Why I chose to cancel GeloMancer

Published by Hugimugi on

GeloMancer Cover-art

Over 4 years in its making I’ve decided to cancel GeloMancer.

History

I started GeloMancer just couple of months after I started learning about game development, GeloMancer was the third game I have ever made. It wasn’t called GeloMancer back then, I named the project slime-adventure.

My plan back then was to create an open-world adventure game with a huge map and lots of stuff to do. There was supposed to be crafting systems, mining, survival etc. (Basically Skyrim but bigger).
You would play as a slime, needing to constantly seek for a water source, as you would otherwise shrink due to drying yourself out.

I didn’t develop that project for long, as I understood that the project is way too ambitious to create by myself (and with an indie team too), so I cancelled it.
Quickly after that I had an idea for a mystery game in which an unknown voice guides you through darkness (project was named slime-mystery). It wasn’t interesting either, and I changed the project to a puzzle game. It had the same assets as slime-adventure.

Early build of GeloMancer

This time I went for a better idea:

  • Necromany-like summoning.
  • Slimes that can be controlled.
  • Caves with puzzles.

I started creating simple button puzzles, where you need to use a wand to summon slimes that can then press a button on the other side of the wall. I had no idea for the game’s scope or how am I gonna make it interesting later on.
I continued developing that project and added new features, build levels and worlds, figured out the story etc. The game molded into its current shape after some time. I continued developing the game for a long time and it became routine to continue developing it without end in near sight, although it had been in development for longer than expected.


Cancellation

One day I finished creating cutscenes for the first world that I was planning to make a demo from, I playtested the game and realized that it was kinda… bad.
I had playtested the game hundreds of times before and had told myself that the game will get better later on. I didn’t fully understand to carefully examine the game back when I had just started learning about game development.

GeloMancer’s scope had gotten larger and larger, as from where it was in the beginning. I had made a lot of graphical improvements and polish, but the game in its core was still bad.
So.. after long consideration, I cancelled it.

Later build of GeloMancer

I have learned tremendously compared to when I started developing GeloMancer, that’s why I don’t see it as a sad thing to cancel it.
I see it as an essential learning process to fully understand game development and how to make games good.


What now?

I’m planning on making lots of prototypes of different ideas and choose which of them to develop into a full game.
I’ll start developing it and I’ll keep the scope small and realistic, I hope I’ll get it done within 1½ years. But who know what I’m gonna do in the future?

If you want to know when I’ll start new projects or to be notified of any news around me, feel free to follow me on twitter (@HugimugiDev). I’ll try to keep it updated and post new stuff on my projects. 😃


2 Comments

Anon · September 30, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Did you stop devving this game because after 4 years it still has the look & feel of a weekend-long game jam game?

    Hugimugi

    Hugimugi · September 30, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I had made a ton of content and levels as well as ton of graphical elements and art. etc.
    But the core gameplay still remained the same, thus bad.
    The core gameplay was actually a lot worse than many game jam games I’ve made.

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