Breaking The Wheel

Self-Improvement

A picture of a bottleneck, because auteurs bottleneck stuff

Bottlenecks and Hindsight: Why Auteurs Make Horrible Economists

This post is about an empirical issue: the economic cost of being an auteur. When I originally posted this entry on Gamasutra back in 2014 it was not without its detractors. David Jaffe even dropped a line on it, saying he thought it was neat, while simultaneously implying that I was full of shit. Nonetheless, in retrospect, I still feel this idea is worth considering in an industry like ours, one that consists of both public personas and massive-team-based endeavors.

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Informal Power featured image of a rusty gate

Informal Power, Or: Why It Always Pays To Be Polite

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines power as (among other definitions) “possession of control, authority, or influence over others”. Nothing terribly shocking there. But it’s worth digging into how power induces that influence. There’s the obvious, overt “Do this thing because I said to do the thing.” We’re all familiar with that one. But there’s also a different form of influence that comes not from influencing people, but circumstance. And on any given day, this informal power is far more likely to cause you grief.

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Perfection Is The Enemy Of Productivity featured image of Paste Pot Pete

Perfection is the Enemy of Productivity, Or: Why You Should Be Like Stan and Jack

I will continue to tell anyone who will listen that Jim Collins’ Good to Great is the best business book I’ve ever read. Or, at least I will until I read something better. And in that wonderful tome, Collins’ presents a mantra: good is the enemy of great. His meaning: by being content with simply eeking along (being good), you will never take the steps necessary to be great. I totally agree with him, but I think there’s a corollary: perfection is the enemy of productivity.

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A picture of a kitty lying on a book

Monday Menagerie, October 17th Edition

In “Monday Menagerie” posts, I share the most interesting articles I’ve stumbled across in my roamings around the ol’ series of tubes. This week, the science backed reason negative people are killing you (literally), why engineers HATE open floor plans, and how an editor at the Atlantic keeps his email inbox at zero.

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Friday Short Stack, October 14th Edition: My Favorite Self-Improvement Books

Friday Short Stacks are light weight nuggets of content that are little more digestible than my usual 2400 word behemoths. This week, my four favorite books on self-improvement. If you feel stuck in a rut or that your personal evolution has stagnated, the answers may lie in these weighty tomes.

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A picture of a kitty on a book

Monday Menagerie, October 10th Edition

On Monday Menagerie, I share the best articles I find around the webnet. This week, how to improve work-life balance at your company, how to tame negative self-talk, and the dangers of pushing employees to go the extra mile.

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A picture of a kitty lying on a book

Monday Menagerie, October 3rd Edition

In “Monday Menagerie” I share the most interesting articles I’ve seen around the interwebnets. This week: why diversity leads to better decision making, 9 rules for building a successful business, and the value of improving the quality, not quantity, or your working hours.

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A woman with so much anxiety and stress that she's trying to eat her laptop. Ouch!

Anxiety And Stress Managment For Game Developers: Some Practical Tools

The video games industry is a fertile breeding ground for anxiety and stress. Almost every game is an entrepreneurial endeavor. Expeditionary. And uncertain. Uncertain  schedules, uncertain results, uncertain job security. It’s not for the faint of heart. In this article, I’m going to take a break from the usual managerial tone of Breaking The Wheel in order to focus on something more important than any game: your mental health.

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