I've written a transcript of this video because it's all getting too much - it's hilarious. Hopefully we can dissect his arguments for any new people that come across the thread.
"Let's talk about the speed of Yandere Simulator's development, the obstacles that are slowing down development, and potential solutions that could speed things up.
First, I'll describe how game development works at a company with dozens of employees. At a big game company there is a team of artists, a team of animators, a team of modellers, etc. The lead artist is in-charge of all of the artists, the lead animator is in-charge of all of the animators, the leader modeller is in-charge of all the modellers and so on. The leads receive instructions from the directors, producers and managers. A lead’s job description looks like this. They are responsible for ensuring that their team produces high-quality assets, helping different teams communicate, predicting future obstacles, finding solutions for any problems that come up and, generally, keeping everything on schedule.
I am blessed to have the assistance of numerous talented volunteers who have generously offered to lend their skills to Yandere Simulator. 90% of the things that you see and hear in Yandere Simulator would never have been possible without the help of those talented people. However, all of these amazing assets come at a cost. I am the game’s director, producer and manager. I am also the lead artist, and the lead animator, modeller, composer, etc. I don’t create artwork or animations or models or music, but I am in-charge of managing and directing all of the people who produce those things for Yandere Simulator. I am also the game’s only programmer.
I must perform all of the responsibilities that would normally be performed by about 10 different people if this was a real game company. Now, please, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not trying to brag and I’m not trying to whine, I’m just trying to explain why it can take so long to make significant progress.
Dozens of assets are made for Yandere Simulator every month, and all of those assets must pass through a bottleneck the size of one man – me. This often leads to a backlog of assets that have been that have been waiting for weeks, or months, to be implemented into the game. There are tons of things that have been created for Yandere Simulator that you haven’t even seen yet, because I haven’t found the time to put those things in the game. Also, many of the assets that I require are for future surprises that you don’t even know about, so you won’t see them for a while.
In the past, I placed a strong emphasis on low-hanging fruit. In other words; features that could be implemented within two weeks with minimal assistance from volunteers. So, for a long time, I was able to add significant new features to the game every two weeks. But eventually, I ran out of low-hanging fruit to implement. The next step was to work on the medium-hanging fruit which required more collaboration with volunteers and more programming work than before. This is when features began to take four weeks, or several months, to implement. The fruit that I am aiming for now – Osana Najimi – is the highest fruit on the tree and requires me to spend extensive amounts of time speaking with volunteers, which leaves me with almost no time to actually write code.
When I first started working on Yandere Simulator, I intended to make a short and simple game that could reasonably be completed by one man working alone using some assets bought from the Unity Asset Store. As more and more volunteers began to join the project, I began to spend more and more time not writing code. Speaking with a team of artists, a team of animators, a team of modellers, a team of composers, a team of voice actors, etc. takes many hours of the day. I quickly realises that I was going to make very little progress on the game’s code if I only worked a normal 8 hour work day, so I started working longer and longer hours.
Eventually, I removed everything else from my life – friends, exercise, hobbies, etc. so I could focus 100% of my attention on Yandere Simulator. Eventually, my life became a non-stop loop of work and sleep. It’s been this way for over 2 years now. Ironically, this is what my life was like 5 years ago when I worked at a video game company. This kind of lifestyle was absolutely unbearable, which is why I decided to quit my job and became an indie developer.
Yandere Simulator has a lifespan. The game is only alive for as long as people are interested in it. If people lose interest in the game, it’s dead. If I release frequent updates, people will remain interested in the game. If I release updates slowly, people will lose interest in the game and the game will get closer to death. This is why I work on Yandere Simulator 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and don’t take any vacations. I’m worried about people losing interest in the game. I’m worried about losing my subscribers. I’m worked about losing my patrons. I’m worried about being called lazy. I’m worried about getting a reputation as a bad game developer. I’m worried that everything I’ve worked for will collapse and all of the work I’ve put into the game will be for nothing.
I’ve been invited to anime conventions to speak at panels and declined, so that I could have more time to work on Yandere Sim. I’ve been asked to do interviews, invited to podcasts, invited to parties, invited to weddings and always declined because I didn’t want to do anything that would take time away from Yandere Sim.
People pay me money to keep on working on Yandere Sim, but, I never get to use that money to enjoy myself because I’m always so busy with Yandere Simulator. If I never get the time to use the money that I earn, then I might as well not be getting paid anything at all. If you ask my friends what my most commonly said words are, they would tell you that I always say “Sorry, I don’t have time. I have to work on Yandere Sim.”.
Yandere Simulator will probably not be finished until 2019. I’m going to be over 30 years old when that happens. I’m going to look back at my late twenties and I’m just going to see a giant hole where nothing happened, except for Yandere Simulator. It’s really depressing so I try not to think about it. Even though I devote almost every single hour of my life to Yandere Simulator, I’ve made zero code related progress on Osana over the past two weeks because of all the other things that take up my time and require my attention.
I really wish that working on Yandere Sim was as simple as just sitting down and writing code, but that’s just not the reality of game development. Even if I spent 12 hours of my day focusing my attention exclusively on Yandere Sim, I can still wind up with no time to actually write code because I have dozens of other responsibilities besides just being a programmer.
In addition, there’s also one other problem. When Yandere Simulator was a small project with just a few scripts, compiling the code took less than a second. Now, Yandere Simulator has over 300 scripts, and it takes 30 seconds to compile the code every time I want to make any change, no matter how small. It also takes 30 seconds to launch the game every time I want to test something. In short, it now takes a grand total of 60 seconds to check any change I have made to the game’s code when it originally took less than a second. If I want to make 60 changes to the game in a single day, then one hour of my day will be spent just sitting there, waiting for the code to compile. As a result, the simple act of writing code and checking out the changes that I’ve made has slowed down drastically.
On top of everything else, when personal problems pop up and take my focus away from Yandere Simulator, I lose the time that I otherwise would’ve spent developing the game. This is something that I have absolutely no control over, because you can’t predict when you’ll run into a stroke of bad luck and have to deal with a bunch of dumb issues going on in your life.
On the bright side, there is a bit of good news. When I’m releasing cool updates, the game is popular and lots of people are contacting me, which results in me not having very much time to write code. But, when I have done anything cool in a long time, people lose interest in Yandere Sim, and almost nobody contacts me, which gives me much more time to write code. This becomes a cycle of rising and dropping productivity depending on the game’s current amount of popularity. Right now, we’re at one of those low points, where people are losing interest in the game and losing faith in me. Which, ironically, gives me more time to actually write code for the game. So, we should probably see some cool progress very soon, I hope.
Anyway, I hope this video helps you to understand why the game’s development has slowed down so much. It’s not any one thing, but the combination of many things, big and small. This video focused on the problems, but my next video will, instead, focus on the solutions to those problems. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve come up with an idea on how to solve my problems, and you want to e-mail me about it. Please, don’t do that. If the solution seems obvious to you, that means that it’s already occurred to me. And if I haven’t already put that solution into action, then obviously there’s a problem with that solution. Please, just wait for my next video, where I will explain the upsides and downsides of the most obvious solutions.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this video and thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator.”