"Wait, wait, wait, Shoot 1WHAT? Where's Grapple Buggy? How can you be working on two games at once? Are you still working on it or what?"
Fear not! Grapple Buggy is alive and kicking! It's doing just fine, it's simply a big game that needs a lot of time in development. The best thing to do with an atmospheric action/adventure is ensure it has plenty of time to properly percolate and coalesce. I definitely don't want to rush things and end up with Brundlebuggy.
About a month ago Grapple Buggy went through it's first big playtest and the good news is it was really well received! The bad news is there's plenty of bugs to be fixed. Let's check out just a few of the quotes (good and bad versions).
From the creator of the upcoming Dust: An Elysian Tail:
"I used my newfound ability to reanimate a big blue 'walking' type machine in the first outside area (with the two buttons on top). However, I was on top of it as it came to life, and then got stuck in its 'body'."
From the creator of Kuchibi, and the upcoming Your Doodles are Bugged!:
"Got a code 4 crash. Let's see if I can describe where... "
And finally from the creator of the ground-breaking In The Pit and the quixotic Crosstown:
"The map is frequently totally wrong."
What does this all mean for the big, ole gnarly Grapple Buggy? Well other gamers and developers are clearly enjoying it (big cheers!) but they are plenty of bugs and issues needing to be addressed (anxious murmuring).
Before playtest began I had a giant list of things to do and fix for the game. After playtest that list just got a lot longer! It was extremely beneficial to have many other gamers try out the game and point out issues.
I'll be working on bug fixes through the holidays and into the beginning of next year. After that, it'll be time for new content! Yes, the game in it's current form is only about 60%-70% content-filled, so there's plenty more monsters, grappling weapons, and alien vistas still to be created.
This is the hearty, flavorful middle of a game's development cycle. Pessimistically one can think of it as having "no end in sight". Too far from the beginning, and still too much to do before it wraps up.
Optimistically I really enjoy this part since this is where all the development fun really happens. The game is still subtly changing, and growing and it's a blast to be making it. All this is to ensure of course that when it's ready, you have a blast playing it!