It’s been a while since a major update has been posted to Flood Escape 2. It’s been long enough in fact that folks in the community are speculating whether the game has been left to die. This post is written in mind to address the concerns of those worried about the game’s future, or if it has any at all, for that matter.
Before addressing the future of Flood Escape 2, it’s important to address the reasons as to why things went quiet in the first place, how it happened and what the consequences were as a result of this development cycle.
If you frequent the blogs or have been fairly active in the community whilst the game received the bulk of its updates this year you will have noticed that there was a big push seemingly out of nowhere to get lots of updates out in rapid succession. Some updates contained new content, others contained bug fixes, and some were so small that it made little to no difference to the player as to how the game was played, hardly justifying the need for an update at all.
One thing that can be identified throughout the development of Flood Escape 2 is that updates have followed this cycle of lots of updates happening all at once, and then radio silence for months. Having gone through this process multiple times to the point where it has manifested a pattern has left me with the hindsight that the planning of development for Flood Escape 2 was nowhere near as consistent as it had to be in order to nurture a healthy balance not just for the balance of updates being released for the game (Benefiting the community), but my own work/life balance (Benefiting my own well being); what was once a new beginning to work on the game out of passion quickly got overrided by the crushing pressure of pushing regular updates out to maintain this image of the game being worked on regularly, despite not being able to produce what would be valued as a substantial update, leaving a void of sorts.
I have complicated feelings about ‘Games as a Service’ as a result of this and the potential ramifications for the average indie developer’s mental health; launching a game and being subject to this expectancy for the first time is dangerous if left unchecked. I believe that it’s only really possible for larger companies to be able to push out regular updates with incredulous amounts of content; Fortnite could be a speculative example although I’ve only really played it once and got back to playing games that didn’t require me to create the Eiffel Tower the next time someone threw a rock in my direction.
It’s clear that if I re-enter the development of Flood Escape 2 without changing approach it’s an inevitability that we would only find ourselves at the same crossroads and I’d drop off the face of the earth again for a few months. It’s simply not sustainable, this isn’t the path I want to go down anymore, both for my sake and the community.
So things need to change.
While it’s not clear what specifically I will need to do to strive for a balance that allows for updates and also preserving sanity, I do believe that I will need to reduce the frequency of updates all together, not with the intention of withholding content. Thanks to the success that you guys have given to the Flood Escape series it’s given a lot of wiggle room as to how this can be managed. I would like to take inspiration from the likes of how games like Minecraft and Terraria get their updates, allowing for more development time to be able to provide updates with heavier amounts of content and functional changes without getting bogged down by the management required in doing an update every few days.
So while it may take some time to see any manifestation of updates for the game itself based on this post, I’m optimistic about exploring these new methods of developing for Flood Escape 2 and how beneficial it may be in the long term. In many ways this post can be surmised by the saying that quality is valued more so than quantity, so we’ll see how that plays out.