Moon Intern Day!
Hi All! We have good news! Larry is the newest (and maybe only?) Insurance Agent/Game Designer/Pixel Artist. Now that all his training and classes are in the bag, he only needs to pass the Illinois State exam which is this coming week. It’s a 4-hour test, so wish him luck. Every American needs health insurance now (Thanks Obama!) so hopefully this will work out well for Larry. He’ll be going from door-to-door all throughout the Chicagoland area, so if he knocks on your door please don’t chase him down the street.
First of all, we need to apologize. We feel like we let you guys down, but we’re never going to give up or accept defeat. This is what happened: Just prior to the completion of our public demo back In November the bottom sort of fell out on us; we fell off of our own fiscal cliff (Thanks Obama!). We were holding on financially as long as possible, but it got to the point where the team could no longer go without employment. The funds budgeted for our personal time had long expired and our families had helped us all they could, but it became too difficult to continue development while still managing our job searches. This was exacerbated even more so since this hit us just prior to the holidays. We should mention that there are still Kickstarter funds available, however it’s all been budgeted for later points in development (rewards, marketing, legal, etc).
So we had a big ol’ meeting to consider some of the things that were slowing down the development of the game. We thought about what we could do to simplify the design in a way that would retain the original vision and the design pillars of the game. Our conclusion boiled down to “World Persistence”. We’ve been restructuring the way the map, story, objectives and exploration work without any world persistence. Development is becoming more streamlined, approachable, and focused in contrast to the complex systems that we were building previously. Originally, we were attempting to create an entire persistent world that was simultaneously interconnected and “alive”, basically, a 2D Skyrim world. In a sense, the game is still interconnected and it is still most certainly alive, but the structure of the world and how you traverse it is no longer needlessly complex. Frankly, we were looking too hard at games like Skyrim rather than considering, more carefully, what was the best way to present our unique world. Formerly, the player would literally have to either walk from one side of the world to the other, otherwise, take a mode of fast travel like a bus or taxi. We were beating ourselves over the head trying to make each of these levels connect and make sense in the context of the map and story rather than designing levels around the missions and objectives the player would be performing.
To reiterate, we were spending too much time on things that didn’t matter and may have actually been detrimental to the design. We could spend an entire blog post explaining the changes we’ve made to how the player interacts with the game world, but the important thing to take away from this really is the previous sentence. For those that are interested, you can soon expect a blog post that goes into excruciating detail about how exactly the old game world worked, how the new game world works, how they are different, and why the changes we’ve made are so exciting to us.
We fully admit that blogging hasn’t been our primary (or even secondary) focus since we are all wearing so many hats at the moment. This is an error we want to correct and we are committing ourselves to becoming more active in communicating, both by blogging and by posting in the forums more often. Feel free to sound off in the comments or the forums about any questions or concerns you might have and we promise we’ll become more active. We will, at the very least, be doing a blog post once per week. Not every blog post may be quite as important or interesting as this one (especially since we’re deep in a transition phase) but we feel that more consistent blog posts are a great way to stay connected with you guys. Love you honey bunches of oats! With almonds! Seriously though, thanks for sticking with us, guys, gals and ghouls. Stay tuned for more!
-President Thomas Whitmore