When does writing tools start to become a problem

When I first started Neo Chess, I decided to make a tool that handles logging. It takes all the logs the game spits out the results in a nice list that is filterable by the logging level. Then I thought it would be nifty if I could do a text search on the messages, so I can look up specific errors. I’ve thought of extending the tool so that I can real time update values in the game without having to restart wasting valuable time.

Then I was recently reading a post the other day about using custom attributes in C# to keep track of todos. It’s an excellent idea, and one I’ve since implemented in my game, and one I will continue to use from now on. And I am now thinking of extending my logging tool to also show an active list of todos, with varying levels of severity. Although I am starting to question if this is a good idea.

Obviously creating tools that streamlines the production of my game is great, and it will save time in the future. But what is the initial upfront time cost of making them? I am a one man team, and any time I am working on anything else is time I am not making my game. I usually convince myself to do it, thinking of my future me (that bastard better be appreciative), but recently I am leaning towards just sucking it up and working on my actual game, as opposed to all the peripherals.

Chris Dempsey