Planned development stages

I’m planning on following a pretty standard set of development stages/milestones:

  • Prototype: all planned game functionalities need to work and feel nice and fun. Most graphics and music are placeholders and no real content has been implemented yet.
  • Demo/Vertical slice: I’ll take one section of the game (probably the prologue) and make it final or almost final, with final graphics, music, etc. This will work as a demo for people to see what the game will actually be like. It’s a good moment to showcase it.
  • Alpha: the entirety of the game is done, from start to finish, but without adding any more final assets yet, just using the ones from the demo.
  • Beta: all placeholders are replaced with final assets. The game is already finished, but there might be bugs and lots of stuff to polish still.
  • Gold: after gathering feedback, all game-breaking bugs are fixed, and the game can be considered a final product. I might extend it afterwards, but it’s not required (possible extensions: more languages).

I’m currently prototyping game features, and still haven’t advanced to the demo stage. Prototyping will probably still last for a while, since I keep changing my mind about certain aspects of gameplay and still haven’t hit the right spot.

At first I tried to estimate a % of work done for the current development stage, but that was obviously useless, so I’ve stopped. I honestly have no idea if each milestone will take me a year or ten.

Planned final content

(as of 2020/05/07)

  • A navigable worldmap, RPG-style.
  • 11 episodes (overworld maps) divided into unlockable individual rooms.
  • An indeterminate number of cutscenes.
  • An indeterminate number of smaller indoor and underwater maps.
  • 4 adquirable abilities (elements), which the player can then use to interact with the environment. Each element will have different effects depending on when or where you use it: for example, when air is used on a rock, it moves the rock, but when used on a tree, it destroys it. Spells have an effect on most stuff in a map, even if it’s just cosmetic.
  • An overwater/underwater dual map system.
  • A series of dynamic map properties and events which can be created, modified and removed by the player: fire, water, holes in the ground, etc. These are used to solve puzzles and quests.
  • A weather system that will be strategically significant.
  • 108 unique NPCs.
  • An inventory system with an indeterminate number of items. These items aren’t relevant to gameplay, but they’re important for storytelling and to get clues to solve the puzzles.
  • A persistent save and config system, with custom keybindings.
  • A set of menus and interfaces to navigate items, friends, etc.
  • Completely original art: dialogues, characters, pixel-art graphics and lo-fi electronic soundtrack.

(note: the game has no money/gold system and no battle system or health/points system. Storyline is linear, but you can go back to maps to explore more and find stuff you might have missed)