Polish and Gold

I haven’t touched this subject yet, but it’s an important one.

What is “polish”? It’s the 20% of the game that takes 80% of the time. It’s the fine details that makes the app go from “Meh” to *Whistles*. Here at Loopycube it’s a gradual process that begins right after our prototype is complete and ends some months after we’ve released the game. Just yesterday we were revisiting Pickpawcket’s icon, screenshots and a few screens in the game that we’d like to polish a bit more, even though Pickpawcket has been on the App Store for quite a few months already.

This morning during a random visiting session we were talking about the early mock-ups of All In and how Matt (the art director of all people) couldn’t believe we actually liked them! Compared to what we have now, the mock-ups seem very dull and unfinished. Every day we’re getting closer and closer to our perfectly polished game screen.

However, all this polish comes at the cost of new sections being added to All In, so it’s really a delicate balancing act. It’s tough to know when to make that call, and tougher to convince the team to actually move on!

Keep in mind, polish doesn’t only refer to art. Game play needs polishing as well! The perfect example occurred in All In this week; we had a penalty for not being fast enough. This added confusion, timing issues and was just a bad experience. So what did we do? Moved it to the front! Instead of paying for not answering, you paid for the privilege to answer, which added an infinite loop for players who were broke making them broke forever… and didn’t do anything to players who were obscenely wealthy. Finally, the simplest solution revealed itself: we will be claiming ‘play at your own pace’, so let’s actually let them play at their own pace. Penalty retracted!

Do we start polishing too early? Do you do anything different? How do you convince perfectionist artists and game designers that their work is good enough for now?

Also we’ve got the very first sharable image for All In. The rest of the screen isn’t finished (obviously considering today’s topic) but here’s a gold card. Gold cards give random rewards to player’s in game. Every time I see one in game I get excited, I can’t wait to see other player’s reactions!

Click here to check it out… while you’re in the clicking mood, click the like button!

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