EMUUROM Status Update... 2023?

























2020: "I MUST finish the game, be it sooner or later."





























2021: "2022, the year of EMUUROM."






























2022: "Releasing EMUUROM is gonna take at least a few more months"




























































Yeah so I kind of missed my deadline last December. Not for the actual game, no (imagine finishing games lmao) - just for our yearly little tradition of saying "No, EMUUROM still didn't come out this year". Not a tradition I'm that fond of, to be honest... 

As if missing December wasn't enough, suddenly January went by as well. And now, even February is almost over (but not quite: thanks, leap year). So I guess I had to finally do something about it: stop doing what I'd like to do (work on the game) and instead do what I've dreaded doing (write this devlog).


Sidenote: I've noticed that if I miss the initial deadline for X, finishing X becomes suddenly exponentially harder. A some sort of unproductive "well, I'm already late so I guess it doesn't matter HOW late I am" trait I have - thanks, brain!


The science of the EMUUROM release schedule

So EMUUROM wasn't released in 2023. If we consult induction (no, not that one, this one), and examine the number of EMUUROMs released in the years 2020, 2021 2022 and 2023, it's quite safe to extrapolate... checks notes... that it very much will not be out in 2024 either.

[Booing sounds]

Yeeeah, that might not be what you wanted to hear.  However, there's a reasonable reason for the delay (a real reason, that is, instead of cheap mathematics tricks), but I'm getting ahead of myself. You see, there's some good news:

For the last two months or so, the speed of EMUUROM development has been at an all-time high! 

[children_cheering.wav]

I'm pretty happy about the current situation, especially after struggling to get development up to speed after the trip to Busan Indie Connect (see previous devlog) and moving to a new apartment. Now things are going so well that at the end of every week, there is something new and exciting in the game! Yay!


When in doubt, leave it out

Well then, how has the game changed after the previous status update? Well, by just checking out EMUUROM demo, you might notice a certain change in storytelling: the long-ass intro cutscene with Maire on the computer is just... GONE. 

Why, you ask? Short answer: It was too long!

Long answer: It was essentially a lore dump that delayed getting to gameplay a lot... and to be honest, I struggled WAY too much with getting its structure and tone right. So the (in hindsight, obvious) solution was to kill off this darling and just replace it with a new, more cinematic intro. The new intro focuses on the essential story beats, and leaves out everything else. Let the player play the game, goddammit! They're not here to READ (and don't care about the lore - at least yet)!



Byeee!


In fact, I've applied this design ethos of "leave everything unnecessary out" to the whole game: for instance, I've shortened many signpost entries to focus on the information that I want to give the player, and removed some less fleshed-out side content. Oh wow, had I figured this out earlier, I would have spared myself from a lot of trouble...!

As for the rest of the game: the game progression ("main quest") has been almost ready for a long time already, there's just the final boss that's left to... 


Oh no

...I really am in the same point with the final boss as I was a year ago.


It's fine. Everything's fine. Because obviously I'm at least working on the final boss now?

[drumroll.wav]

Nnnnnnope :D Instead... I have created myself the most elaborate Final Boss Procrastination Plan to date: I not only designed from scratch, but also started to add in a completely new feature


...A feature so big it might push the release date to 2025.


So yeah, this is the reason for the inevitable delay. This is why I can say I'm adding new stuff to the game every week. And this is the reason why I so much dreaded writing this blogpost.

This is also a significant contributor to my almost-total radio silence in social medias lately - the feature is pretty much impossible to talk about without completely spoiling it. You know, I don't want to rob the experience from you! The less you know, the better. So better if I just... don't say anything.


Unless...?

Well okay okay, fine, I can tell a TINY teaser. So if you're really adamant about possible spoilers, jump to the next chapter.

This feature is something I was already considering at least two years ago. Let's just call the feature "Konsepti" for now. I got the idea while reading about Finnish mythology, and it felt like something that I just HAD to add to the world of EMUUROM some day. It was an interesting Konsepti after all, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  But it would have been a huge additional workload, and there were still many gameplay elements waiting to be implemented. So I shelved Konsepti, just to be able to ship the game faster. I just couldn't give in to the scope creep demon, so better just leave Konsepti for a sequel or spin-off or something.

But you know... it was something I really liked? And I believe that those who like EMUUROM would have liked Konsepti as well. So eventually I did a complete 180. I made a handshake with the scope creep demon (only this time around! Not after this!), and started manically implementing Konsepti into the game. I feel that despite the delays caused, I made the right decision. Why? Because EMUUROM development was suddenly so FUN! I had been doing bugfixes and fine-tunings and promo builds etc for so long - it was time to work on something interesting.


Tools are important

I have not only made regretful game-delaying decisions lately, however: I've also made decisions that would have undelayed the game, had I made those decisions earlier: I started writing down lore documents in Obsidian! Before this, I had pretty much only written down lore that actually ended up in the game itself, which is, scientifically speaking, monumentally stupid. Because of not having a master document, lore changes were difficult to track, and the history of the world was even self-contradicting at times. Obsidian proved itself so useful in that regard, that I even started to use it to plot out game progression in a neat canvas feature (pictured below).


this is my life now


Oh wow! What a difference you can make to your workflow with just a) having great tools and b) gaining some common sense! I suggest all my fellow devs to consider both!


What's next?

But that's it, time's up. I need to get back to furious gamedevving so you can, you know, play the game at some point. Let's wrap things up with things to come, because there are some events I'm (possibly) attending this spring:

But that's it for now. Know that I'm eternally grateful for you, my dear fan, who still (hopefully) willingly reads my ramblings about a game that has had so little progress lately that someone might already consider vaporware (vaborbware?).

Please look forward to more EMUUROM news in some yet-to-be defined timeframe! Yours,


PS. Thanks to hovnous for kicking my butt to finally write this :D

Files

emuurom-demo-html.zip Play in browser
Version 41 74 days ago
emuurom-0.8.4-AMAZE-demo.lua 1 MB
Version 29 74 days ago
emuurom-0.8.4-AMAZE-demo.file 3 MB
Version 32 74 days ago
emuurom-demo-mac.zip 1 MB
Version 33 74 days ago
emuurom-0.8.4-AMAZE-demo.exe 2 MB
Version 36 74 days ago

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Comments

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(+1)

Its fine, because tbh, i procrastinated reading this status update  X_X  Just read it today.  Shame on me  lol

high five! :D somehow every tangential gamedev task has become increasingly difficult. i just want to make the game...

(+1)

I would, in fact, like to play the game before dying (of old age, or otherwise), but I also hope the cut 'side content' doesn't kill the spirit of the game.  A fine tightrope you walk, my friend XD

(+2)

You're welcome :)

(+1)

Heh, I can entirely understand the delay for a fun feature! Honestly, making development fun might result in more development speed than cutting out the content, because motivation is... strange like that!


Thanks for the update, and I look forward to playing it in 20XY, whenever it comes out!

(+1)

yeah i swear i wouldn't be as far as i am now if i hadn't started upping the scope!?

thanks for patience 🙏

(+3)

Haha! Such a wonderful read. Wishing you the best in finishing development. Emuurom is one of my most anticipated full releases .No pressure -but yes pressure if it helps you wrap it up :)

(+1)

great that you liked it! hehe the right amount is just a little bit of pressure, as a treat