A Date with Reality

It has been a long time since the last post, and there is good reason for that. I have put a lot of time and effort into creating the design documents for At the Crossroads. I have most of the main storylines fleshed out and many of the supporting character’s created. As I have worked on this, the understanding of just what it will take to create this game became more and more clear. As I am the only person working on this, it became clear that this just isn’t possible.

I have put off this post for months now, hoping that I could figure out a way to still make this project happen. My original idea was to create the opening for the game in it’s entirety, with all of the gameplay systems fully functional, and have the open world (which makes up the vast majority of the actual game) created with all of the assets in place. But, there wouldn’t be any NPCs in the open world and no story related content; it would just be an opportunity for potential supporters to see the world, and decide if they wanted to back the game. Then, this demo would be made available through a Kickstarter campaign, with anyone being able to download the demo to play through. The demo would give the community a chance to see the quality of the game, and decide if it was something that they would like to help make a reality. But, as the game’s story outline began to expand into a reasonably accurate view of what would be necessary to tell this story, it became abundantly clear that no one person could make this happen.

I don’t have any intentions of leaving the world that I have created unused. That is where the title to this post comes from. I have to look at reality, and be honest about what I am going to be able to do as a single developer. Story driven games are great, but there is a reason why indie developers choose to make small, sandbox-based, games with very little story to them. It isn’t as much writing the stories. It is the massive work that goes into creating all the game-play related aspects of the story in the game.

At the Crossroads, as a setting, is still going to see the light of day. I think a much smaller, more tightly focused, game that is set in the Crossroads would be the best approach. If that goes over well and generates enough revenue to hire others to help on the full story-based game, then the game that I’ve been designing could be made. I think the approach for full funding would still need to follow the strategy outlined above (with a demo that potential supporters could play before committing their support).

In closing I have to say that, as an indie developer, I want to make huge epic games that people lose themselves in for a time. Epic Games has given us so many tools, like MetaHumans, PCG graphs, and full access to Quixel, sometimes I convince myself that I can do more than is really possible. I think the story that I’ve created is worth seeing the light of day, and hopefully someday, it will.

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