After reflecting a lot on this, we made the decision to not go ahead with our already-late 3rd game “Flyer”.
About the game: Flyer is / was an air combat simulator where the player takes control of a hovercraft to defend a fleet of space ships in the atmosphere of a gas giant as they get attacked by drones.
Why we’re stopping development:
- I (Udo, this is mostly from my perspective since Sven hasn’t been involved in the game) dramatically underestimated the effort required to make 3D models that actually look acceptable, as well as the general effort it takes to make a 3D game. Since we’re making these games in our spare time, and there was a distinct lack of spare time during this last month, it’s no wonder that Flyer didn’t get off the ground there.
- The gameplay is difficult and unrewarding. While I personally had a lot of fun playing the game, I don’t think it’s suitable for pretty much anyone else. Playability-wise the game combines the “worst” aspects of a helicopter flight simulator and a flight combat system. There are good reasons why helicopters don’t get into dogfights, but I pretty much made a game about that anyway.
- It’s boring. I can sit for hours and just fly around in this game, but that’s not an exportable idea of fun and engagement. Even the action scenes, when I viewed recordings of them later, felt extremely boring and confusing,
- The little feedback I got was negative. For the most part, people didn’t react to the game at all, which is always a bad sign. When I pressured people into giving me feedback, it was unanimously negative. On a very basic level, nobody saw why you would want to play this.
Big studios cancel games all the time for the same reasons, and I understand a little better now how that happens. I have no doubt that we could have salvaged this project by sacrificing more time to it, but that’s counter to our current mission. We want to explore and iterate on games quickly, throwing more good time after bad is not on the agenda.
Sorry if we disappointed anyone this time, but we’re already throwing around some ideas for our next project and the next time, we will have something to show for.