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Still waiting on Nintendo approval...
Tick tock tick tock tick tock
Some games are just like that, I guess. They take longer than expected in every single aspect, from start to finish. This game has been that way since the start, practically. Every deadline I set was pushed back, further and further. What was originally supposed to be November last year, turned into spring this year, turned into summer…
The early months was mostly me, and having to push things back due to contractual deadlines for other stuff (novels, etc), as well as complexities of creating the system that went underneath the whole game, and ran everything.
It was a learning experience, for certain. The game engine was too complex, too bloated, too…just too much for such a simple game. Sure, it was great that I could use it with Catacomb Kitties, too. But for Candlebook Island…and the under the hood complexities of timed events, characters personalities changing on mood, etc, it began to crumble under its own weight, and brought a lot of bugs to the forefront.
But, since then I’ve figured out what I liked about the experience (telling the stories of the NPC’s), and what I found frustrating (the time management stuff, some of the game mechanics, etc). I took a lot of the optimization tricks from this and added them to my overall toolkit for making games in the future.
Though I doubt I’m going to make another storylet based game for awhile, maybe at least another year or so. The complexity of getting it to work the way I wanted to, while being laid overtop of an SNES/PSX style RPG was…a bit much! I was in over my head, to say the least.
But the end result, the game itself? So good. It was definitely worth the trouble, of all the optimization, the tweaks, all the tiny bugs that crept out and had to be squished. And now I wait some more and more and more for Nintendo. I have a feeling if they don’t give it the green light by the end of August, I’m just going to have to move it to the PC/Mac/Linux sooner than expected and get it on itch and steam first.
That’s okay, though. I should’ve figured that the first game I made Switch first would have had things like this happen to it. The curse of hubris! And this game was just so complex, in ways it didn’t need to be. I was trying to create an “everything engine” for making games in the future. Something to streamline the process and make it easier…
And it had the opposite effect. It made things more and more complex. I guess that is the curse of creating a generic engine- you try to do everything, and in the end you make it extremely difficult to do anything.
But that’s okay! I have some games I plan on doing soon. Maybe one more this year, a simple couch co-op game. Not sure exactly how that will work yet, but I have ideas. Maybe one more game done during the holiday break from the university I work at.
And then next year? I start on my epic classic RPG. Inspired by the PSX era RPG’s. That will be complex in different ways, but the engine will be built for that game and that game only, it won’t try to be everything. Instead, I’ll make it so that it will be easy to optimize, and simple to script out so building items/magic/maps/etc is simple and fast.
Anyway, I’ll post here when I have more news on Candlebook Island, and where it’s going to go from there. You guys will love this game, I promise. It’s unique, and interesting, and the gameplay of walking around, finding sick monsters, figuring out the cure, and buying the cure, etc, is fairly fun and addicting. As is talking to the NPC’s and finding out their little stories and lives.