There’s this famous saying about a product (or even a service) that uses the three keywords: good, fast and cheap and says “pick two”.
Applied to a game, we could say that I could produce a cheap game, quickly (fast) but that is not good, because I would need to hurry, and if the game is sold cheap I couldn’t spend a lot of money on assets or even myself. Or another variant could be: a good game and release it fast, but not cheaply, since I would need to hire the best team possible who could draw/write/code all at once to produce a good result in a short time.
Those are just random examples (in real life even if you have the money to pay a team of professionals, it’s hard to coordinate everything anyway!) but I am talking about this to introduce the topic of this post: future games.
Future games (unannounced ones)
This regards only future games of course, not the ones already announced or that are already in the works. In practice the thing is – after Loren, and its insane amount of romances (and since the game was very popular) I thought it was possible to repeat that. It is possible for sure but it’s extremely hard. Even if Cursed Lands did very well, it was really difficult to finish it and I’m not sure if doing such games is still commercially viable, or even if I can still make them without going insane lol.
I’ll try to explain better, since it’s of course something seen from the point of view of the developer, but also of the players. Doing a game which has a big gameplay part (like a RPG) AND also has a big number of love interests (I consider big anything over 4-5 love interests) it’s a HUGE amount of work as you can imagine.
It’s really hard to write, and there’s the risk of getting burned out, maybe making some of the romance path unsatisfying (even if so far almost everyone loved Cursed Lands and I hope the same is for Planet Stronghold 2). And even if everything it’s done properly, it will take a LOONG time. When things take a long time it’s bad since I don’t see any money until the game is out, and all sort of bad things can happen like writers dropping in middle of the development and so on. A long project is inherently riskier.
If Loren 2 didn’t had so many love interests, it would probably have been already finished 3-4 years ago. It’s too late to change anything now, but for sure having so many romances planned was a TOTALLY FOOLISH idea. I don’t need to sell dreams like many people on Kickstarter do, to get the money immediately and then maybe not even deliver a product after years. Indeed I don’t want people’s money until I have at least a beta version. So if I announce something I want to keep the promise and deliver the best product I can.
But when I did, somehow I made a mistake and I hadn’t clear exactly what I was doing – if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have done this again for sure! And believe me I even thought to cancel it, but I have spent already so much time and money on it, that I really can’t.
I will still do my best of course, but from now on, I will NEVER make a game with more than 4-5 love interest. Never. Because it’s not going to work, even if you have 50 love interest there’ll be always someone who complains about something. It’s much better to have “only” 4-5 love interest but with well done, satisfying romance paths instead.