What a blur. The last blog post feels like we did it an aeon ago. We had an amazing month of coverage and showing off the game as part of a number of events. We revealed an exclusive new Lady Love Dies themed trailer during the PC Gaming Show and were also part of the Escapist Indie Show and the Guerrilla Collective. Reactions to the game continue to be amazing. In particular the cool kids on Waypoint Radio were really nice to us in their podcast (you can listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrQFXnk6N5g)
We’re in the thick of bug fixing now. We’ve been working on the game for about two years now and our driving development practice has been systems, systems, systems. Everything we’ve implemented has either been tied into a behind the scenes system or driven by gameplay systems. I’ve worked on a lot of games full of bespoke content and the problem with these is that when content is unique, each bug fix only fixes that instance. In a systems based game, you will always have unique bug fixes (dialogue, bits of art etc) but when you fix a gameplay system, you fix it once and it propagates out across the whole game. This tends to mean content fixes are minor (one day we did 120 bugs between us) and systems bug fixes add a lot of value across the whole game.
Due to our systems based approach, the game has been playable start to finish for months. This has given us a very clear idea of where polish needs to be added and which bug fixes are the most important. I’m doing a lot of full playthroughs at the moment (no time off when you’re a small team making a big game!) and each new daily build has really tangible improvements. It’s amazing seeing the whole experience come together.
Games like this are the sum of their parts more than other games. Paradise Killer revolves round a non-linear narrative in an open world but just having those two things isn’t enough to make the game come alive. The secondary mechanics (movement upgrades, economy) and tertiary features (customisable music playlists etc) have proven to be incredibly important to the experience as a whole. The game really feels complete now. I’m having a great time doing playthroughs and logging bugs because the game feels right and the bugs are things to fix rather than worry about. Except for the playthrough stopper I found last night…
Thank you to everyone that has supported Paradise Killer, your enthusiasm for this weird thing continues to blow us away. Very soon we have a very exciting dream-come-true announcement that we can’t wait to share. Actually, we might have a few!