Release Date Update + New Screenshots

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here! I sincerely apologize for that. I don’t want you to think I haven’t been focused on the game; on the contrary, this last month has been among the most productive on the game. Here’s a collection of some screenshots I’ve taken over the last month. (Some are a little out of date by now.)

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I’ve got another sort of big announcement, but I wouldn’t call this official yet. Here it is: It is very likely that Phantasmaburbia will NOT be released on October 31, 2011 as announced previously.

The honest to goodness truth is that when I chose the date of October 31 I was only about 50% sure I would be able to reach it. I took it as a sort of self-imposed challenge, to push myself to get the game done so that it could come out on a date that was thematically relevant. I believed that I could make it if I had a straight two and a half months of unimpeded work, but since then I’ve encountered a number of unexpected obstacles both physical (an ongoing bout with sickness probably brought on at least partially by my self-imposed stress) and external (classwork taking up much more of my time than expected). Additionally, the amount of planned content keeps expanding. It’s not that I’m overreaching or getting too ambitious, but it’s the addition of many new small features (a new sidequest, a new set of enemies, some more cutscenes, a new unlockable, etc) that have slowly accrued into something that threatens to delay the game.

It’s not even that I’m that far behind schedule, really. It would be relatively easy for me to push to have all of the content done by October 31, and then give myself another, say, two weeks to do extra testing and polishing and fixing so that the game was only delayed by a short amount of time. But another much more popular independent game is claiming a launch date within that timeframe, and if I had to pick one moment in all of indie gaming history not to release my game, it would probably be at a time when I had to compete with Minecraft for sales and attention. As far as I’m concerned, 11/4/11 – 11/24/11 are no-release zones. Maybe this fear is unfounded; feel free to discuss it in the comments, and I will be responsive.

So, the question would be, “when exactly IS this game coming out?” It’s that question that has me hesitating to call this an official announcement. I’m not sure. There is absolutely no doubt that this game will be finished and that it will come out, and it’s going to be in a pretty agreeable timeframe, too. But I don’t want to give any more dates only to generate more disappointment. When I pick a day, I want to KNOW for a FACT that that will be the day.

I will be posting here with updates as I figure out more. I’ll see how much I’m getting done, and I’ll be watching the comments here to get a feel for what your thoughts are on the matter. To me, the idea of a delay seems awful on one hand, but on the other, I see opportunity here to make the game that much better with the extra time. I’m hopeful that this will only be good, in the long run.

Thanks very much for being understanding.