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How do you know when your game is ready?

StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
edited January 2012 in Working with GS (Mac)
I know it's a fairly pointless question..

But I've been working on my game for a good few months now...and after a long night fixing things that used to work...losing hours on bugs that I'm 99% sure should not exist and having to find work arounds...my game is reaching a point where I can play it pretty thoroughly without anything going wrong...

scoring system - check
building difficulty - check (but is it too easy... too hard)
custom font for numbers - check
buttons that make sounds and highlight, when pressed,and released.
...options work (but are ugly)...
theres a poorly designed in game store using credits you earn in game....
the graphics are all a bit 'meh'....
the sound is just about passable...
it could always do with some more animation...
more texture...
more ... more ... more...

....

or is it perfect and I'm just numb to looking at it after working on it for too long...

Maybe I'll give it one more week and then send it out for some beta testing...

So..before I hit the hay I thought I'd ask the question.

How do you know when your game is ready?
:-/

Comments

  • ultimaultima Posts: 1,207Member, PRO
    it's never ready.. you publish when you run out of time / money / resource... i set a absolute publish deadline for myself. =)
  • EthanZarovEthanZarov Posts: 156Member
    I would say it is ready when feel good about what you have put out. Besides, you can update it if you dont like parts or think it needs fine tuning etc. I think that when you think without doing more it is highly satisfying, publish it.
  • EbreezeEbreeze Posts: 481Member, PRO
    ....get it out and start the app race ! :D
  • HoneyTribeStudiosHoneyTribeStudios Posts: 1,792Member
    When you watch a bunch of kids play it and they 'get it' straight away and don't put it down for a while.

    Give me a buzz if you need some original music in your games.

  • SAZ_1SAZ_1 Posts: 397Member
    Pretty much what shaz said... i play my game think its awesome then someone turns up and its all a bit not sure what to do... then one day you let someone else play it and they are super good at it... theres lots of things in my game that id want to be different because of my lack of knowledge or limitations with GS ... but all in all if its being recieved well it makes me feel good and move on.. the best parts are when you have the eureka! moment when a really broken part of the game comes to life and its all awesome (that really motivates me!..thats is until sales figures role in! haha!)
  • LuckyLurcherLuckyLurcher Posts: 343Member
    'How do you know when your game is ready?'

    It's ready about three months after you published it and have fixed all the reported bugs!
  • CloudsClouds Posts: 1,599Member
    Leave your game for a week, don't go near it, don't even look at it, after that week is up take a look with fresh eyes, any problems or issues (design or otherwise) will stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,981Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    Hey Stormy -

    I like what @Tynan says. Try that.

    However, I had working on Penguin Pounce for 5 months! I got so sick of it, but there were ALWAYS things that I could fix/add. Once the game is passable, like Tynan says, leave it for a week or more. Find the things that are ugly, fix them and then beta test. The testers will find things that are wrong, or that most of them don't like. Fix those and then re-test. Once your testers are happy, publish to Apple. Like I stated above, an app is never done, it always feels incomplete. You can work on it forever and you'll still find things that you can add. Just release it. :-)

    Hope that helps. :)

    Bray
  • AppFueledAppFueled Posts: 308Member
    Your game may never be 100% ready. I could have worked on Snap Trap for another 6 months easy. There were things I wanted to polish a tad more and there were ideas I had to add new dimensions to the game. there comes a time where you have to ask yourself, is the extra time I spend on my game going to make that much more of a difference? If the answer is yes, I suggest you keep working on it. If no, then you are probably ready or very close.


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  • StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
    cheers guys...
  • codematescodemates Posts: 112Member
    @stormystudio just like you and many others here, I go through the same dilemma. What opened my eyes was the extra time I'm spending with the app was actually hurting it.

    1st - I like the visual factor of the game but the more graphics, animations and flash I put on the game the more it hurts its playability (performance).

    2nd - I just saw or learned something really cool. I like to put that on my game. Ends up breaking the game or recreating the workflow to make the change.

    3rd - graphics is only 99% what I envisioned. Drives my artist insane :)

    4th - what's good for me does not mean what others wanted.

    The more I give in to the list above the longer I will not have an app for sale or worst loose my artist.

    Here's what I did to kinda overcome these problems:
    1. I tried to balance visual and performance. I tried to keep my visual factor for at least acceptable playability on Arm7 devices. With this I got both of what I wanted. I know I limited the market but still better than not getting my app out or worst getting it out with horrible performance.

    2. I tried to stick to my original workflow plans. New features are put on a list for upcoming updates. This will be an ongoing list because we learn something new everyday and GS features are ever expanding. Also related to answer 4 below.

    3. I dreadfully learned to live with it. Either that or hire a new artist regularly which I don't really want to go through.

    4. I get it out there and get the feedback from users to improve the app. This helps me prioritize my updates list.

    Just my 2 cents
  • mm34125mm34125 Posts: 35Member
    I would advise you to say "99 percent must suffice". It helps :)
  • allornothingallornothing Posts: 126Member, PRO
    What I would suggest is:

    Decide a final feature list that you think is achievable and holds the best value for your customers. Not all features have to be v1.0, but play testing, speaking to testers, and common sense should give you a list of what needs to be final, and what can be held back and given more time to cook.

    Decide a time frame. Set yourself a date of completion, and stick to it. Base this date on the amount of time you expect to spend each night/week on completing the features, and once you are 'feature-complete' - get testing as much as possible to identify bugs, gameplay issues, design flaws. While you wait on feedback from testers (there are plenty of volunteers online :)), polish your game as best you can. Factor this entire process into the date - if you want to test for 1 week or 3, they have an impact on your release date, and the amount of work you will have to do at any given time.

    Once the bugs are in, triage your bugs; set a priority. Don't just choose bug 1, fix it, bug 2, fix it - get test data/found bugs gathered up, work out how they relate to one another (if they do), categorise them, and work out the best order to tackle them in. They may have an impact on one another, or some may be much more severe than others and end up fixing a different bug. Bug A could be a result of bug B, but you won't know that unless you look at them all together (within reason). You can kill many birds with one stone...

    Then once the bugs are fixed, get another round of final testing (your beta) and see what happens. You may find there are a few more bugs, but they might not be important enough to worry about, or they might be game-breakers. Hope for the former, or that they are minor at least, and sanity check everything.

    Then you are done! You now have a release build, and you can now work out your post-release support plan should sales be high enough to warrant continued development.

    Just my 2cents!




  • StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
    Well this turned into a popular little discussion...

    So what am I going to do...keep tidying up my game some more, and nail some of the key things on my constantly shrinking list...

    ....possibly delete a couple of features so I can perfect them for an update.... then get ready for Beta test..

    ...fix any major bugs that come back from that... and change any gameplay elements that a lot of people pick up on...

    whilst thats testing I can start on some promo material...HTML email, promo videos, and start announcing it on Touch Arcade...

    Cheers

    Jon
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,981Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    @stormystudio - I'd be willing to beta test if you wanted. It would be an honor. :-)
This discussion has been closed.