Space Monkeys Down needed a new site, the old one was good for it’s time but at the end of day we just need a place to post about our game updates. So I crafted a grand plan for moving the site to WordPress. The site would only be down for a week and then a new site of beauty and perfection would be running. Ahhh the sheer majesty of it all. Well you know what they say “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.” I soon realized I was the enemy.
I rationalized that a week of down time is no big deal, Space Monkeys Down is a small business and we’re just getting started. No one probably visits our site anyway. So I checked my site metrics, which I haven’t done in weeks (ok, ok, months) and apparently I had 341 unique visitors in the first two weeks of May. Who knew? I really need to start looking at those metrics again. There is so much I can learn about my audience.
Another point is that the Plan has me devoting a full week of work just to get a WordPress site up and running. Did I mention that my game isn’t finished, we have a public playtest in 10 days to get ready for, meetings with our artists, and countless other little tasks to get done? For example, for our next public playtest of Topexx Dominions we’re adding a new element to the game, action cards. These will replace the old transmute cards and provide a way for the players to sabotage each other outside of the normal combat mechanics. More on action cards and combat mechanics in a future post. 🙂
What was I thinking??? I don’t need to spend a whole week to get a site going, I’m sure I can make it happen faster than that. So I spent yesterday backing up my old site, making sure I have everything I needed to move over here. Then I checked out my test site, which I had setup a few weeks back to see if WordPress was the right tool for the job. Just as I was about to delete my test site I was like “wait a minute, the test site is like 80% configured and almost ready to go.” Should I use the test site or not? I couldn’t commit to a decision, what if I made the wrong one?? After a lifetime of analysis paralysis (ok maybe 5 minutes, but it felt like a really LONG time) I finally realized that “there is no spoon” and therefore no wrong decision here. I could either rebuild from scratch and tweak settings I’ve already got going or I could just make changes as we move forward. Either way we get a new site, one way will just take more mouse clicks than the other.
Well here we are, a new site, one that is a work in progress. The upside is that the site will constantly evolve as Space Monkeys Down grows, so I don’t need to spend a week making it perfect because it was only gonna be perfect for about 2 seconds before I needed to tweak something else.
So my take away from all this is twofold. The first is use just-in-time planning as much as possible. The second is I need to get out of my own way, make a decision, and know that I can fix anything I break along the way. Space Monkeys Down has a new site and it only took me a few hours to get it going. Is it perfect, hells no, but more importantly it works for us.