It's about time I explained the current state of Luminesca. The project has now been running for over a year and, for better or worse, where I am now is nowhere near where I planned to be by this time. Focuses have shifted, certain constraints have arisen while others have relaxed, and my general outlook on the project has changed.
In this post I'm going to highlight changes to some of my former intentions and explain how they came about.
By far the most significant change to the development is the amount of time I am dedicating to it on a weekly basis. The key purpose for the IndieGoGo campaign was to raise enough funds that I could take some time out from work and dedicate all my time to Luminesca. I raised a notable amount from the campaign for which I am hugely grateful, but the high cost of living meant that this money pretty much only covered the time I spent promoting it. Perhaps this was a lack of foresight on my part, perhaps I should have been more prepared and financially stable before starting the campaign. This is something I actually deeply regret because I have been unable to fulfil my plans as quickly as I had hoped.
What this meant was I had to go back to full-time work and shift Luminesca's development into my free time. This has significantly slowed down development, I can't deny that. On the other hand I have picked a lot of very valuable skills in my new job which I can apply to Luminesca, and it will be a much better game for it.
I had high hopes for the game in its early days, and a lot of this was probably due to over-ambition and naivety. Luminesca was planned to be a 4-6 hour game with 3D graphics, hopefully delivered to a variety of platforms such as Xbox Live Arcade and iOS. Since then I've come to realise what a massive amount of work this entails and have re-scoped the project accordingly. If I stuck to the original plan I think the game would simply never see the light of day, or at least not for a very long time. I don't want it to take that long, I don't want to get to the point where I'm sick of it, and I don't want to keep the IndieGoGo funders waiting.
I'm now looking at a much more focused design, closer to 1-2 hours in length, using 2D art which is much quicker and easier to produce in the quantities I need, and I'm aiming to develop only for PC/Mac/Linux at this stage. If the game is successful I will consider other platforms, but it would take too much time and effort to work them into the plan at this stage.
What comes next?
- I will continue to develop Luminesca in my spare time.
- I recently cleaned out the Unity project folder as it was getting bloated with obsolete code and art assets. It was becoming too big for what it needed to be. This reboot has given me a jolt of enthusiasm and made the whole thing far easier to manage.
- Some of the IndieGoGo funds have gone into purchasing Unity extensions - namely 2D Toolkit and uScript - which speed up my workflow immensely, so this is getting faster and more productive.
- I now have a much clearer idea about how the full game will take shape and I'm working on a demo of the opening sections using my new 2D art style. As soon as this is ready I will make it available to everyone who donated. I really can't wait to show off all the ideas I've come up with in the last few months!
- To all the people who donated: I have not forgotten about you! I will continue to work towards making the game the best it can be and making your donation worthwhile.
All I ask of you now is patience. It will be worth it!