This morning I'm off to Victoria University Wellington, to see how the student games are coming along. This is their beta presentation, which means their games should be feature complete, although I doubt they will be on such short development times. It also means they have to present and defend their work, which will probably be heart-breaking, for at least one group.
|Game development - like Lovecraftian insanity, but less permanent...|
For me, it will be a mixture of envy and relief. Hitting beta on a project is a wonderful thing (assuming you actually hit it on time), where you can really start to refine the game. It's like you know the chords, you know the music, from this point on you just have to nail the phrasing.
Of course, that's an ideal world. Most of the time, even for the most professional of teams, beta is a heart-breaking occasion where you realise that you still have far too much content and features left to go into the build and balancing it all is going to drive you to the brink of insanity. But that's part of the reason those of us that make games enjoy it.