Earlier this month, we finally put finishing touches on the very first Grumpy Witch demo. It was a big milestone for us, capping off weeks of marathon programming and nose-to-the-grindstone QA: two 100% playable, polished levels, complete with music and voice acting.
With the demo complete, our plan was to release it to the public, giving everybody a good, solid taste of the Grumpy Witch adventure before we opened the gates on our crowdfunding campaign. An Indiegogo pitch was ready to go. Steam Greenlight wasn’t far behind. Our collective foot was ready to jam on that gas pedal and go, go, go. But thrilled as we were to finally share our work with world, we still wanted to be sure that we’d delivered something people wanted to play, and more crucially, support. If that demo wasn’t up to snuff, finding an audience for Grumpy Witch would quickly become an uphill battle – first impressions, second chances, etc.
Looking for an outside opinion, we connected with some experienced developers who offered us a no-holds-barred assessment of our game-in-progress. The feedback they gave was fantastic, touching on everything from art direction to level design. However, it kept coming back to the same thing: there still was work to be done.
We took that feedback to heart, and rather than push out the alpha demo as-is, we’re hauling it back into the shop for a couple more weeks of TLC. And while we hate to throw in more delays – trust us, nobody wants to get Grumpy Witch out to the masses more than we do! – we can guarantee that the extra wait will be worth it. New art, new features, expanded levels: you name it, our team’s working on it!
But the hold-up is not just polishing our existing content. We’re also taking a long, hard look at core gameplay, picking out ways to make Grumpy Witch more rewarding, more responsive, and – very important here – more fun.
Which is why we’re especially excited to share that Jeff Luke is joining Team Emilia to provide high-level design guidance. Jeff is an industry vet in every sense of the word: after cutting his teeth as an artist and level designer on 5th Cell’s Scribblenauts franchise, he moved onto game production, and most recently acted as an assistant director on WayForward’s Shantae and the Pirates’ Curse – another charming animated platformer with a spunky heroine.
Working together with our full-time designer, Mike Lyons – another long-time game industry presence – he’ll be going over Grumpy Witch from top to bottom, making sure that we’re doing everything we can to push Emilia’s adventure from good to great. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with somebody of Jeff’s calibre, and look forward to sharing more of his contributions in the weeks ahead.