It's been a year and a month since we've posted an update on Lunaform. So what has Chronobit Studios been doing all this time? There has been work done on the game, but mostly in the form of grisly experiments to the gameplay. I'm a solo developer with great help from my lovely wife, sister, and amazing friends, but sadly most of the planned development for Lunaform fell to the wayside. I was focused on my day job, but now I've transitioned to a full time game developer, with some part time contracting work. It helps give me some flexibility so I can focus on the game, but still be able to eat and pay bills.
Game development has always been my passion since I was a wee lad, and I'm excited that I can now devote even more time to it. I'm not in game development for the riches or glory, I just want to make fun games that people love. I think most people will honestly say that there are way more Indie Developers that fail than succeed, but I consider success as being able to work on games as long as I can.
Current State of Lunaform
Lunaform is mostly in a similar state to last year when we showed the demo at Magfest 13. The demo we showed at Magfest was approximately a month's worth of development time that was crunched into weekends and my holiday time last winter. There is still a ton of work to do on this game! We got some great feedback from the folks at Magfest last year, and I'd really love to have an even better game to show people this year! With the demo we currently have, we've got about 10 levels with a hard difficulty spike, and an impossible last level. There are 6 different kinds of stars/enemies in the game, with 3 different upgrades.
I've worked on several prototypes, and many smaller Ludum Dare games, but Lunaform is going to be the first game that I'm going to finish. It'll be a great learning experience to launch a game, and a great start for figuring out a process to work on future games.
In Lunaform the difficulty spike is one of the first things I'm working on, and hopefully a nice tutorial that doesn't beat you over the head. It's difficult from a design standpoint to show the player the basics to the game without boring them to death with simple early levels. The following is subject to change, but it's roughly what I'm shooting for in an early 'finished' build:
- ~30 hand crafted levels
- ~10 upgrades, with some fun ones like 'Gravity Cancel' that lets you move but stops the stars
- ~10-20 Star/Enemy types, and probably a way to construct new enemies out of combining existing ones
- A "Gauntlet" or infinity type mode, where the levels are mostly random, and you try to see how far you can get.
I think that will provide Lunaform with a respectable amount of content that leaves room for expansion, but gives a clear reachable goal. If that all goes well, I'd love to visit the possibility of a 2 player mode, or multiplayer.
Itch.io, Steam, IOS, Android to start. That might be ambitious, but we had Linux/Mac/Windows/Web/IOS/Android builds that all seemed to work alright with the demo, so I feel pretty confident that we can target those to launch the game. My biggest struggle might be trying to line up the launch day on all of the platforms, but it'll be some time before I've got all the requirements and info sorted out for that. I think I'll try to put Lunaform on Greenlight first, to gauge interest, and get some early feedback.
I won't be taking a year before each update from now on :)