Everyone knows that in order for a game to be finished, it is going to require a good amount of polish. However, few people seem to be able to define what this means exactly? If you ask a professional developer, they will likely say you need to juice it or that polish is fixing all the small details. You can’t disagree with those statements, but they are pretty meaningless as they can’t really be acted upon. In order to polish the last 10%, you need to complete the first 90%. So how does a developer, especially one that has never created a “AAA” product, know when they have hit that threshold? Can this threshold be quantified?
The answer is yes, so let’s walk through what I call the five steps to polish. I have created a very simple game to help illustrate these steps. There are three core elements to this game 1) a scoreboard to display the points, 2) every two seconds or so, an object will spawn randomly somewhere on screen, and 3) every time an object is clicked, the player is awarded 100 points. At no point will we change these elements in a way that alters their functionality, such as randomizing the point value or having the objects move around the screen. We will purely focus on polishing the experience as it is.