit but it may amuse you, the reader (yes you, that one guy, I know what you’re doing there).   And it’s also to assist with my own writing, I need to do it daily and often, but I promise no frequency. So with that said let us begin.

Lesson 1: Don’t Panic

Several years ago I met a guy on a forum who wanted to run a lan group south of the river here in Perth, he was pretty awesome, I started talking to him when I was in year 11 and in year 12 (2000) we started to run the event called Redflag Lanfest.  Now those were amusing years and I learnt a lot, but not as much as our very first lan.  Gareth, Fadi and I had spent quite some time colllecting the equipment, sorting out the hire of venue, tables, power and more and finally after a evening of sorting everything out we were about a hour until we were to open the doors Customized Inflatables.  Then my parents rocked up…

Now keep in mind that I was still in High School (and may be a unreliable narrator) but I was running around like a idiot from task to task, barely taking a breath.  Everything had to be done then and there and right that moment and right in the middle of it all my parents rock up to see how i’m going.  And suddenly I drop my brick of a mobile phone and kick it across the floor, it spins several times, hits a couple of trestle legs in the admin area and comes to a halt.  I pull myself back up and my father pointed out to me that I shouldn’t be rushing, what needs to be done will be done in due time and running around like a maniac doesn’t change that.

I now look back at that memory and identify it as having significance, it was when I learned the appropriate time to panic.  And you want to know the big secret about that?  I have not found a moment when panicking helped.  What happens will happen and as long as you do everything within your power to make ‘it’ happen everything will be ok (learning to let things go will be covered in a future post).  Since that moment I have found my capacity to handle multiple concurrent tasks has increased, I can’t do anymore than one task at a time but I can handle tasks from several projects and keep em in my head, or better yet in project tracking software.  Keeping a cool level head is important in everything you do.

How does this all relate back to Games Development?  It’s more of a life lesson but one that does pertain to my projects quite well, plus I wanted to start with my first mistake in indie game development -_^

p.s: apologies to Douglas Adams