As those of you who have been following the game know, originally Grapple Force Rena was kind of a bit of an experiment, in terms of the way it was being developed and distributed! Unfortunately, that didn't quite work. I went through a couple of different plans to try and finish out the rest of the game, but I've finally settled on what I think is the best one.
Plan A was to develop and release the game serially, each level free to play in a browser - the money was to come partially from my savings, partially from a Kickstarter, and partially from merchandise, ad revenue, and pay incentives like early level access and the downloadable version. Unfortunately, the last part of this failed to kick in entirely, since I didn't have the time and resources to both develop the game AND run the marketing machine that would make it self-sustainable! So I switched to...
Plan B! This plan was to take one level of the game and spend a lot of time and effort polishing it to a much higher standard than the rest of the game, to use it as a showcase for potential publishers. The level turned out really great, I think! Unfortunately, no word from any of the publishers we sent the level out to, which brings us to...
Plan C, which is to just get a part time day job and develop the game in my free time. I've managed to pick up a pretty low-demand job at a retail place next to my house, which will help me make ends meet and still leave me plenty of time to work on Grapple Force Rena.
Why has there been so much silence before now? Well, the truth is, I've been spending most of my free time doing this instead of working on the game:
There's only so much "nothing working out like it should" that someone can endure before it starts to get to you! I've been doing my best to try and stay positive throughout this whole experience, and it's with no small amount of shame that I admit that my discouragement has had such an adverse effect on getting the game done, after all of you supported me so much.
I've started to get myself out of it, though, and start looking toward the future again - now that I don't have to worry about how I'm going to make ends meet, I feel like I can start working on the game again in earnest, without all the added stress and desperation that comes with trying to make it my livelihood. It's going to take a lot longer, and for this I apologize - but please rest assured that I'm going to get this game done, no matter how long it takes.
I have been adding more to the game, now that I've properly gotten started! I'll post a more detailed update, but here's a little preview:
I've updated the entire first world and cutscenes to use the new level graphics from the more-polished version of Course 1-2 I made for the publisher showcase demo. The change is pretty significant - the game looks a whole lot better for it!
This next change is a bit hard to convey in images, especially since it's not quite done yet, but:
I've completely re-done the code behind grabbing and throwing objects, as well as the physics and behavior of objects that are thrown. The new code features momentary impact delays (which feel very satisfying in play!) and will soon feature hit-flash graphics, and objects bounce much more reliably and predictably - it also makes it easier to make objects grabbable on the back-end, so it should speed up development on new enemies and objects significantly! Redoing everything to use the new code, however, is a pretty huge undertaking - I'm a bit more than halfway through it now. Once I'm finished, and the hit-flash graphics are completed and in the game, I'll show this off a lot more.
Thank you all, once again, for sticking with me through it all! I'll keep you posted with updates!