So I recently made a post about finishing my first game prototype. That has taught me a lot. One of the things it has taught me that I have had struggled with. Out side of school due to not having some sort of dead line is just finishing a project. I found that a lot of my projects would either never get finished or would take just way longer than it ever needed to. So I wanted to give some of my tips on just shipping it. I also would like to get all of your opinions on the matter as well.
With that said lets get to it! My first tip and I cant stress this enough would have to be. Fully under stand what it is your wanting to make. This may seem sort of obvious but In several cases there has been times where I start a idea that starts off as one broad statement. Of what that idea is and I start working on it but half way through the project. It begins to take on a million other ideas that completely deviate from the main one. And due to that it just ends up either never getting finished or just turns into a utter mess. So its good to have a clear goal in mind.
My second tip is closely related to the first one. And that is by having a solid Idea of what it is you want to make. You should also have a solid idea of the minimal amount of stuff that should go into it. In order to make it. Meaning when starting the idea write out what you think would be the bare minimum you need to code in order to build what you want. This way you are not starting off your project coding a billion useless features.
The third tip is tied into the second. Which is keeping your scope small. If you write down the bare minimum that you need to finish your project. You will then be able to set the scope of how big its going to be. And in order to ship with in a decent amount of time. You want to keep this scope small.
The fourth tip and while it may seem like a obvious thing. Would be not to get tempted to start adding random features in the middle of the project. I have fallen for this several times. Where I would do all the steps above. But some where along the line I would have a random Idea in the middle of the project. That sounded like it would make the project better. And started to implement it instead of working on the core features. Which just causes a even bigger mess in the first place.
Lastly when working on a project set some sort of dead line for your self. Now this is something I do with most of my projects. As I dont want them dragging on for ever. Make sure to set a date and try to stick to it the best you can. If you go over that date evaluate where you are in the project. And try to either wrap up where you are. And just get it out the door and move on if possible. Or expand your deadline enough to wrap it up. But dont fall for the oh ill finish it next week or the next week ect.
So hopefully these tips can help you ship it. And again would really like to get some good tips from you all. I hope you guys have a good week!