Why is the next Enola update taking so long?

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Well, if you already own Enola there’s a chance you’ve realized the last update was on December 2013. That was around 5 months ago.

A small update on what has happened during these past months…

I got a small “government grant” to help with Enola’s development and promotion, and I just used a good chuck of that money to take Enola to Rezzed and PAX. I had to make a lot of changes to the demo so it would be better suited for the events (you may or may not know the old “Enola: the cabin” demo was way too long and it was too easy to get lost because it included the huge island level). At both events we got a lot of feedback that would make things easier to understand.

On the other hand, after watching a few Youtube videos I decided to make massive changes to the island. Basically what’s going to happen is that you won’t be able to roam freely across the island. Many areas will be “locked” so you won’t be able to access them until you have met certain conditions. We are also moving some stuff around so you don’t have to walk too much to reach certain level.

This means two things:

1. We can control the flow of the story better because we can decide the order you visit the levels.

2. You won’t be wandering aimlessly until you find something interesting.

There’s something I will add to encourage exploration as well, but that will have to wait until the game is finished because I don’t want to spoil it Open-mouthed smile

Items are easier to spot. They had a blue-ish glow but now they have a bright yellow-ish glow. Also, when you get close to them a small “pick up prompt” shows up to let you know the damn thing can actually be picked up (it also appears on letters and notes, by the way).

The flashlight will be permanent now, and you will be able to turn it on-off at will. I am unsure if the flashlight should deplete because there are times when you WILL need the flashlight, and I don’t want people to get stuck or not be able to advance because they don’t have enough batteries or whatever.

On the other hand, the permanent flashlight allows me to play with the lights a little bit more, adding more dark areas or more “dramatic lighting” without fearing players will not see a damn thing because it was too dark.

I still need to figure out a way to guide players better inside the levels, though. Some players would get lost easily and backtrack a lot. The easiest solution would be to make linear levels, but linear levels suck because they are pretty much a straight path with a few parallel rooms here and there with items you need. Levels in Enola were actually designed to make you go back and forth, so I can play a little bit with the dynamic events (rooms that were not there at first, light changes or other events).

As you can see, there are many things that are changing (besides, we’re also working on the remaining levels). I could have released an update now with some partial changes, but I decided it was better to make all those big changes available at once, even if that means the update is delayed a little bit. The goal here is to make a game worth playing, even if it’s not perfect.

See you next week!

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~ by nemirc on May 19, 2014.

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