Hi everyone! Time for some honest talk on where Planck is, what we’ve been up to since late last year, and what Shadegrown Games’ goals are for this year. For those of you who don’t like to read a whole lot, the short version is: we’re working on something new— but Planck is still alive.
So what’s the deal? Why are we working on something new right now?
As we demonstrated Planck and pitched it to various potential partners, the near-universal response was that it was too expensive to do as a larger PC or console game. But, they added, they’d be happy to talk to us about doing a much smaller version of Planck, for smartphones. I didn’t want to reject these suggestions out of hand, so we created a branch version of the game in order to test out various ideas and figure out what it would mean to simplify Planck for a smartphone’s capabilities and audience.
Going down that path, however, meant that we got away from some of the aspects of our original goal: to make the sprawling free-form dynamic music game we originally dreamed of making. The mobile device discussions are still ongoing, but it’s hard to make concrete progress on Planck right now when we don’t know what our real target is going to be.
Of course, no matter what happens, we’re also going to continue to pursue the grandest vision of what this game is meant to be on our own– it just won’t be with the greatest speed.
(Aside: “Why not do a Kickstarter?” is a question I’m often asked about finishing Planck. I’ve thought a lot about Kickstarter, especially in light of its recent string of great successes in funding excellent projects for awesome developers. Ultimately, I think our particular situation isn’t totally applicable— the amount of money that we could get through it would fall short of allowing us to leave our day jobs and work on the game full-time, which is really the only thing that would help us get the game done faster. Any amount of money up until that point doesn’t actually buy us a whole lot— we have the people and equipment to make the game, just not that dedicated length of time.)
In the meantime, though, we’ve decided to make something new.
It’ll be a smaller game than Planck—something designed from the very beginning to be something that people with day jobs can finish successfully. It’s also got many of the same principles and ideas as Planck: abstract colorful visuals and dynamic music that responds to your play. We’ve already begun testing this new game (it made some secret appearances at this year’s Game Developer Conference) and we’re excited to share it with you later this year. That’s right, we’re committing to having it out in a reasonable amount of time! We want to ship stuff, and we think focusing on this new game while we wait to find out what’s going to happen with Planck is our best strategy for doing so.
Information will be coming soon. Please look forward to it!