Many independent developers fall into the trap of taking too long to finish a game. Just…need…to add…this one more thing.
What I’ve learned from developing games is that a game is never truly done. You can work on it and polish it forever and never be truly satisfied. I still look at each game I’ve worked on and wish I could have more time to add in more sound effects, some crisper animations, or more character expressions.
But ultimately, I’m glad that the games I’ve released are just that – released. They’re out in the world being played. Just as they were intended to be all along. And often, that bug I obsessed over or the sprite I could never get just right are overlooked by players, and instead, they point me in different directions and spark new possibilities.
So when is it time to release a game? When someone can play your game from start to finish without needing your help or additional explanations and without the game crashing, it’s time.
You can always add in more art, sound effects, and levels in future updates and patches. But until you get the game into players’ hands, it’ll remain a concept, another unrealized vision collecting dust on your “someday” shelf.
So go on. Get it out there so we can all play it.