I would have nearly forgotten the feeling of making a game. It’s nice to remind yourself what you want to get back into in life, and what you’re really interested in. You know, the process of production – for me, as the supervisor of the whole project, it’s mainly marketing. But then when things get tough and everything is being completed, you can’t imagine how hard that is on me.
But wait. This ain’t no pitying myself. It may look like I am, but the truth is quite the opposite. It’s what I love about development. The part where everything’s coming together and seems like it has fallen apart and stopped functioning. And like it even cannot function together. That’s when I take the floor and put things in order.
I’ll move this dialogue here. I’ll tweak the camera over there. Ah, this can’t happen, there can’t be a flower on this level, because the player doesn’t know about it yet – and so on. The way the story is told, and how the game makes one feel in the end, isn’t just my random wild thought, it is shared by everyone in the team.
Right now, the game is exactly in this phase. We’ve got everything, and at the same time, nothing. If you wanted to play it right now in the current build, you’d end up staring at it and thinking: “Hey, that can’t work in only a months’ time…”. Well, I hope you won’t be surprised if I confirm that yes, it can :).
But it’s exactly time that makes me worried. It’ll be 20th January in four days. The day we decided to determine the final release date. And that concerns me. Not because YOU might be angry if we postpone the game once more, I hope we managed to make up for that with these blogs. But you see, I’d be pissed off at myself.
Finally we have prepared a mockup for the game – what will the playing of black boxes look like. As you will wander around the Entity, sometimes you’ll find some collectible. In our case, a BLACKBOX, which contains Auriel’s memory from her time back on Earth. As a producer, I’m very proud of these dialogs. They sound great and brilliantly develop the story :). Even though it’s a bit of a game-design cliché, I’m happy about it!
I’m good at making big decisions. I’m good at facing them too, whether they were good or bad, when it comes to it. But what I absolutely hate is when there’s nowhere to run. Truth be told, I want to make a game that’s exactly like it’s concepts. That’s why we didn’t do kickstarter. That’s why we took our time. If the game got bigger compared to the original concept, and that’s why we went wrong with the time, in the end it’s just great.
Even if it meant everyone turning their backs on us and cancelling their pre-orders. It’d be their shame, they’d miss out on an awesome content. Sure, we promised. Sure, we postponed it. But the important thing is that we promised to give you the final version of the game, no bugs, flawless, awesome ride! And that’s what I want to do. No buts.
I don’t even know why am I writing all this on blog. Perhaps...my train of thought helps you understand what we’re dealing with here.
My ideal imagine, and I think you’ll agree with me, is the following:
And if you think that we’ll be done with the game after the release, you’re wrong. There won’t be any party. No celebrations. Those will come a week after. Wonder why? We’re not naïve. We know that the betatest won’t uncover all mistakes, and if we want the game to work after the release, we’ll have to react fast on the Steam. And primarily, we need to set up an environment that’ll make it easy to report the possible flaws.
There can be so many of those people (thousands of them). Ideally, there won’t be too much of them, but you never know. But when you know that something can happen, you’re just terrified that it will. Because the freaking Murphy’s Law.
Of course, the next factor here is money. If you think that we can postpone the game forever – we can’t. Most of us do nothing but rely on finishing up, and we’re doing our best. For many people on the team it means a hardcore kind of Leap of Faith.
But they say that that’s how big things in life get started… you make the move and jump :).
So I’m done writing today’s blog. If you’d excuse me, I’m off to make the move and jump.
(PS: That’s, of course, just a metaphor, I’m not jumping from a bridge; I’m getting back to the game code.)