My original plan for programming was to do most of the game work myself and have some junior programmers help me out to make things go quicker and take care of the small details.
This actually wasn’t a very good plan, because as I fill out the schedule I find that tasks can be categorized by the skill level of the programmer needed to do them correctly. Some tasks can only be done by me, some by any senior programmer, some by any programmer with gameplay experience, and some by junior programmers. My original schedule was to take the raw total hours, divide by 4 (the number of programmers) and figure out how many months that is. But that won’t work because most of the tasks are senior to mid-level, meaning with the people I have right now only I can do it correctly, meaning that I’ll never finish in the 3 months allotted.
This wasn’t total naivety so much as that I had never worked with any truly junior programmers before until now. When I thought junior I thought of my own skill out of college, which actually was mid-level. So in essence, the programmers I hired up to this point, except the lead programmer, aren’t really going to speed up the schedule.
The smart thing to do at this point would be to dump one of the junior programmers and hire 1 senior programmer and possibly 1 mid-level programmer. I’m not so cold-hearted as to just fire a junior programmer for no reason and will just go over-budget if I have to. However, the problem may resolve itself naturally.