Monday 3 June 2024

The 'Back-Burner'

 My exam season is finished, and I have finally attained freedom! No more Biochemistry, ever again! (well actually that's not quite true, but it's true enough.)

I've got a lot to get to work on now. I've got three games on the backburner...

- ULTRAFUN: This one has been on the backburner for absolutely ages. It's a free game, but it's a passion project. I might start something new with that one-- I have indeed had some new ideas. 

- Squid Chess: This has been my "main project" for most of the last academic year. Sadly, it's been mostly relegated to the sidelines for quite a while. I'm excited about where it's heading, but it needs a lot of work before it's ready. At the moment, it's still quite broken. I need to work with my teammate on how to guide its future direction.

- Land of Artificial Jellies: This is actually a game I'm a little less passionate about. I'm not too happy that it doesn't seem very fun to play. It's a bit repetitive and, well, I might save it for its own blogpost. Either way, it's a commercial game, and it's set to release in.... 3 months. Uh-oh!

That doesn't give me a whole lot of time to finish up Land of Artificial Jellies, but there's only really a few things left that I need to do. In fact, of the post-it notes on my wall, I can probably get those done in a week or less.

The really intimidating thing is, however, that Artificial Jellies is a mess. It's just not fun! I'm not sure if I'm even comfortable releasing it. I feel very negative about it. It's kind of a 'novelty' game-- most of the game is only there to showcase some (admittedly, it's quite a lot) text in each level. I'm not sure whether the right thing is to just 'juice it up', or to try to redesign any part of it. 

Given that I have only three months and not a lot of ideas, I'm more inclined to just make sure it's tight enough for what it is. The description on Steam calls it not a game, but a game-like land. This is true because, as a game, it contains this, 'absence of play'. There's a hole in the design that doesn't allow the player to really do anything except follow a very narrow and predetermined sequence of actions, without any skill-checks or obstacles in the way. 

Maybe I'm being a little too hard on myself, and I should let players just enjoy it for what it is: A short, novel experience about the great Land of Jellytopia.

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