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  • Writer's pictureKarp Paul

What's next?

Ailin: Traps and Treasures is out, so there is a reasonable question: what will happen next? There are several parts to the answer.

First, regarding ATnT. I will support the game for at least some time. I plan to monitor for bugs and glitches, of course. Among various ideas which I consider for further development are the following:

  • Fast movement mode. One of the complaints which I received from several players is that the movement in the game is too slow. I agree, and I expected this issue to emerge. I think of making a separate option which would disable most of the animations and make movement (almost) instant. However, this kind of feature will probably require some significant changes. Specifically, it will interfere with the UNDO functionality and can cause multiple errors. So it might be challenging to implement. It is also not obvious how to animate the player in this mode.

  • New mechanics: switches. The idea is rather simple - there is a switch on the floor which can be triggered by the player standing or by placing a movable (box or chest) on its top. Somewhere in the level, there would be a closed cell, for example, a pillar, which would disappear by triggering the switch, and which blocks the movement. I think this mechanic can introduce some interesting gameplay. The problem with this mechanic is that it needs to be tested with all others to work correctly, especially with the fast movement mode.

  • Other platforms. Specifically, SteamOS and macOS. SteamOS is actually a low priority since the game runs on SteamDeck out of the box via Proton. However, it might be beneficial to have a dedicated Linux build of the game. There are also some minor adjustments required, but they are not significant. MacOS is tricky. If I understand correctly, I need a Mac and an Apple developer account to make a dedicated build. Godot actually allows building for macOS out of the box, but I need to test how a build produced this way works, and that still requires having a device.

  • I also thought of porting the game to mobile, which seems like a good business idea but not so interesting to me personally. I need to figure out my priorities first.

  • I've been told that ATnT would be perfect for Nintendo Switch. However, porting to Switch requires significant finances. There is also a question of infrastructure: Steam has Workshop, does Nintendo have one?

  • Controls remapping. This is probably one of the most important features to develop. It will require some effort not only in programming but also in terms of UI development.

I also consider various "wild" ideas, such as developing a "story mode", however, it implies some significant changes to the game, which raises a question: should it be the same game or a new one?

Second, regarding Ailin's future. I want to create a second game with this character. I actually have some more or less specific ideas, also a puzzle, but not Sokoban, and with a side-view and not a top-down perspective. I even got an idea for a title, but I need to prototype and test the basic mechanics first.

Third, I would like to develop another game before making a sequel. Actually, while preparing for the ATnT release, I decided that I should try making something small, like a one-screen game. For example, something inspired by Plague Inc or Death Worm - these are great examples of tiny games that have highly engaging gameplay and could be ported on multiple platforms, including mobile.

Fourth, I have multiple game concepts which I would like to develop. Specifically, I am thinking about a story-based horror game, an exploration game with procedural generation, I also have some ideas for action RPG and Strategy games. However, each of these concepts requires significant resources, including money, time, and effort. Currently, I can not afford to start any of these projects. However, I would really love to do that.

Fifth, if I want this hobby of mine to become something more, I should consider working with publishers that could provide me with resources, not only financial but also publicity and talent (specifically, artists). However, I am a hobbyist and going more professional requires much more dedication and focus on game development. Currently, I am not sure that I can run a studio and manage employees. I don't mind spending my own money on this, but if the finances come from other sources, I would have some obligations, and I am not confident enough that I can handle this kind of situation properly. I guess I should continue developing and at least make and release one more game to boost confidence in my abilities to organise the whole process.

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