This post will serve as an update on the state of things with IGEO DXs development.
Last I updated everyone the plan was to shoot for May - well, May has come and I can definitively say we will not be hitting that deadline. I've decided to push things out to October and there are a couple of reasons for this I will detail below.
The TL;DR - game's in a bad state and I haven't had the time to get deep in the weeds and fix it. Life is changing fast and delaying things - but also bringing clarity to the direction I want to take with my game development aspirations.
IGEO DX shares a lot with its predecessor - and that includes code architecture. One of the biggest hurdles to developing the Movement Undo system has been trying to interweave it into the existing code. It would have been nice to bake that into the movement and puzzle logic from the start, but we're beyond that point.
The underlying system has to be scrapped and redone with a different method more akin to "snapshots" than the logging approach I took with the current iteration. I'm hoping these snapshots are less memory intensive and WAY less error-prone.
This has been a big undertaking that I frankly have had a difficult time getting started whilst juggling life and full-time work. If I pace myself over the summer I don't see any reason I can't get it done, though!
That system has ultimately held up development on a lot of other things that need to be in place for the complete game - namely, the following:
- Level Progression - I've decided to just strip this down to bare bones like the Alpha but it needs to be rewritten around a more data-driven system than the one that currently exists (this means no more 'unlocking' levels with Tokens, just a straight linear progression)
- Updated Settings Menu - the game needs more settings for folks on low-spec systems to balance performance and visuals
- Tunes - I still need to put together some more tunes for the soundtrack
- Optimizations - a final optimization pass on the art and code will help folks on low-spec systems
- Final Levels - the alpha levels will exist in some form in the completed game, but I want to add upwards of 60 more levels to the game
Life Comes Fast
In addition to IGEO's own internal issues, my life has been a little tumultuous as of late. Some recent changes to my fiance and I's living situation have taken a lot of focus and time away from game development. The good news is that we're coming up on the other side of it and have already found a new place to move to in mid-June. It's pretty safe to say that little will get done between now and then.
In the midst of this, I made some pretty big decisions about how I perceive the purpose of my game development aspirations. You may or may not have noticed that the Thought Reactor Itch page has turned into Mindnumb Interactive. Thought Reactor has been the brand that I publish my own games from for the better part of a decade now - 5 years of which as a limited liability company.
Thought Reactor was originally to be a digital media studio. My colleague and I founded it together with the vision of it being a creative haven for digital creators. We sought to build a studio for ourselves that would eventually grow into a more cooperative effort with others. Things have since changed but I've held onto the Thought Reactor moniker for game development stuff ever since.
I want to return Thought Reactor to some semblance of that - just one that is operated entirely online. The details surrounding that are almost non-existent, but the thought prompted me to come up with Mindnumb as the new brand for my game development projects.
So, given that, don't be confused if you see the Mindnumb logo within games. Older titles won't be updated, but IGEO DX will be officially developed by Mindnumb Interactive and published by Thought Reactor on release.
I am looking to Mindnumb as sort of a return to form for me. I waver between wanting to make the games I want to make and/or play and the games I think others might want to play. I no longer have the time or the desire to make games that cater to the market. This has always been a hobby for me and I need to treat it that way.
However, that doesn't mean that I will never sell another game. I want to start building smaller scoped, bite-sized games with gameplay and art direction I can manage. Itch is such a great community for that style of development and I want to embrace that. If those little games grow into something a little more, I may ask for a little something-something, who knows? Trying to sell games on Steam sucks the fucking fun out of it big time and IGEO DX could very well be the only title I put out there in that capacity.
Thanks for reading - I know these delay posts are becoming seemingly routine at this point - but alas, that is game development! Thanks to all who are still playing the original IGEO and the DX alpha. It still brightens my day to see the handful of downloads still tricking in from the Racial Justice Bundle.
Until next time!