I have a promising game in hands that will not arrive on time to ParserComp.
My options at this point are:
Continue working on it that days, presenting it to ParserComp 2022 as an uncompleted/unchecked work, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (and of course of IF community :D)
Save it for a better day, to fight a battle I would be able to fight, protecting the game and its “special mechanics” from a bad first impression that would damage it forever, no matter if I work on it further after the Comp (it has work for at least 2 months).
Then, work during these 9 days left in a silly small game to avoid the shame on me for not sending a game. After all, someone needs to win last place in the comp @.@
Unfortunately for you in terms of advice, my answers depend on you.
If this were me, I’d not enter it in a state unsatisfactory to me. I’d get it how I want it, then enter it in some future comp. Could be IFComp or Spring Thing or Parsercomp, etc. There are too many comps around to sort of squander two months work.
But that’s assuming you like the results of the two months work. If your feeling about the WIP isn’t excitement, but ‘Eh, this is going alright, I guess,’ maybe it would be better to actually finish it off and release it and be free of it while still reaping some benefits. Then put your energy into the next thing.
So I think you need to evaluate how you feel about what you’ve done so far in order to decide what to do with it.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Legend of Zelda, said* “a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.” I would take his* advice - IFComp is coming right up too and there’s no shame in waiting to make sure your game puts its best foot forward. Comps and Festivals past are littered with unfinished, buggy games that irritate players with their missed potential (and bear in mind that however buggy you think it is, once people start playing it you’ll realize that it’s ten times buggier than you thought) - it’s an awful shame so please don’t do that to yourself!
As Wade says, this is contingent on whether you’ll be able to stay motivated to keep working on it over the next three months to get it into fighting shape. But you say it’s promising, with special mechanics, and that you want to protect it, so it sounds like you care about this game and believe in what it could be. So I think you got this. And if you’re looking for beta testers once it’s close enough to need them, hit me up!
* like all quotes on the internet, it appears to be apocryphal, but I’m propagating it anyway because such is life in these post-postmodern times.
My approach is to try to ignore the competitions and simply work on the game until it is finished. Then, once it’s finished and rigorously tested, release it in the first competition that comes along after that. It can be useful to work to a deadline, but if you miss the deadline, don’t fret, because there’ll be another one along in a few months.
I would not feel pressured to enter the next possible competition. I personally wouldn’t feel pressured to enter any competition.
There are competitions all the time. If you are still enjoying the experience of making this game, then go on enjoying it. I don’t think anyone will remember whether you entered this or that comp on time. They will just remember what the game was like when they played it. You have a lot of control over what that experience is like for them.
Echoing everyone else - save it for the next comp. It’ll be a much more satisfying and less stressful experience.
I would also advise against doing a ‘short entry for the sake of it’ for ParserComp unless you’ve got an idea for something really micro that will still leave enough time for testing. Deadline is rushing up fast!
Of course, everyone here is correct! Best to withhold the game than to put something out there that you’re not happy with. And as has been pointed out above, other competitions are available (albeit not as glorious, lauded or cool as ParserComp).
Will I find it in my heart to forgive your defection personally? It will be tough, but I’ll find a way. Possibly I won’t be sending you the usual picture postcard and stick of rock from my next holiday destination, but I’m confident all will have been forgotten in a few years’ time.
Looking forward to playing your game, wherever it ends up!
Thank you very much, each one of your messages are wise and help me a lot.
Wade proposing that I should not be where I don’t want to be, Mike with its not-fully-contrasted-but-wise quotations, J.J. pointing out that the important thing is not the competitions but the games, Drew making me think in the players and how would they feel, Amanda making me smile with its Shakespearean approach, Dee emphasizing in the stress I was feeling, Zed pointing to the time remaining for IFComp, and Christopher with his always welcome threats…
Sometimes is difficult to see clearly an evident situation when you are on it : )
I will continue developing “Syd Fox” for other comp, always carrying in my heart that it was ParserComp 2022 that made that game begin to take real shape.
But I rally want to receive Mr. Merriner’s picture postcards, so I will still participate on ParserComp 2022, also as a bizarre kind of thanks to organizers and participants working hard (and silently), spending these remaining days in make something really tiny and stupid so I can say one day: I was there.
I’d like to echo the other sentiments expressed here.
The good thing about a competition is that it gives you a deadline. If you bite off more than you can chew or real life gets in the way, it doesn’t matter. There will always be another deadline for another competition. Don’t release it until you’re happy with it and you’ve had a solid round of beta testing.