Pivoting

๐Ÿ“† Created on May 29, 2021. ๐Ÿ”– electric-noirunity3dgame-development

Back in January I decided to take a few months off from working on Electric Noir so that I could focus 100% on our move back to Massachusetts from Texas. This ended up being a really good decision for a few reasons:

  1. Our move was delayed by about a month due to the incredibly awful ice storm that Texas experienced in early 2021.

  2. The move ended up taking a lot of my time, I am really glad I didn't also have the pressure of working on the game weighing down on me.

  3. Our cat Manny passed away and left my wife and I absolutely crushed. I couldn't focus on the game or anything really for weeks after this.

  4. Finally, when I did go back to the game I was able to look at it with fresh eyes and objectively assess how it was coming along.

The result of that was that I had no idea where I was in the project. Every bit of context I had at the start of the year was gone and there was no hope of getting any of it back.

Also, I found tons of bugs. Bugs that I swear were not there before - I think I must have had some serious blinders on when I was working on the project before, as there were bugs in every aspect of the game. It was basically unplayable.

And even more importantly than all of that stuff: the game wasn't fun. I wasn't enjoying playing it. Movement felt clunky, attacks felt loose and flighty, and there just wasn't enough weight to the game.

image of a car swerving to make an exit from the highway, the exit sign shows two options 'keep going' and 'Change to a platformer'

Pivoting

I was stuck at a fork in the road: I could choose to push ahead with my narrative brawler gameplay or I could pivot to something that was more familiar.

Obviously since I'm writing a post called "Pivoting" and there is a giant meme image of a car careening towards an exit ramp labeled "Change to a platformer" above, I chose the latter.

I made the first few changes to EN to start reworking it into a platformer at the beginning of March. A week later I had a really basic prototype and started play testing it.

After another week, I had tweaked the movement and combat and I was actually having fun with it even playing it in the Unity editor.

After working on it for two months now, I know I made the right decision. The game is more stable, easier to update with content and most importantly, it's really fun to play.

I'll post more updates on how the pivot has affected Electric Noir as I add more features and content to the game, but for now I'll just leave you with a preview video.

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