You’ve found yourself right at the finish line, but before you hit “submit” on your masterpiece, take a moment and go through some finishing touches.
Find a brand new player
Whether you’ve tested your game a million times or had a plethora of friends and family helping, nothing replaces the kind of feedback you get from a first-time player. And here’s why – there are errors and inconsistencies that you simply don’t notice because you’ve gone through them so many times that you already know what to expect and what to do next.
Having a completely new player go through your game once is the best way to check for persistent or subtle errors. It’s also a simple indicator of how some of your players might react to your game – and a nice boost to your esteem if they fall madly in love with it.
Check your credits
Go through your credit list one more time and double-check that you got everyone’s details correctly. It’s way too easy to flip some letters around or miss a name – and that could lead to an unhappy artist/scripter or even a big copyright mess.
There are websites and blogs out there that have large collections of material from a variety of sources. While it sounds very convenient to just pick and choose resources from there, such places don’t always keep up to date with the original artists’ terms or updates. Always be sure that you’re going to the source directly by sending the original artist a message or by carefully looking through the EULA/TOS included in their resource pack(s).
Give yourself some time off
Lastly, make sure that you’ve finished your work with a lot time to spare. Not only does this give you a chance for some well-deserved rest, but it’s your just-in-case buffer. We’ve had quite a few cases of individuals who missed a big event deadline by a hair because of unexpected technical issues – internet went out locally, their host was down and the judges couldn’t download the project or they found a major game-breaking bug right after they submitted their game. And nothing is more frustrating than seeing yourself disqualified over something you had no control over.
Having that time off is good even when there’s no deadline in sight. You get to enjoy that satisfied feeling of completing something, before you have to tackle feedback from your players (whether that’s constructive criticism or high praise).
And that concludes our short game tips series! Have we missed anything? Let us know below!