What are the Future Plans for Exipelago

Peter

Developer
Staff member
Jan 2, 2023
80
1
8
Especially in Early Access, this is something many people are interested in to know. So let's try to get more specific on that matter.

Prologue​


Development of this game started back in 2019 when I began working on the game engine itself more out of curiousity without a distinct plan about it. I did a video series about progress on this engine back then and it attracted a bit of views and therefore interest, so I kept going.

Eventually more features were added, the whole engine was basically partly rebuilt to fit better into an actual game environment - the only goal always was to have some sort of colony builder / management style of game being top down, 3D with fully working z-levels and being optimzed enough to be able to run with hundreds of villagers. This goal was achieved so at some point I decided to focus a bit more on gameplay elements. In 2022 I gave a copy to a some friends who are into the builder games and they had a lot of fun with it, helped shaping it further and requesting additional features - dumping hundreds of hours into the game and lots of codes and features were added due to that input.

Interlude​


So in the beginning of 2023 I released an Early Access Version of Exipelago, featuring the core game mechanics, building and such - I did not do a lot of marketing basically none. During the first weeks alone, mainly things related to user interaction were improved, the UI were greatly improved and a lot of QoL things were added. Since then a lot of features and elements were added.

To me it was always clear, that the game is either something people may want enough or something noone would like at all. No matter what, I enjoy working on it and adding things so as long as people show interest I am happy to keep working on it. As everyone of you can clearly investigate, most of such games get abondoned for a simple reasons: Too few people are interested in it. Dev Teams simply run out of money. Noone will work for free - you wont either (if you do, hit me up). So my main premise is to make the game as extendable as possible, so the game can have the longest lifecycle possible. In Exipelago this is done by providing editors for almost everything. Everyone can add new things (with relative ease) to the game and share it with friends - no hardcore modding needed.

I also do not directly depend on funding - I don't have to pay salaries for a team - I am just one guy. That said - during the last 4 months (as of writing this post) I basically work 8-10 hours a day and push new things out. You may recognize yourself, that I simply cannot keep up this sort of dedication for a game that has only 1600 wishlist entries so far (yes, it's that low after 4 months of EA) - and I only look at general interest in the game, not sales. So the less interest there is in the game, the less time I can dedicate to it - I will still keep working on it, as I enjoy it, but can't do it as a fulltime job - so it's really up to you how, if you want this game. Show interest, tell your friends, participate in discord whatever. You may agree, that it makes no sense to work on a game, which noone is interested in. (see here, how you can support Exipelago)

You can make the best beef burger in the world, but it's a failure if your restaurant is in a city full of vegans

(but don't get me wrong here, profitability was never the main motivator for this game, as those games are basically never profitable, that's why no AAA studio touches them any more, they aim for good looking and high marketing)

Future Plans​


ok, but now for the future plans, that's why you are here anyway right? There is no plans in abondoning Exipelago - too much work went into it already, it has a great foundation for a multitude of things and there is so many ideas I just want to add to it - the only variable is basically just when those will happen. Also when some player asks for a feature I am normally commited to deliver it - as long as it fits into the general idea of the game.

The general plan is to work towards v1.0 which will be defined by the roadmap - this roadmap may be adapted by user demand of course, but at some point it's just fulfilling the featureset of v1.0 - that's the point where it may leave Early Access.

But that's not the end of the road there, as the roadmap also defines stretch goals, which may either be part of v1.0 or maybe part of future developments to the game - indeed, I don't even have an "end of development" in mind. I see the game as an ongoing project to add things or open up possiblities to modify the game even further. I have ideas about sidekick games in the World of Exipelago - so it's all a fluid process. I am not a AAA studio. I do not have a budget limit, I do not have a deadline, the product does not have a predefined lifecycle. The only thing influencing the amount of work dedicated is sufficient player interest. Something I cannot control. This is the main motivator of this project.

TL;DR​


The future of Exipelago depends on you - the players. The more interest, the more work goes into the game.
 
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