Just as our "Final Edition for Into the Dark", the 2.0 update for "Father`s Island had taken many of our players by surprise. And that despite the fact that we had mentioned ocassionally to work on something like that.
Well, one of the arguments we heard was "I didn't think you would be still updating your old game". And I can't be mad about that - we have been silent for many months in a row, just responding to emails and Facebook messages. But, behind the curtains of stress-induced silence, we had been working hard, in order to bring the game from there...
Aside from the obvious rework of textures and some assets, there were much more tasks going on in the background:
- The underlying Engine GameGuru had received multiple updates and bugfixes, and, with a severe impact on all assets production and rendering, and Upgrade to DirectX11 and PBR surface shaders. While we didn`t exactly force ourselves to show all new aspects of those updates, we tried to make the best use of those handy to us - and were forced to adapt or rewrite our LUA scripts, all of our videos and of course the surface materials to be still compatible. While Father`s Island was just a modest commercial success (compared to Into the Dark), it is still the most successful GameGuru game so far, so we had some pressure to keep our "testimonial" position for the engine itself. (Side note: Check out Hunted, another really good GG game)
- I wanted to implement Megascans 3D-scanned-objects and triggered a 3 months delay with that plan. But, yes, some are in. This was entirely my fault, blame me.
- We also wanted to address the Top 3 of complaints we got for the original release: Loading times, Framerate, reloading after death. And hell, we did, but it was quite complicated to implement a respawn system that would place the player at the last useful position, as the game has 4 different endings, and there are often situations where you can achieve something important (read: Find the right key) on 4 different locations far away from each other in the island. So, the respawn positions are now a compromise, but a good one.
- I felt it cheap to release an overhaul entirely without new content. So we have now two additional FMV video scenes and a small additional side story told by letters & posters. Enjoy
- We wanted to make sure that it is really the "FINAL" update. Therefore we had 8 weeks of additional testing in the end - with some of the engine changes happening in that period implemented during QA. Phew!
But, here we go:
If you are a developer yourself, then you might properly ask yourself:
Does it pay off?
Is there really a business case in updating Into the Dark more than 4 years and Father's Island more than 2 years after the original releases on Steam?
To be honest - financially speaking, no. While we have seen an increase in sales on both games after that, this is nothing that would pay for a few hundred extra hours spent on both games in the last year. But we get good feedback, we got additional curators on steam playing and recommending our title...
...and we have happy customers!
Happy customers are returning customers, who we will hopefully satisfy with
"Nazis of Neuschwabenland"
So, yes, I would do it again!
PS: It`s December. You know what that means. Vota communista - ah, sorry, wrong speech - vote our games for IOTY!