You Are The Key, Man

If you’re going to start any media project be it a game, a movie, a website… you must first realize that simply being the “organizer” of the project is not enough to see it to the finish line, unless you have a lot of money, or endless time (and people) to go through.

The concept of the “key man” is something not really spoken of outside of insurance…but it’s essentially someone who if they were to get hurt, injured, or leave, it would crush that business. The smaller the business, the more important the key person becomes. We insure this person in a business because without them, there isn’t a business.

If you are running your project on a shoestring budget, or between friends, it is very important that if you want to be the leader, you also be someone the project cannot come to fruition without. It is not enough to have good ideas or be able to bring people together, you have to be able to build and fly the ship yourself as chances are, it’s going to be you flying solo most of the time.

You have to be that key person, on at least some of your projects.

You can’t be sure anyone else will take anything to completion, you can be sure your likelihood of sticking with it. If you don’t have money, you have to lead by example.

If you don’t have a skill in something, start with a project where attaining that skill is within your reach. You could write a visual novel and pay piece by piece for the art, make a game with simple art (yes simpler than the default sprites) in RPG maker, Learn programming and share your creations. Simply put, if you need 2 people minimum to make something, and you’re not really one of them, you need to lower your expectations or get better at your craft.

With any skill you will have to play the long game before it becomes a viable “job” and while it doesn’t hurt to work with others, always set aside time for you to build yourself up as an an independent designer who can bring a product to market on their own. This also helps when working with a team, as they know that it’s getting done with or without them, so it’s best they stick around and enjoy the fruits when it is done.

You will always be the key to your own success.

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