Arrested Development

For some, summer is about fun vacations, trips to the beach, and picnics. For others…

After looking at the heat maps of the US this past week I think I’m with Mock on this.

Unfortunately I have some bad news, so let’s rip it off like a band-aid.

I need to delay the release of Village Monsters. The new release window is now Spring 2019, with a final date coming as soon as I’m sure it won’t slip again.

The rest of this post is a detailed explanation for the need of a delay, but the takeaway is that there’s enough money to finish the game and that Village Monsters isn’t in trouble, I just need more time to finish it.

Reasons for Delay

Toward the start of the year I sat down and heavily reanalyzed the key features of Village Monsters. I actually wrote about this process in the January 9th update. This process was similar to editing a book or script, and the end result was a design that was much tighter and would result in a better game.

There was a downside: it made me realize I had a lot more work to do than I thought.

For example, villager dialogue ended up playing a much larger role in the game than I once anticipated. My old dialogue system was far too lacking to bear that responsibility, so I had to gut it and redo it from scratch.

I was confident I could still get things done by October, but I didn’t have much room for error. Unfortunately for me, things erred almost immediately.

A number of complicated technical bugs forced me to rewrite the collision, camera, and loading system. Then the tool I used to write dialogue became so unwieldy I had to spend a large amount of time finding a replacement (I eventually just built my own solution). Soon after that my website broke and I had to spend time fixing it so people could download the game.

It was one interruption after another, and they soon began adding up. Then, in March, my son was born. I won’t use him as an excuse as I knew what I was getting into with a baby – they’re hard work!

But what I didn’t anticipate were the unique challenges working from home with a baby presented. Even with my door closed and wife on full time baby duty it was incredibly easy to get pulled from work. As my available time shrunk I focused on smaller / easier tasks, but this just meant that my backlog became full of complicated, time-consuming tasks.

By the start of June I realized that a delay was my only option to deliver a properly finished game.

I hope this makes sense. I am incredibly disappointed in myself, and the last thing I wanted to be was yet another indie game Kickstarter that didn’t release on time.

But I’m not worried about Village Monsters. Thanks to frequent financial planning I know I have enough cash to see this through the end. The shame in missing my release date has made me even more motivated than before, and with my new pipeline I can put this motivation to maximum use.

Thank you for your support and love, villagers. See you all next update!

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