How do I make games? A Path to Game Development
Get out the Polish...
Finishing a game does not merely mean you get it to a point where it is playable, and then move on, this is not a finished game. A finished game will have an opening screen, a closing screen, menu options (if applicable, at least instructions on how to play and start), introduction screens to playing, reward screens and a score board (where applicable).
If you couldn't put your game in an 80's arcade game and not be able to tell it doesn't belong just by the modes it goes through (minus the attract mode or demo mode), then your game is not finished.
There is a big difference between a game that is "bare bones", and a game you have put all the finishing touches on. This difference will be a matter of a couple of days to two weeks (depending on the size of the game). It will get increasingly (sometimes exponentially) more involved as you move from Tetris to Breakout and so on.
The result, though, will be very important, both to terms of your understanding game development, and your own pride in your work and satisfaction/fulfillment. (Accomplishment does wonders for self-esteem!)
It's not easy to show people your game and have to constantly tell them to overlook different things and feel the same as if they picked it up and had no problems moving through it and everything was well presented and complete feeling. Other game developers are a bit more forgiving, since they know the process.
Most importantly though, you will learn all the details that go into really finishing a game. If you stop at just working gameplay, you will still miss out on the details of wrapping things up, which will leave a blank spot in your mind when trying to plan larger projects in the future.