So it's been quite a few months since the demo release. I've gotten a lot of feedback and contact with collaborators to help with translation work! But... what has been done since then? Well I recently recovered from being hit with Covid and got a new full time job at a mobile game studio and a host of other things (moving to a suitable place that doesn't cost a fortune). So progress has been spotty here and there but I've finally got things back on track to be consistently working on the game with a set of goals. There's also an official website! Mostly a retread of the steam page summary but a way for streamers/press to get a hold of key art I have outsourced to inject a little much needed promotional variety.
Without spoiling too much the full planned game has 4 areas 4 bosses and a sort of endgame area and final boss. An "area" is typically double the size of the current playable demo. The average playtime of the demo is about 30 minutes so doing basic math you can expect the game to a be about 4-5 hours long. However after all four bosses are defeated the whole infastructure opens up (4 areas become 1 big area essentially) with more things to do to fully unlock the final boss.
As of now 2/4 areas are completed, with the other 2 areas having rooms in place but very little to do. All of the bosses are pretty much completed including the final boss, however they could use better balancing and phases. The game is in a weird spot where you can "beat" the game but there's a lot of dry/repetitive rooms that need to be filled up. A lot of the things plaguing development was just getting rid of the repetitive gameplay (fight enemies, fetch quests, solve puzzles) and having actual setpieces and rewards to look forward to. In came in Mods: passive items that take up inventory space but give you versatile abilities that help with combat/exploration. These were implemented almost last minute in the demo and have been very well received and understood. The areas are basically being retooled to have the mods drive the exploration a little bit more. Not only that but the game is being designed to have all 4 areas be progressed in different orders, sorta like Metroid.
As a dev I often struggle to define "content" and also don't want to think of this game as part of a content mill (This is human made dammit!). However for a long time I've been mulling over the possibility of a randomizer mode for after you beat the game. Mods are really just abilities you can switch in and out so it stands to reason that switching them out without tying them to mandatory progression will add to the variety as well as weapon/health/ammo pickups. I cannot promise the randomizer mode on launch, but I will definately add it on a free post launch update by the time people have completed the game. I'm not even sure if randomizer options are really that popular in the indie space but the game will be designed for it. The hope is that it beefs up the replayability while not sacrificing the tight variety/pacing that I'm currently working towards.
So when is this dang game coming out? Probably within this year, before 2023. Things are really uncertain and I'm really just one solo dev doing this in their spare time. However morale has been really good and I finally know what I want out of the game, there's no longer going to be any harsh pivots and it's mostly a matter of filling stuff in to make the best game possible. I will announce a release date when I know the game is ready. I'm also going to provide an update each month to update you all on how it's going.
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