- Isometric Dawn is on a temporary hiatus. Lance and Harsh sat down to explain why -
Well...here’s a blog I never thought I would write in my whole career. I’ll just cut to the chase here: Isometric Dawn has been put on hiatus. Please don’t confuse that with “cancelled” that is absolutely not what we are doing. I didn’t spend over a year on a game to just up and say “oh yeah, throw it away, it’s cancelled.” The fact is simply the game isn’t really going anywhere in development. It’s a blow to my personal pride to have to admit that, but that is the conclusion Harsh and I came to. Thus, we have decided to take some time to step away from it.
You’re probably wondering how it got to this point. Thing is, I don’t really know the answer to that myself. I’m not really sure where in the process of designing and creating the game we messed up. For all we know it was flawed from the start. It’s had a rough development, now that I think about it. It was only after about three months of development that it already entered what is known as development hell, which we’ve talked about before. For most studios and teams, that’s probably when many projects would be cancelled. We didn’t want to do that, so we kept going, which of course prompted our switch to Unity.
Perhaps our time in development hell should have been the first sign that something like this was in our future. Maybe we knew that but didn’t want to acknowledge it. It’s hard to remember what I was thinking a year ago. But then, thoughts like that are probably not going to be in one’s head when development from then on was moving so smoothly. It wasn’t long before we had our original game back in place and then just continued on from there. Everything seemed like it was going so well.
That’s why it’s hard to pinpoint when things went wrong. Because it never seemed like it was going wrong to begin with. I was frustrated with development at times, sure. That happens to everyone now and again. But I didn’t think we were on a path to putting the game on hiatus. Looking back from now, though, I can see that for the last month, maybe two months, we were running around in circles, grasping at straws to try and make something that was fun to play. The final nail in the coffin was when Harsh took the game to a couple friends of his, and they basically said aloud what I think both of us were thinking: something isn’t there that needs to be there. Of course, they couldn’t tell us what that was either. And thus came the prompt to put it away for some time and come back to it a little later.
So now comes the obvious question: now what? Well I don’t know. I’ve put plenty of thought into that question. Harsh suggested that we take a break from all things game development for about a week and then convene again with fresh minds. I’d like to, but I can’t get all the development thoughts and ideas out of my mind. On the night (morning for Harsh) of the decision, we had thought about making a smaller game just as a kind of reset to the creative parts of our minds. I’ve been asking myself what I think I should do personally, and I’ve not really come up with anything. I at least know that Isometric Dawn isn’t just gonna sit there for who knows how long exactly. I’m sure I’ll break in now and then and try something or fix some bugs. Like I said, I didn’t work on this with Harsh for over a year for it to just die on us. Which is why I emphasize that this game isn’t cancelled, we’re just taking a break from it.
I’ve said my piece on the subject. Harsh will be having his own thoughts on this as well, and you’ll see what he thinks. For now though, I will leave you with this:
“The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting” - Walt Disney
Before I begin the post, just know; this is not the end of Isometric Dawn. We’ve put in too much work into the project for us to simply walk away. We’re stubborn like that.
To give you a simple answer from my perspective will largely break into two major reasons for the project being put on a Hiatus. The first is the matter of looking at the picture too closely. You see, we’ve worked on this game for the past year. The tiny team of two did everything that was to be done in the game. From music to art to design to code to marketing and social media, all hands on deck through the project were ours.
For the past month, Lance and I reciprocated our feelings about feeling a little burned out with the project. However, we chugged along hoping that we hadn’t. The result of this wasn’t great. While some great progress was made in stabilizing and improving on the performance of the game, the whole month, looking back, looks like we’ve gone in circles.
We had hit a wall we couldn’t see.
The game was lacking of something we couldn’t quite put a finger on. We tried anyway. However, after a lengthy discussion, we decided on a way to keep the game alive and for us to keep putting our best work into it and that was stepping away for a bit and putting the project on ice for a little while.
We will come back to the game in the very near future. This is more of a vacation from the project than a complete abandonment of it.
The second reason for us to step away from it is of a financial nature. While neither of us is in any debt and we don’t have to worry about our lodgings and meals, we do need to get a source of cash coming in if we want to continue doing this. Now, don’t worry. We’re not asking for anything. We don’t want your money for a product we’re not actively working on. We’ll simply start producing smaller games for either the PC and/or the mobile market during the time we’re taking off from IsoDawn. These games may be small in scale, but we do intend to deliver impeccable games that are fun to play.
These games will begin discussion starting next week. Follow us on our twitters for updates. (@TehGameDev & @Prof_Smash)
This will be the last devblog until the time we return. It’s been great writing these and I do intend to come back to do it.
Until then, have fun.
- Lance & Harsh