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AIF 101: Polish

Congratulations! You have made a fully functional, working game. Are you ready for release?

Perhaps. You could just get the game out now... or you can add a little polish to help it stand out. There are several things you can do to give your game that little extra edge.

This is, however, a nice time to announce the existence of your game, and suggest a potential release date. Doing so earlier creates meaningless hype for a game you may never finish... promising a game you never deliver on can only hurt your credibility.

Most AIF platforms now allow for the inclusion of both graphics and sound. Title screens, end scenes, important event/character introduction cut scenes... all of these can enhance a game. Some AIF has gone so far as to include graphics for every location, and some (plan 69, sexbot) have used graphics instead of text for the sex scenes. How much or little you use is your choice.

If you cannot draw the graphics yourself, or take photos, you can hook up with an artist or photographer to provide this for you. Tell them what you need, give them a deadline, and let them at it. you could simply use pictures snagged off the web, but if it isn't public domain, you can get in some legal trouble.

Using music or sound effects is similar.

In general, if you are to outsource your art or music, have an idea of what you need by the time you begin coding. This will give your artist time to finish up.

Feelies are another issue, and one that hasn't come up in AIF. What's a feelie? A feelie as I'm using the term here is basically anything "extra" included with a game. Back in the day Infocom included little extras with some games... keys, necklaces, rocks, whatever. As a primarily electronically distributed media, AIF feelies are likely to take the form of graphic and text files.

Decide if you are going to include any feelies in the distribution of your game.

Possible Ideas:

  • Maps
  • Character Dossiers
  • Poems - clues? Foreshadowing?
  • Additional concept art

If your game has a readme file, nows the time to make it. Include whatever instructions you feel necessary for people to play your game. Include contact information.

All that's left is to release your game to the world. Upload it somewhere, announce its release, and deal with your feedback. Ignore it, revel in it, or use it to make a new version of your game. Its all up to you.

© 2004 J Freebase - Updated 07/12/2004