« Manager In A Strange Land: Time To Failure | Main | Notes On Bioshock »

September 11, 2007



I take at least a whole day to get the engineers and testers estimate their respective tasks and add 20% for integration and 10% for slipping risks.

25+25+25+25 => 132

Meg H.

I'm the planner, my husband is the coder. I am quickly learning that coding is more art than science. And estimating art? Yikes!

My general rule of thumb is that it will take 3 times longer than what we initially think it should. LOL!

Actually, being experienced with your team is the best way to know how to estimate, see
The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. & Slack by Tom DeMarco .

Best of luck!!


Working solo, I estimate my time as precisely as I can but charge hourly whenever possible. I get paid for all the work I do, they only pay for work that gets done. Sadly, not all projects can be billed this way.

It must be exponentially difficult to estimate time for teams larger than just yourself.


i'm with Meg--art is impossible to estimate well. i avoid quotes. that's why i'm also with Jay about charging hourly.

instead of estimating the traditional way, i'll show a client the the most similar project i have, describe its process, and tell them roughly what that cost. then i use a time tracking and billing application for a true and detailed invoice.

you can set a cap with the client and notify them if it's at risk at any point, or once you're within say 15% of the top. they understand that if sign-offs go smoothly and the project parameters don't change much that i can come in under the cap in the end.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game