Tough Decisions for IGEO DXs Future
In the most recent dev blog I outlined some rather significant changes to the development of IGEO DX. Most of these changes revolved around how the level progression system was going to evolve and my plans for the level builder. However, after some research and game dev "soul searching", I have some tough decisions to make regarding the future development and release of the game.
Have I gone too far?
This is the question that has been hounding me for the last few weeks - to the point that I've paused development to really think about the direction I've taken the game. My goal for IGEO DX was to fix issues with the original and introduce some new mechanics so that I could bring the game to Steam and Nintendo Switch.
I'm not satisfied with the game's user experience and unfinished art - but mechanically, I've achieved what I've set out to do. With some tweaks to the UX and some shinier art - the game will be ready.
Frankly, the more I think about it, the more I realize the game doesn't need any more. Anything I'm adding to it feels like I'm trying to make the game more appealing to an audience that probably won't pick the game up. Does a game this mechanically simple really benefit from more complex mechanics?
I really want to ship this sucker for the holidays. To do that, I need to reign in scope to keep the timing realistic and from losing my mind.
What's getting the axe?
So with all that - I'm cutting features and simplifying existing ones to ease development.
Chiefly, the puzzle builder, badges, and the token/cosmetic system are gone. I had some great plans for the builder and would love to take a crack at it post-launch. The token/cosmetic stuff was really just fluff and I don't think anyone will really miss it.
Additionally, the mechanics around N-Gons and level packs will be tweaked slightly to account for removing Badges. It will feel like a nice balance between the original arcade progression and the more "modern" progression I had started to develop.
Lastly, the "movement undo" feature as it currently exists is going to be reworked. I'm all for accessibility but I'd like to find a way to balance the game's inherent challenge with a feature like that.
What does that mean for the Game Festival?
The Steam Autumn Game Festival is fast approaching and these changes won't have too much bearing on it. The demo I plan to release on Steam for the festival will essentially be the current Alpha release with a couple tweaks and quality of life things. This will also include Steam integration so I can leverage Steam's analytic tools.
I think this will still be a great opportunity to get the game in front of some people on that platform and help get some wishlists!
As I said in the last blog: it never feels good going back on plans - but I think it's incredibly important to keep focused and shoot for more attainable goals. By keeping realistic I am better ensuring I can get the game done (the most important part) and retain some sanity (so that I have the fortitude to take on another project).
With all this, I do feel that the value of the game has decreased and so its final sale price will be $5.
At the end of the day, I am a hobby game developer. I'm not looking to turn a fat profit on IGEO DX - I just want to put it on Steam and Switch because I feel like those are the best places to share this game with people.
Wish me luck!
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