Thanks to the few people who kept checking in during the long silence. To answer Storygamer’s question from the comments, and to update everyone, my wife, daughter, and I left Okinawa at the end of August and moved to the exciting Omaha, Nebraska. Things have been crazy around here getting our lives in order. But now that I’ve got a full time job as a program designer, graphic designer, and .Net developer (it’s a small company, so we get to wear many hats), things are calming down.
I had been spending a lot of my freetime working on Erin’s Wadjet-Eye project, but she’s recently decided to shake things up with a new art direction, so I’ve got some time off of that now, and I opened up Resonance today for the first time in (I’m embarrassed to admit) two months. Arg.
Since Res has been taking so much longer than I had hoped, I have been mulling over the option of releasing the game in three parts. The story is divided nicely into three acts, one for each day of the story. However, I think there are some issues with splitting them up since they were originally supposed to be a single cohesive whole. For example, the first act is extremely linear and fairly short since it’s introducing the characters, setting, and plot. The second act, on the other hand, is the real meat of the game, opening up to more free exploration and allowing the player to do many tasks in any order with lots of multiple solution puzzles. I’d worry that the first act might be unfairly judged if it was released in the absence of the second.
There would also be technical considerations with splitting the game up. I’d have to consider, for example, how to allow the player to transfer their data between the releases so that choices that you make in one part might effect characters’ actions in a later part. Not to mention the point system…
So I’d be interested in what you’d think about a three-part release. Would you forgive the shortcomings of one part since it was intended to be balanced out by another part in the original design? Would it be worth me taking some time to rework the game a bit to balance the three releases as far as linearity and length go to improve a three-part release? Or should I just keep to the original plan even if it means that you don’t get to see any of the game in quite a long time? Thoughts?