Hello! I managed to complete my goal for last week, creating the CGs for the first part of this big scene in Summit. But now it's time to change gears and focus on getting that demo ready, which means I had to finally face a decision I've been wrestling with since the start of development.
I've decided to cut the prequel stories from Catalyst Wake. It was a really tough decision, because they made up about 50% of the planned content in the project.
For a long time, I'd been dreading working on the prequel stories, and I was hoping it was just a case of needing more thought put into the outlines, or not wanting to do the work. But what I've realized is that they just weren't working on a conceptual level.
Catalyst Wake started out being a prequels-only project, meant to fill in gaps in the story. However, these gaps are more or less already filled by what the sequels do. And the remaining gaps are better suited to short expository documents than full stories.
It's hard to let go of ideas you've worked really hard on — especially since the idea of a "story fractal" where you could unlock bits and pieces of the story in any order and slowly figure out what was going on was a fundamental part of why I wanted to make this to begin with. But with the addition of the sequels, the prequels lost their sense of mystery. Many of the things the prequels were going to hint at are made explicit in the sequels. And because of the sequels, the prequels would've had to have been unlocked sequentially, which ruined the appeal of the "fractal timeline" design.
I'm definitely going to revisit the story fractal idea in the future, because I find it cool and interesting, but it's not the right fit anymore.
I plan to go into more detail about what the prequels were going to be and why none of them worked very well once the game is out.
This decision mostly gives me a sense of relief. I was definitely underestimating the amount of time it would've taken to finish those prequels, and now I'll definitely meet my expected deadline for the completion of the game. I'll also be able to focus more on the stories I'm really excited to tell — the sequel stories — and use the extra time to make them even better.
I've updated the store pages and price to reflect this change.
Until next time!