carrotcake Blog 🍃

official devlog for carrotcake written by Louis Durrant

On Delays (and the days inbetween)

Posted on Dec 11, 2023

Firstly - welcome back to the blog! After being down for some time, it was a little task to dig up the old gifs and images and sort everything back neatly onto their shelves. I’m hoping it’s all back to how it was, and that I’ve not missed anything.

There’s a wealth of old development logs here dating back to 2018, and it’s been a trip down memory lane revisiting it all in that process.

I put the blog to rest in 2021 in favour of the community newsletters we’ve been sending out - a much more digestible format for those looking forward to feature updates, and aren’t so fussed about the under-the-hood (don’t worry - those aren’t going anywhere!). That year I had a feeling that I had something that was a bit more of a personal project. I had my hopes on a small but meaningful launch on that autumn. I wanted to reach out to publishers and PR teams for the first time to see if I could broaden The Garden Path’s reach.

After a successful Kickstarter there was a rush of feedback. It became clear that some game-design ideas that I had bubbling in my head (many of which I’ve discussed in this blog) weren’t adding up to as fun an experience as it could have been. The old bartering system, for instance, where you were bombarded with a dozen different coloured lines the game expected you to decipher, or how it felt impossible to target that one node of bracken in a dense patch of forest.

2022 was then spent working on that feedback, and the game went through some significant changes, some subtle and some less so subtle. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s changed without going back to see how things were a year or so ago! I keep meaning to compile that list.

So - we had our eyes set on Spring/Summer 2023. The 1.0 roadmap was drawn and I think I had a decent little build to work toward. Those in the industry will know - even once you have a finished game, there’s a fairly long process to getting it in the hands of the people who want to play - and you’re not always at the front of that queue! I slipped on a couple features - we had the game on Switch and working multiplayer, but it was where those two features met that took the most time.

More recently, I made a difficult judgement call that performance on Switch just wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Since the start of 2023 I’ve made huge progress in Switch performance and load times, but there came a point where the returns were diminishing, and weren’t able to get me beyond the final hurdle. The Switch is an important platform for The Garden Path, and so I’m eager to get it right, and not release something that feels like a lazy port in the shadow of its PC version.

With the busy holiday season ahead of us, it made sense to step back and look to 2024 instead. With that additional time I’ve been adding a few more features that I’d really hoped to see in 1.0, as well as a wealth of optimizations that both PC and Switch players will benefit from. I’ve also been experimenting with the latest versions of Godot, which has shown some really promising benchmarks, and I’ll be looking forward to playtesting results in the coming weeks.

Often when a game sees delays it’s echoed ‘A delayed game is eventually good, a rushed game is bad forever’ - to the point of it being a little cliche. We’ve seen many games over the years release in a thin state, only to see success after many updates and patches, and delayed games aren’t always delayed for the sake of ‘good’.

The point being - I understand that, and I want to put this delay to good use, and to good reason. It means the world to me to read messages from folks telling me it’s okay to take time, and make something worthwhile. That said, I also understand I’m asking for more patience from people who have already shown me so much support for so long.

I think this blog is a key part of this six year journey, and that’s why I felt it important to brush the dust off. I don’t know if 1.0 will be the end of that journey or the start of something new, and, after all - I’m still finding it. It certainly feels closer than ever.

So I’m hoping to use this space to cover some of the work I’ve done and have been doing in a little more depth, particularly for those interested in the knitty-gritty of the work I do each day. I’ve learnt what feels like a million lessons since starting this blog, and I’d like to talk about at least a few of them here.

It’s going to be some busy months ahead. I hope everyone enjoys the holidays! I’m certain 2024 will be here before we know it.

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