As the inXile guys have been explaining in their immensely successful kickstarter project*, you generally don’t want to wait until after the current project wraps up to start thinking about and planning the next one.
Even for a single developer like myself. I’ll be grinding hard all the way to the finish line and beyond, taking feedback, fixing bugs, tweaking and polishing. But the creative work is pretty much done on System Crash right now.
I’ve certainly got some ideas for expansion content, but I’m choosing to be optimistic and start thinking about what I will do if I achieve my goal of making enough money to carry on and develop a second game, while supporting System Crash and creating expansions for it as a secondary project.
I’ve always said that I wanted to use this project as a stepping stone to return to my one true love, developing roleplaying games. I’m still pretty wary of them, they’re big projects with lots of complexity and content, easy for timelines to slip. System Crash was supposed to take 6-12 months, and here we are on month 17.
Though I do think a big part of that is the mistakes, false starts and oversights you naturally make on your first real commercial project. I kick myself for them, wish I hadn’t made them, but some things you just have to learn through doing. I believe I’d be able to do it within 12 months, if I were to do it all over again. I’m especially aware now of which aspects really need to be nailed down first, when to start commissioning assets, what to look for in good contractors, what are signs of contractors who are going to jerk you around etc. All valuable lessons, all the kinds of things you can only learn through real experience.
Anyway, I’ve been developing this idea for a small, tightly focused RPG, and it’s really starting to come together in my mind. A project where I can limit the amount of content I need to something sane, while still being able to build a fun core loop and add in the engaging narrative and characters I want my games to become known for. As a side thing, I’ve been brainstorming story seeds for games/novels I’d like to write for the last few months and a couple of those seeds really fit this new idea nicely. I’m started to get quite excited about it.
I’m not going to say anymore than that until I’ve developed the concept a bit further and SC is out the door, but I just wanted to share with you guys that plans are being drawn up, that I think you guys are really going to enjoy them and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. For all the folks that followed me since the Scars days and want to see me get back to making RPGs, keep the faith, ddues. I’ve been working toward this for more than a decade and I am far from done, whatever happens.
To the future!
*And I am really quite excited for this new Torment game. The project and story concept looks awesome, I’m already a big fan of Monte and the Numenera setting, and I personally prefer that setting to the real-world post-apocalyptic W2. Just my personal taste; I think what they’ve shown of W2 is looking pretty great but Mad Max type settings have never given me that special tingle in my naughty parts, not even things like Fallout.