The following is taken from a blog by Pete Collier of indie start up Hogrocket (and formerly of Bizarre Studios) which explores how a Game Developer can remain focussed on objectives while producing a game. It contains some useful information for Train2Game students who may already be starting to produce their own titles!
Talk to others about your work: Explaining what you’re doing to another person forces you to approach it from an outside perspective and with a more conclusive eye. Another person is objectivity, so use it.
Leave your work and then come back to it: The further down the rabbit hole you’ve tumbled the longer you should leave it before returning. It’s a simple and classic strategy but one of the most effective. However it takes self-awareness to recognise that you’ve lapsed and fallen into crazy-land. Taking action can sometimes just mean having a cup of tea or in more serious cases a longer break, like a vacation. The amount of times I’ve come back to my work and muttered “What was I thinking?!” is plenty. Artists; how many times have you overly tweaked detail that no one will ever notice but you? Coders; overly engineered a piece of code for its intended purpose? You get the picture.
Know your goals: It’s hard to look at things with an objective eye without an objective! Pretty simple, but I’m sure, like me, you’ve seen your fair share of developers, or even entire teams, getting caught up in needless details and tangents because their objectives weren’t clear.
How is your contribution relevant?: Without a sense of purpose we can all stray. Refuse to take on work until you’re absolutely clear why what you’re doing is important and how it fits into the bigger picture. You can’t be expected to remain objective without knowing this. This ties a lot into effectively motivating your team.
Be passionate about your work, but leave your emotions at the door: Emotional attachment prevents objectification. Any Pimp will tell you that one for free. We all need to be able to cut our losses and get rid if something isn’t fulfilling its purpose. Being sentimental, emotional and overly attached can be your biggest enemy here. So grab a flamboyant hat and a lovely big fur coat and your fellow developers will know you mean business.
Present your work to the team: A more extreme version of talking to just one person; this can be a really useful exercise. Fear of talking to a large group of people forces you to consider your audience and demonstrate a very clear grasp of your work. Succinctly summarising your work is impossible to do without looking at things objectively. Just simply out of respect for your audience you’re perspective has to be a wider one.