The release date for the game is less than a month away, and we actually think we're going to make it!
Right now, we're working on the final screen in the game before the last boss. Throughout the entire development we've been shifting and changing levels in a pretty haphazard order, but we're now confident that the paths are pretty much done, and the real bulk of the game is finished and ready for release. There's going to be a lot of changing and testing to come, but now that we've just about finished every frame, it's a massive milestone.
Now that we've come so far in game development and level design skills from the start, we wanted to make the ending something really special. We know that pretty much everything before this from the start has been building to this huge climax of "Finally beating that damn game", so we wanted to give this final pre-boss screen a feel of scope and completion.
Tij came up with the great idea of incorporating a bunch of things from earlier levels, and we constructed it to have as many references and objects from past levels as possible.
We've tried to give it a feel of accomplishment. You've beaten all these things before and seeing them again gives some scope to the accomplishment so far.
Personally, the re-appearance of the chest (One of my favorite screen in the game) is, I think, a great example of how the feeling works. A lot of people got frustrated with the chest because it's a problem that looks really hard that has a deceptively easy solution. Seeing it again at the end, you can use what you already know the make the mini-encounter trivial. To someone seeing this as the first screen in the game, it would be insanely hard, but to someone that reaches it after the course of the rest of the game, the challenges are recognizable and thus beatable.
At any rate, we're very happy to be finishing the game up. It's been a long time in the making and we're really proud of what we have so far. Most of the work here on will be watching playtesters work their way through the game and smoothing out the difficulty curve. Or maybe we'll just rough it up a bit more. Who knows!
Oh, and there are a few more (Totaling to about 16 now!) secret items going in. We're making sure that beating this game to full completion is going to be a truly epic task. Good luck!
-Orann for Tijital Games.