producing PRODUCER 2021

07 - the week of cutting to the bone

After qomp, I wanted to learn how to tell stories with games. Now, as I look at the construction site that is Producer 2021, It doesn’t feel like a story. It’s more of a self-indulgent exercise in nothing. I know what it’s made out of, but I can’t understand what it wants to say.

This is normal. Pushing something across the finishing line is scary. All your dreams and ideas are suddenly reduced to a concrete mess of code. Will anyone get this? Who should care? Why not rewrite the camera system one last time? Yes, that always feels like progress!

I am scared of finishing Producer 2021.

The game has spent too much time in pseudo-production. Many Ideas are older than a year, but have never been tested. Often they simply don’t work when they are finally implemented for real.

I’ve also gone about everything the wrong way. Instead of building a world around important sequences, I started with the world and am now squeezing important sequences into the cracks. The size of the map doesn’t matter if its empty. Things like that, stupid mistakes that are impossible to change now, have been taking a toll.

I took a genuine weekend, ate healthier and went on multiple walks per day. Nevertheless, it got to me again during the end of the week: Despair! Death! Failure!

September is almost over and the game is not done. I will not be able to get to a release candidate before October. The question is how close I can come. How much do I have to cut? How much more can I rip out of this overly ambitious disaster before it completely collapses?

Everytime I scope down, I realise just how impossible my previous plans were. I need to cut really, really close to the bone this time. Maybe I will be positively surprised.

The sun is shining today and I am cautiously optimistic. Large parts of the game are done. I shouldn’t forget that. Despite everything, progress has been good:

It’s been tough. It’s not gonna get easier next week. But after that, I’ll take a little vacation, before pushing this thing across the finish line.

Cheers, josh

PRODUCER 2021 on Steam