The Halloween Deadline

October 14, 2016

Just a little over two weeks left on the clock before the Sleuthhounds – The Halloween Deception computer adventure game releases. There’s still a good amount left to do, but the outstanding issue list is decreasing daily. Everything is nicely on track for an October 31st release. While having a non-moveable deadline does have its stresses and pressures, it also has its benefits.

With any creative project, whether it be a game, a novel, a painting, a comic, a song, it’s possible to keep working on said project indefinitely. There’s always something more that could be added or tweaked or improved in some way. Of course, if you go down that path then you never release your creative work to an audience. The “goal” then is to get your project to be good enough to send out into the wild.

Having a fixed release date really helps focus a project. My upcoming game is Halloween based so it makes sense to release it on Halloween. Not a week after. Not even a day after. Halloween. The finish line. Having that specific date looming makes it easy to make decisions on the content for the game. Anything that’s critical to the game running properly needs to be done first. Anything that’s “nice to have” or could be considered “window dressing” (like twinkling stars in the sky, for example) can fall to the bottom of the list.

Last year, when I was creating Sleuthhounds – The Cursed Canon I didn’t have a fixed release date in mind. The release always seemed to be “a couple of weeks away.” Ultimately, a couple of weeks translated into about four months beyond when I had wanted to have the game done by. Whoops! I consider the overage worth it as I learned a lot about producing games, although obviously not about hitting deadlines.

However, with The Halloween Deception and the previous Valentine’s Vendetta games I have had strictly enforced release dates (Halloween and Valentine’s Day, respectively). These dates have meant that content that I’d have preferred to have in the games has had to be cut. It’s also meant that the games don’t languish in development hell with more features and more nice to haves creeping in and pushing out the release farther and farther.

Pretty well all of my focus these days is on completing The Halloween Deception. Once that’s finished, I’ll be flopping back to my other in development game, Robyn HUD. One of the first things I’m going to do is come up with a firm release date to work towards.

But I can deal with that in a couple of week. For now, the issue list beckons.