How does YandereDev spend his time?

Over the course of Yandere Simulator’s development, a lot of people have expressed an interest in learning exactly how I spend my time. I’ve created a pie chart that should help you visualize what an average two-week period is like for me:

On a day-to-day basis, those numbers can change. If the next update doesn’t involve voice acting, then “Speaking to Voice Actors” drops to 0% for a while. If the next update involves tons of animations, then “Speaking to Animators” jumps up to 20% for a bit. And, obviously, “Making Videos” doesn’t happen every single day, but if we’re looking at a 2-week period, it’ll probably take up about 5% of my time at some point.

There are also a whole bunch of miscellaneous things that I didn’t bother adding to the pie chart because they each take up less than 1% of my total time. Speaking to manufacturers about potential merchandise, speaking to web developers about the website, speaking to publications who want an interview, etc. All of this stuff adds up…but, individually, it doesn’t have much place on a pie chart.


There was a point in time when I was receiving around 100~150 e-mails every day. This was very frustrating, which led to me making numerous “Stop E-mailing Me!” blog posts.

Fortunately, I can report that things have improved drastically since then. Recently, I have only been getting around 50 e-mails every day. This is definitely an improvement over how things were before. The amount of e-mails that I currently receive every day is easily manageable, and does not impose serious problems on the game’s development.

Out of all the e-mails I get every day, about 50% of them require no answer, or can be answered within 10 seconds. The other 50% are very significant and important e-mails from volunteers. If I didn’t take time to correspond with those volunteers, then the game wouldn’t have most of the content it currently possesses. It’s true that answering these e-mails gives me less time to actually program the game, but it also results in super-talented individuals producing excellent content for the game.

If I get a bug report, I stop reading e-mails to go fix the bug. If I get a new asset, I stop reading e-mails to go plug the asset into the game. By the time I am done reading my e-mails, I have fixed numerous bugs and plugged in several new assets / features. On most days, it takes me about 6 hours to get through all of my e-mail, but that’s because I am fixing bugs and implementing new features in-between e-mails.

On some days (only about two days per month) it takes me about 12 hours to get through all of my e-mail. This only occurs if I go a day without being able to check my e-mail, which means that, the next day, I’ll have twice the regular amount of e-mail to read and reply to.

Why is the game’s development so slow?

Is it truly slow? Or, is it actually moving at a completely normal pace?

Let’s look at other one-man indie game projects:

  • Iji by Daniel Remar – 4 years
  • Axiom Verge by Thomas Happ – 4 years
  • Stardew Valley by Eric Barone – 4 years
  • Retro City Rampage by Brian Provinciano – 5 years

Other noteworthy indie projects:

  • A Hat In Time – 5 years
  • Cuphead – 7 years
  • Owlboy – 9 years

Work on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” began immediately after Skyward Sword was released (2011). The game wasn’t announced until 2014, we didn’t get gameplay footage until 2016, and the game wasn’t released until 2017. This is the typical cycle for a game’s development: the devs work on it for 3 years before giving you a brief glimpse of it, and you don’t even get to see gameplay until it’s 1 year from completion. This is why it doesn’t feel like you have to wait very long for a normal video game; because you don’t even know about it until most of the work has already been done. If you’re judging a game’s development time from “announcement” to “release” then you’re not judging it correctly.

I’m following a completely different strategy with Yandere Simulator; I’ve been showing you the game’s development since day 1. I’ve shown you the game in an embarrassingly primitive state, and I’ve shown you every weird bug along the way. It feels like you’ve been waiting a long time because you’ve been watching it every step of the way, which isn’t the case for a normal game.

At the time of this blog post, Yandere Simulator has been in development for 27 months and is around 45% complete. That’s a pretty normal pace for an ambitious game with a large scope being made by a very small team.

Allow me to take a moment to explain something about “standard” game development:

Most game projects have a Lead Artist who tells the other artists what to do, a Lead Animator who tells the other animators what to do, a Lead Modeller who tells the other modellers what to do, etc. The game’s director is the one who tells the Leads what to do.

On the Yandere Simulator project, I play the role of “Lead” for every department; I give instructions to artists, animators, composers, modellers, voice actors, etc. I can only write code with whatever time is left over after I’m done speaking to all of the people contributing to the project.

(I’m not trying to whine or beg for pity, I’m just telling you how things are.)

I would have a lot more time to write code if I wasn’t spending half my day corresponding with volunteers. However, it’s pretty important for me to speak with the volunteers; I hate to repeat myself, but, like I said above, if I didn’t take time to correspond with those volunteers, then the game wouldn’t have most of the content it currently possesses.

You might think that the obvious solution is to bring some people on-board the project to serve as Leads so that I don’t have to spend my time performing Lead duties. However, even if I did appoint a bunch of Leads, I would still have to play the role of the game’s director (communicating with the Leads every day) which wouldn’t be any different from the situation that I’m currently in.

(Being a Lead is a very demanding and time-consuming job. The type of people who are qualified to be Leads usually won’t do it for free. After the game’s crowdfunding campaign, I may have enough money to hire a team of professionals…but at this point in time, it’s simply not possible.)

This is the nature of a game project where the lead programmer is also responsible for…well, literally every aspect of the game’s development; there is very little time in the day for writing code and adding features. This is why the game’s progress may appear to be slow; it’s because absolutely everything that happens must pass through a bottleneck who is named “YandereDev”.

Hopefully, now you understand why “one-man projects” take 4~5 years to complete, what I do with my time every day, and why I have a history of trying to discourage people from sending unproductive e-mail.

P.S. – I’m pretty sure that someone is going to make a parody of the image at the top of this blog post. To save you some time, I’ve done it myself.

163 thoughts on “How does YandereDev spend his time?

  1. Ask for 1$ per Month for testing, just like “Breeding Season” did.

    I would donate 5$ / Month, if i see that the project gets more than only 1000 supporters.

    Because only 1000 of the Millions of followers that you have… is pretty much “nothing”.

  2. YandereDev I would like to just say thank-you for keeping us updated with how the game is developing and providing a most fascinating window into what the game design process for a small team looks like. Additionally that lovely little parody of how you spend your time is great though I feel about 10% should be dedicated to “thinking about murdering highschoolers”…

    • YandereDev stated a lonngggg time ago that he always uses a smaller percentage. If you remember, the game used to have a percentage of like 7% complete to make sure people understood that the game was not close to being a demo, nevermind finished.

  3. You’re so hardworking, Yanderedev.
    You’re my inspiration. I have never met someone so determinated like you. Spending 4 – 5 years in a project isn’t easy and dedicating to it everyday is really hard.
    Reward you sometime. You deserve it

  4. Omg Yandev tell em! When I first started following Yansim’s progress I was amazed at how quickly the development is going. I love the parody image too, haha. You’re awesome and I think as long as you never give up you are doing a great job as is.

  5. -sitting here as the 1% of people who voted to not add the large town outside the school which extended the release date and reading peoples comments about the game’s release date-

  6. Wait people’s complained that this is SLOW?!
    I’ve spend two years on a school where a possible ‘course’ was game developing, which I took this last year, and it was in Unity as well, and I must say, the pace you’re at is actually quite normal, hell I’d say its fast considering how frequent this game gets updates.
    In the last few months we had to make a game, and I must say even with that little time (roughly half a year but only classes on thursday, though some weeks were dedicated to working on projects for courses) no group made anything even remotely the level of the pace of things you can add into Yandere Simulator.
    Just… don’t complain about the speed of games unless you’ve tried working on them people…

    • I’ve worked on games, so I feel obligated to tell you that Yandere Simulators development is incredibly slow. I feel bad for you, you must have had bad classes in coding/intro to game design. In my classes, we actually made games on a similar level as Yan Sim in unity for a project, the deadline was a month. Mine was based off Wolfquest! B)

  7. You always sound so BUSY YandereDev!!!
    But I think that Yandere Simulator will be a REALLY good game!!
    So you can rest assured that the fans of Yandere Simulator will LOVE the game no matter what you want to change and add into the game!!
    Also, I think some days you should take a rest and try to get some sleep sometimes.

    • Yep! I’m only familiar with Stardew Valley and Cave Story, but they made everything within the game themselves. Pixel art takes some serious talent if you want to do it right, so I really look up to those developers, they’re just awesome~~

      • Yeah, I recently read up about those developers; it’s crazy that they even made stuff such as the music, animations, and almost everything in game. It must’ve been real commitment~

  8. Don’t create a schedule, just work on your game and take breaks. We’re not going anywhere. You can’t expect to finish the game within months, and neither do we, it’s unrealistic. You can’t rush yourself, it’ll fuck with the quality in the game. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time. Take a vacation and quit being pent up on finishing it. The stress won’t help either.

  9. Don’t you play video games Yandere Dev? Don’t you sleep Yandere Dev? Don’t you eat Yandere Dev? Don’t you use the bathroom Yandere Dev?

  10. for everyone like “HE HEZ BAGS UNR HEES EYES HE NEED SLEEEP!!111!!!!!111!”
    im sorry but i sleep well and basically have WALMART bags under my eyes.
    plus his bags could be stress related i mean between idiotic emails programing worrying about if hes good enough its only common.
    also yandere dev has stated he works 12 Hours a day witch is half a day, Maybe he DOES get sleep.
    remember, anytime you send a suggestion request or Question A poor poor yandere girl Looses Her senpai, we dont Want to make a yandere girl mad…DO WE?

  11. I think it could create a male character who is in love with senpai
    it could be a new rival
    They could also create a male or female character who is in love with Yadere-Chan
    it would be great as it would include gay couples

  12. Pingback: Thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator, BUT GO AWAY! – Doomed Gaming

  13. Pingback: Does Yandere Simulator really need a small town? | Yandere Simulator Development Blog

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