Sometimes it takes time to perfect something very special. Such is the case with the aerial retirement home simulator Quirky Beach†
Quirky Beach is one of several really exciting Australian titles announced for release this year that are being developed and published by Melbourne-based indie studio Ghost Pattern.
The game follows your journey of meeting elderly people in a hospital in the sky, where you write about their stories for an article.
The visuals are beautiful, the gameplay is fascinating. It really looks like Quirky Beach is going to be quite a heartwarming (and perhaps heartbreaking) experience.
Therefore, it is probably important for the developers to get it right, hence the announcement of the delay.
In a blog post about Quirky Beach‘s Steam pagethe team has revealed that their original release date will be moved to a new date on July 21, September 15† The game was first shown on Freeplay Parallels in 2017, was later shown again on PAX East in 2019, when it was last part of Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase in May†
So you could say that people have definitely been waiting for this game, but the wait must be worth it, right?
The team working on Quirky Beach asked themselves: ‘So why the delay?’ And then, of course, they move on to answers. I’d rather not prefer their words, so get it yourself from Ghost Pattern:
“Honestly, there are very few games like Quirky Beach to exist. When you set the timelines for creating a new game, you might think of other similar games you’ve heard about or worked on. You might try to mentally compare how long similar things have lasted in the past. So, when we set out to make Quirky Beachwe have thought about similar games.
“Gami”es with over 25,000 lines of voice-over dialogue… and with all the action taking place within real time mechanics… and with 14 characters, each with their own 3-hour in-game journey… and with richly decorated and intensively researched dollhouse worlds of 3 floors… and with a focus on heartfelt stories, where the nod of a head or a short pause between dialogue can make a world of meaning… and all made by a small, self-published indie team.
“As you can imagine, we kept scratching our heads. Anyway, we did our best to establish realistic timelines. But as we review each scene in the game and see how it all comes together, we felt it was important to spend a little extra time to bring the experience closer to our vision. We do our best to bring our characters and stories to life for you.
“This delay means we can release Quirky Beach at a quality level that we are happy with. Importantly, it also allows us to do it in a less stressful way for the team. Quirky Beach is a game about caring, and it wouldn’t make sense to make this game without taking care of each other. From day one, we have been rigorously committed to empathy, openness, and anti-crunch. Game releases are almost always stressful and difficult for the teams behind it, so we’re trying to find ways to approach our release that will lessen some of that pressure.”
In short, they not only want to ensure that the end product of Quirky Beach is true to their vision, but they also want to take care of each other and make sure no one gets overworked. You know, really nice stuff.
Since I started writing for Kotaku Australia, my view of release dates and delays has changed. I used to kick and scream at the thought of a game I was excited to be pushed back.
However, now I’ve had the opportunity to talk to so many great game developers, many of whom either work all by themselves or in very small teams. Teams like Ghost Pattern, who release games like Quirky Beach all on their own.
The result of those conversations made me realize that making a game is damn hard! The trials and tribulations of developing a video game, combined with the desire for your team to really feel they are supported in their plight, means that sometimes you need that extra time to get everything right.
And for a game like Quirky BeachI am more than happy to wait.
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