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We are getting VERY close to launching this mod and I want to share some thoughts

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Soo, a lot has happened since the last article published here. When was it? A month ago? I don't know. Thing is, my time to work on this mod really did vanish for a few weeks at the start of november. It started out with me being informed that I had to leave my home in 15 days, then I didn't have to after I have packed everything in, then I got an offer where I could leave to a better place but that offer is still pending and basically nothing changed in my life but I could not really do anything productive for the first 2 weeks. Now I switched to crunch mode where I have a full gameplay test planned for every second day and in between I do my best to tweak the mod and fix everything I found broken. It's ironic that I wanted to make an even longer mod because I had more and more ideas popping into my head but now I'm at the point I don't know how to finish it properly. Or at least I didn't know. One ending is done and the other is very close to it. Problem is I have entered this tough finishing phase where I have a release date very close and so everything I do might be the last change I will do and no matter how cool new ideas I dream up they will not get implemented. It makes things more difficult that I am already thinking of new project ideas when I am far from finishing this one.

Okay that first pharagraph was a bit hectic so I will recap everything I tried to tell you:

  • I was told to move from my home but then came some bureaucracy and now nothing changed in my life in the end except I lost about 2 weeks that I could have spent on the mod (or you know, living my life normally)
  • I have entered the pre-launch crunch phase where I need to finalize a lot of things and I am far from done
  • In the meantime, my imagination is already leaving to other projects

All in all, I actually like this phase. I have a stong motivation to work hard on the project (release date) which forces me to polish everything as much as I can. This leads to a lot of levels looking way better than I ever imagined (just look at the courtyard, if I didn't look at it and think "yes, this looks a bit empty, when it has to be perfect" then it would not have looked the way it is in the pictures I uploaded). It pushes me to my limits. I always liked discovering and pushing my limits be it physically or in other way. Well, now is a good time for that. I am a bit sad because I had multiple endings planned for the 2 paths but I didn't want to oversaturate the mod with unneccesary endings (remmeber Shadow the Hedgehog for PS2?) and frankly, many ideas I had were put on hold because I had to complete the main thing on that level. For example, there is the sequence from Trailer 2. There I planned to have two different results. The one that the reailer shows. You run away, hide and hope the monster goes away. The other was if you failed to run away while injured. After killing the player, you'd wake up in a cell tied to the wall and the player would have had to escape before the monster came back.

The fun part is that I had the entire thing planned out in head, how I'd do all of this but. Always those buts. What happens when the monster reaches you and you still didn't escape? Do you go another way after escaping? Will the player understand what I am asking of him instead of them thinking it's just a fancy scirpted sequence for them to die? I figured it would take way too long for me to figure these out and I felt like I had to finish the base of the entire level before thinking about these things. In the end, I made the right call. I would never had the time to finish these different paths in the polish I want them to be. As much as it broke my hearth not to include this cool idea, it was for the best. As Gabe Newell once said: a game is not what it is, but what it is not, what had to be taken out for it to be and what goals had to be given up (paraphrasing obviously). Also just a few logic problems with that I always poke fun of in games is "why is this death special? So then every death has to be special? If not, how do I explain why this death is special?" and all those kind of things.

Now that I think about it, I can now see why so many games have these little things we like to poke fun of. If this mod does not move my career forwards at the very least I now appretiate video games a lot more. I know that those poor developers put those collectibles there on the level so the player is forced to explore the level he spent maybe hundreds of hours to make. I don't say it's still okay to litter an open world game with hundreds of collectibles or even worse, force the player to find x number of them. I just understand it a bit more, why they are there.

Anyways, I really got off-topic here. I will do my very best to make sure you, the kind player will get the best experience I can make on November 10th. If I have to, I will delay it a bit but I'd prefer to just move on from this project.

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