It's been a while since I have talked about the future, so I figured it'd be a good time to remedy that. Perhaps everything going on has made me a little more introspective, but I spent some time the other day thinking about all the things we've built and written in AW, as well as the things that we still have to do. Even though I was obviously there, doing the work, it still feels pretty crazy thinking about just how much work has been accomplished.
There's still plenty of work to do, of course, but most of that comes down to writing new content. And there are a lot of places to put content... Originally the intent had been to support a wide variety of potential content from submissions, as well as giving the player a bigger world to explore. However, we've found that there simply aren't that many people interested in submitting their own writing for the game. That may change in the future, but we aren't going to count on it. In order to create a better game experience overall, we'll be cutting some planned content from some map areas, and using that time on the more central locations.
As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and in retrospect, I probably should have gone with a more constrained game world. That would have allowed the game areas to have a higher density of content written by us. That doesn't mean that it has to stay that way forever, but we are committed to hitting a 1.0 release within the planned development period. After we hit 1.0, we're planning on continuing work to expand the game with new features and content. Having the game world appropriately sized for that will be handy. We're also going to continue supporting mods, so there will be "space" for people to do interesting things.
All that said, it's not like there won't be a lot of content in 1.0, just not some of the content that is implied by all the areas on the map. For example, the resort area near Lake Clitea adds a hotel, water park, boating, beach, and a golf course, which could accommodate a lot of different sexy content, but we don't have much official content planned in that location for 1.0. Our efforts are going to be focused on the main game areas instead, focusing the most on areas where players spend most of their playtime.
Areas on the map with minimal content planned for 1.0:
- Lake Clitea Resort Area
- Threesome Peak
- Riesewood Camping Area
- Area 69
- Institute Campus
Areas on the map with some content for 1.0:
- Hoden Springs
- Sahnetorte Bridge
- Muschi Valley Visitor Center
- Farm COOP Center
- Bullseye Ubercenter
- Angler Woods
Outside of strictly content work, we have some remaining work on systems to do. The biggest is the upcoming relationship expansion, to allow more full-featured relationships in the game. We also have the creche and interactions with your potential children, a theme overhaul to unify and standardize the game's UI, and the ending content generator to mix together various aspects of your playthrough (such as job performance and friendships) into the main story ending. I've been working on the kink expansion of the sex system this month, so you'll be able to see more content in that area starting with the next release.
As far as content is concerned, we have writing to do for the main story, the various jobs, schools, relationships, and more location and time-based events. We also want to make pointer quests that will direct players toward more of the existing game content. There are also a lot of smaller content areas that need some thousands of words here and there. Writing is going to be the bulk of our work on the way to the 1.0 release.
As far as the timeline goes, we're still shooting for hitting the 1.0 release at the very end of 2020, with the final beta probably taking place in December.
|2020 is proving to be one hell of a year so far, but this is possible, provided the aliens don't invade...|
I've been committed to trying to stick to the planned development timeline I released when the project first went public. I'm not a big fan of projects with indefinite development time myself, and didn't want to leave my supporters wondering "when will this be done?".
That said, we are planning on expansions of AW after 1.0 to add new content and potentially even new mechanics to allow things such as playing as a futa character. We're going to create plans and definite timeframes for each expansion though. These will likely be in the 3 to 6 month range, but we'll be asking patrons what they want when the time comes. I believe that the world of AW has a ton of potential for growth, but I think it is essential to maintain the same level of transparency and consistency that we have during the development of the main game.
As far as the expansions go, because they will be adding on to a fully-playable game, we'll be able to give more control to our supporters. The things we work on of course, and most importantly, when to stop altogether. We don't want to abandon the game, of course, but we also don't want to drag out development just to get more money (money wasn't the main motivator behind this project in the first place). When the time comes, I'm sure it'll be exciting to start working on a new adult project. :D
As always, thank you all for your support. AW wouldn't be possible without you!