Shadow Puppeteer crunch time icon

Crunch Time

“Once upon a time there was a team of indie developers who wanted to make a game.

Slowly but surely they worked and shaped an experience that they called Shadow Puppeteer. After some years it became apparent that the game would have to be released, and then came the time of crunch.”


Everyone, today we want to share with you the reality of crunch time at our office. It’s funny, it’s tragic, but nevertheless, it’s the reality we’re currently living in.

First things first: Crunch time is when you work a lot more than you normally do to reach a specific goal and/or deadline. It starts with staying an extra hour or two. Then you stay at the office from morning to midnight. The days blur together as Saturday and Sunday become regular work days. Time seems to stand still and pass extremely fast all at once.

(Two aspects of crunch: hard work and lots of coffee)

(Two ingredients of crunch: hard work and lots of coffee)

The key is to make the best of it and find coping mechanisms, both individually and as a team. Based on our experiences we’ve created a list of “Crunch Survival Tips”

Food – You need nourishment. Don’t skip meals to get more work done. A lot of people get crabby when hungry, that’s hardly helping those around you. Crunch time can be made more enjoyable with foods you don’t normally indulge in (everybody has their own favourite)

(Different kinds of food. Yes, candy is a kind of food)

(Different kinds of food. Yes, candy is a kind of food)

Funny how, during crunch, certain sounds trigger instant happiness:

Sleep – You need sleep. No shaming those who feel like they need rest. Sleep improves memory, concentration, mental health and prevents headaches.

(If needed there are places to sleep/nap at the office, but usually we go home to sleep)

(If needed there are places to sleep/nap at the office, but usually we go home to sleep)

Humour – Laugh. Silly humour, dark humour, gallows humour, – anything goes. It brings people together with team spirit (we’re all in this together).

Take a walk – You need some air and a fresh perspective. It helps on the mood. and you might see some ducks.

(Taking a walk and experiencing nature is a good way to take a break from crunch)

(Taking a walk and experiencing nature is a good way to take a break from crunch)

Stretch – Be sure to don’t sit too long in the same position. Stretching is good and prevents physical injury.

(Having special "crunch rules" and a good bug report system also helps)

(Having special “crunch rules” and a good bug report system also helps)

A good crunch produces good results. It can strengthen the bonds within the team. To support and encourage  each other to get through it. People can manage crunch time, but not indefinitely. We’ve previously talked about how important it is to us to try to maintain regular office hours. Crunch to us, is the final mile of a marathon. You don’t start a marathon with a sprint, you end it with one.

And then you get a medal. Or a game.

We’re looking forward to when this crunch will be a memory. One we can look back on with a certain kind of fondness. But, we’re not done yet, and still have more crunching to do before the game is released. Do you have any other great crunch survival tips, feel free to share them in our comment section!

(The two states of crunch existense: Working or sleeping)

(The two states of crunch existense: Working or sleeping)

Only 8 days left to release. So stay tuned!

 In the meantime, visit our Steam Store Page:



Shadow Puppeteer available on Steam

109 thoughts on “Crunch Time

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