Marginal Sales vs. Marginal Effort
Is additional effort worth the additional sales?
20/80 Dev Time Rule
The final 20% of development takes as much as 80% of the total development time.
Dev Time Estimation Rule
Multiply your time estimates by 3 for a much more realistic picture of actual dev time.
Having a large number of ongoing occurrences beyond the initial spike (high standard deviation).
Illusion of Control
Overestimation of one’s ability to control activities or events.
Work expands to fill available time.
Assume failure then figure out how it happend. This is a method of risk identification.
The belief that one win will lead to another, or past failures necessitate more failure.
Product Life Cycle
How sales volume and customer characteristics change as a product ages.
Selecting a sub-optimal decision for the purpose of saving time.
Law of Small Numbers
Variability is high in small sample sizes.
Regression to the Mean
Over time, outcomes tend to average out.
The Experimental Approach
Tackle unknowns through designed experiments and analysis.
Success and Luck
Is success largely beyond our control?
Thinking in terms of the variability of outcomes rather than in discrete terms.
Cognitive Switching Penalty
The price you pay for multi-tasking.
The importance of developing backup plans, because things will go wrong.
The Toxicity of Long Hours
Mental degradation, inefficiencies and other ill effects from overwork.
The cost of what you are giving up when you make a decision involving scarce resources like time and money.
Tempering expectations to avoid hype and eventual disappointment. Important due to sensitivity to loss.
Exponential Effects of Scope Creep
How scope creep leads to exponential increases in dev time.
Existing beliefs create a feedback loop that reinforces the belief or influences its outcome.
Timmy, Johnny and Spike
Segmenting your target audience to better understand the breadth of user experiences and wants.
Contradiction of Passion
Many devs are inspired by passion for making games, but they need to make decisions dispassionately to be successful.
For 48 hour game jams spend the first 4 hours building the core mechanics and the next 44 on polish.