By Adrian Chmielarz Posted in Witchfire on 2019/04/10
I was to give one, just one advice to an indie developer, it’d be:
Never commit to a date.
I’ve made the mistake of committing to a date many times. “Anyone can err, but only the fool persists in his fault”, said Cicero. Facing the facts, I am, apparently, not the smartest man on the planet.
The only acceptable sentence a dev can use when talking dates is:
It’ll be done when it’s done.iD Software
…with the caveat that:
The worst aspect of the continuing pace of game development that we fell into was the longer and longer times between releases. If I could go back in time and change one thing along the trajectory of id Software, it would be, do more things more often. And that was id’s mantra for so long: “It’ll be done when it’s done.” And I recant from that. I no longer think that is the appropriate way to build games. I mean, time matters, and as years go by—if it’s done when it’s done and you’re talking a month or two, fine. But if it’s a year or two, you need to be making a different game.John Carmack
(I’m kind of not agreeing here with John but wanted to quote his recantation for the record).
If you think all of this is about the promised gameplay preview, then yes, this is about the promised gameplay preview.
It’s not the usual “a game developer is late, again” kind of delay, though. We’re progressing with the game nicely, and a third programmer joined the studio (hi, Piotr!) to speed things up even more.
However, working on that vertical slice we’ve actually went too far in some areas and made them too polished. Fairly close to final quality. The downside is that whatever is not of the same quality, stands out.
A true story from a dev friend. They were showing a game to a few execs and everything was looking nice except for the sky. The team explain the sky is merely a placeholder, and did the presentation. Later, one of them overheard one of the execs telling the other that he’s not sure about the visual quality, because “Have you seen that sky?”
Of course gamers are not idiots and can tell a placeholder from the real asset but still, a blot of ink stands out more on a white sheet on paper than it does on a dirty desk. So instead of showing you this weird Frankenstein of a game that partially looks great and partially looks crap (of course it’s not really about the graphics as it is about animation or AI glitches, collision bugs, etc.) we’re basically continuing the work until we get to the point where nothing truly horrific stands out.
It’ll be done when it’s done.
But just do we’re not leaving you with nothing, here’s a 12 second preview of what exactly is it that we’re working on.
Yes. Maybe bosses will not be as gigantic as some Painkiller bosses, because things can get really awkward when you attempt to punch a 100m tall boss in the First Person Perspective, but still, we’ll have some big guys.