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Remedial Actions > Prioritize Your Creditors - Pg. 75

Financing a Game Development Venture 75 Getting Into and Out of Trouble Most developers experience nail-biting episodes of financial stress at some time or another, often frequently. Underbudgeting a release, finding another project for a team that's wrapping up, and not getting paid on time are the three most common causes of financial trouble. While developers can't necessarily control these realities, there are certain measures they can take to buffer against them. Preventive Measures · Be realistic about your budget and schedule. When creating the budget and schedule for your release, hire a designated pessimist to question your assumptions. Add in twice as much fudge factor as you think you'll need. While it seems impossible that your project could possibly cost more/take longer than you've accounted for, somehow, falling behind is the rule and not the exception in the business. · Make your budget and schedule scalable. Be humble and assume that you won't be able to accomplish everything in your plan within the time and budget allocated. Prioritize and bench- mark the development so that at regular intervals you can compare your progress to where it needs to be and scale back features and scope as needed. · Plan for your publisher to pay you late. Whether due to your tardiness on a milestone, or theirs in paying you, money usually does not arrive when it's supposed to. Keep at least two milestones in the bank or a few months' of burn. This requires a lot of discipline, both in terms of keeping a lid on project scope and avoiding the illusion of comfort that a swollen cash reserve can create. Don't be fooled--it's called a reserve because you'll need it at some point. · Finding new projects. As a general rule, companies start beating the pavement for work once a team hits alpha on its current project. Start earlier if you're less established or trying to get an