How do you know when something is finished?

Someone asked the above question on the Blitz forum recently. They also said “deep down you’re thinking ‘but I could just do x, y and z and then it’ll be even better.’

Well this is a topic that I could sure talk about for a while and probably many people would have different opinions as well. I think a lot depends on what the thing is that you are finishing of course, and who you are finishing it for. For example, if it’s for someone else, it’s finished when they say it is! But let’s assume you are making a game for/by yourself for now…

Basically, is it a viable option to sell it now or are x,y,z required to make it sell or to make it sell MUCH more? Your testers should have indicated whether the features were “must haves” or “maybes but not really bothered”. If it’s ready to sell, then sell it and put your time into a new project with all you’ve learned (or a sequel/re-skin if applicable).

If it’s not a retail product (i.e. it’s free) the same logic applies in terms of asking your testers is it good enough for release. Also your reputation may be affected positively or negatively by the release so anything you can do to make it more positive in order to secure future deals is good (this has totally worked for me). Mind you having ANYTHING finished is really positive, it’s just that the quality affects the order of magnitude of positiveness 🙂

8 Responses to “How do you know when something is finished?”

  1. Stephen Says:

    I set a date for a product and I stick to it. If it passes the “meant to be done date” no new features are added and only the bugs are ironed out (Also polish on the art or art bugs like pixels blur blah blah 🙂 ). My master time table has all the dates set in it. The current games run on a 2 month full production cycle from the drawing board to complete product. Molipop went over 2 months by a few weeks from the concept stage. Core production was just on 2 months. However following products are under 2 months at the moment. Scaling the next projects to 3-4 months as we branch out into RPG’s and strategy games (also a space shooter maybe for me 🙂 ). June is a real busy month as I prep for the 2nd half ( pre-designs and cocepts for 3 products) and do the marketing for 4 games from the first half of 2007. Plus I do about 20 to 25 hours a week at 2 casual jobs. So I am a working machine. The part time job makes me relaxed as I provide a stable income for my family. I Invested my savings into the first batch of projects and might need a loan for the 2nd half the year to fuel the beast :).

    A lot of the things we want to fix in Molipop will be in Molipop 2 for chirstmas. The Molipop 2 version will only take 4 weeks to complete. So I don’t mess around with my release dates. So I say version 2 games for feature creep. Half way through production and “oh this would be so cool” put it on the version 2 list. I believe “complete products” are better then a half finished game.

    Got my first sale as well today! 🙂

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    congrats on the sale dude!

  3. Stephen Says:

    Yeap first one is specail :). Also the customer updated to version 1.02.

    Developing my blog and development zone.

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yeah first sale means that you have made a viable product. when you get the second one, then you know the first wasn’t a fluke. Then 10 = wow, this is really working, then 100 is woo and so on 🙂

    So you are making an interesting blog…

  5. Stephen Says:

    130 is the target. Not much response from portals or more like 0 responses. Hit up about 18 or so. Got 1 small portal interested.

    Man the art must have to be Bling, Bling. Oh well its time to Bling it up to the next level.

  6. Grey Alien Games Says:

    130 direct sales? yeah that would be nice, but that’s nothing on portals.

    Portals take a long time to reply. Also many aren’t into match-3 unless they have a unique twist now.

  7. Jason Harrison Says:

    “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Not sure who said it first, but good enough is the goal, then you can polish.

  8. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yeah I still need to refine that part of my personality … *must* manage my perfectionism perfectly!!! 😉