I’m at that point in writing this game.
The point called “Concept Complete” or “Prototype Complete
, which as often as not winds up being a state called “Done”.
For another of my games that is permanently in this state, try out the Unnamed Game, which hasn’t changed much since it got into the current “Done enough to play” state almost three years ago. I did wind up changing the colors of some pieces about a year ago, but that’s been it.
I suppose it could be worse. I could be one of those developers with a bunch of title screens and demos that aren’t quite games, and super-pretty websites with forums and concept art.
Instead, I have some “almost games” and some games that are “done-ish” … at least they are playable.
So, why do so many of my games and game concepts go this route? What keeps me from completing them, and by complete I mean *COMPLETE* (professionally finished and polished)
The main reason: the current incarnation of Connect! has taken maybe 15 hours of development time and has been interesting to do. To finish the game and polish it and give it all of the bells and whistles and usability that it should have in order to be a finished game it would take at least another 60 hours, and much of that development is uninteresting.
Still, I’d like to finish Connect! – even if only to prove to myself that I can actually finish something completely. For this I need to enter into the Time of Refactoring.
So far, Connect! has consisted of a single source file. At the moment, it has a little over 500 LOC.
Mostly, the stuff outside of the board itself (the buttons, the cheerleader) have been hacked onto it in an ugly wartish way.
In other words, the code has reached the threshhold of unmaintainability.
So, it is refactor time. I should, after about 5 hours of work or so have it in better shape. It won’t play any differently, but it’ll be better organized and adding the remaining feature set will be made much shorter by doing the refactor now.