The Fog

The ending of the game has always been foggy, both literally and figuratively.  The city is foggy, partly for atmosphere, partly for reasons other than atmosphere, and the endings I’ve always only know vaguely what I wanted to do… but now comes the time I need to work out the specifics and weave them into the last 1/3 the game as I create it.

The fog seen from inside.  Needed to make a special kind for this room which is one of the few where the perspective flips to show the door you came in from.

Don’t expect clear answers or explanations in this game – you’ll have to go searching quite deeply for them, and you may form a different but equally valid interpretation to my own (which I will try to keep secret, and not impose within the game.)

That said, I have figured out what it is I am prepared to reveal to the player, and the rough form of the endings now, which is actually a massive psychological hurdle to get past for me.

One such location, Superflat World, from my previous entry.  Can you see what’s playing?

I’m still on schedule, but very exhausted.  I’ve worked between 12 and 18 hours a day on LS for around four months now.  If it actually sells, I’ve had to promise my wife and daughter I’m never going to put them through this again!

As to what I’ve actually been making, a lot of time has gone on two crucial cutscenes in the city area, and different versions of them depending on certain factors.

Looking forward, there is one more major thread to be introduced via the final character in the game, who links certain things together in the story.

Also in the city will be a new kind of creature, (something I’ll be working on next week), as well as drawing more actual locations and adding them in.  Other than that it’s just a case of implementing all the puzzles I have planned, the set pieces, the music, the art and the scripting in the city, and then hopefully moving onto the final environment as planned at the start of December.

If I finish ahead of December I’ll try to get more sidequest stuff in with any spare time I have.  I am considering holding back certain ideas rather than do them half-heatedly, and using them in a post-release free update.  I think people would rather see it sooner, and without half-finished things in it and a bit later…

What do you think?

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  • Comments (9)
  1. avatar
    • screeg
    • November 8th, 2011

    “Other than that it’s just a case of implementing all the puzzles I have planned, the set pieces, the music, the art and the scripting in the city, and then hopefully moving onto the final environment as planned at the start of December.”

    What? You’re going to do all that in a month?

    I agree you should get finished stuff finished and leave anything half-finished for later. I hope you get onto some non-Steam digital download platform, as well as providing direct download.

  2. avatar

    Yep, Sefam, that’s SMII – there are several others to find too!

    To everyone else, thanks for your encouraging words… I am not an advocate of crunching to finish stuff normally: I had enough of that working in the ‘AAA’ industry haha. The problem with Lone Survivor is I only had a year’s development / living costs saved up, so I now now longer have a choice about when it needs to be finished. But as Lone Survivor is my baby, the thing I’ve worked hardest on and the biggest project I’m ever likely to make, I want to be able to say there was no way I could have done more to it in the time I had!

    Jasper

  3. avatar
    • Sefam
    • November 6th, 2011

    Do take your time Jasper, we’ll wait patiently :D

    And that Arcade is playing soundless mountain! Am I right? As for your ideas, I think they should either be implemented fully, or not at all. Do remember what Gabe Newell said about delaying games; a product that is late is late a bit, but a product sucks forever.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. avatar
    • thaine
    • November 6th, 2011

    Looks really great, and I’m very excited. But I wouldn’t push myself too hard if I were you. There will be plenty of games for everyone to play these next few months, and releasing it in late-winter, earl-spring would give you more time to do what you want. Plus, good games are notoriously thin on the ground in March and April, so you’d probably get a lot more attention if you released it then.

    Whatever you decide, the community will surely support you and look forward to your work in the future.

  5. avatar
    • Simon
    • November 6th, 2011

    Hmmm yeah, DLC/ episodes would be an acceptable approach ^
    I know a lot of people are against it, just on principle, and because of bad experiences (horse armour lol), but in your situation you could end up delivering bigger and better content to users that appreciate it/ want it/ would perhaps pay for it. Especially if you’re at a stage where you can release a ‘finished’ product, but you would actually enjoy working on it more (and have the ideas), and the players would like to play more. Of course, if you just want to get it done, release it, and then leave it, no problems (:

  6. avatar

    Heh. You could always slice it into episodes.

    Just don’t burn out, those hours sound a bit much. Hope you’re taking at least one non-development day a week.

  7. avatar
    • Pl4t0
    • November 5th, 2011

    Totally agree with waiting on the extra stuff until post-release – I for one would much rather have a concise and coherent product with a consistent standard of quality than one that ditches quality for the amount of content it can squeeze in.

    You’re doing awesome, this is one of the coolest indie games (hell, just one of the coolest games) I’ve ever seen. I’m more than happy to wait a little while after release for polished content rather than get a bunch of half-assed content up front.

  8. avatar

    Yeah as all the stuff I want to add is stuff that gives you more ways of doing the same things (ie looking after yourself), I think there’s already pretty much enough in there already to release it with. Anything else that comes after would just be a nice bonus! Anyway, we’ll see what I actually get time for.

    The plan is to stop making content once 2012 rolls in, and spend the last couple of months on polish, beta-testing and so on, getting some method of selling it up and running, promoting it a bit, and if all goes to plan, a release in March-ish…

    No promises though, I won’t put it out until it’s ready! :)

  9. avatar
    • Adam
    • November 5th, 2011

    Sounds like the games really come a long way recently, glad to see you plug so much time and effort into it.
    “I think people would rather see it sooner, and without half-finished things in it and a bit later.”
    I agree with this, also considering your own time constraints you can’t delay it repeatedly or you’ll be developing it forever. Maybe the post release update could be like a ‘Quest update’ done properly when the pressure of releasing is gone? ARGH I can’t wait to play this!

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