So sayeth Yokcos:
No Pain No Grain isn't about standing in one place or some little field and farming till the cows come home. Nah, you're a busy protagonist, you've got places to go, things to see. Maybe tyrants to hydrate, who knows. So therefore to keep things from becoming staler than an ancient egyptian biscuit I shall divide the game up into an integer number of areas, each going on the same basic template. The development plan goes as follows: Make the first area, and make it well, so that I know what an area in this game consists of, what the template is, how long it is, etc. Answer these questions. Then once this first area, the Woodbound of the Lilac, is in a state resembling completion, make all other areas in one fell swoop. Not because it seems like it'd be faster but because I like skipping to the end of these things. Makes it clear not only where the game will start, but when it will end. For instance with the Woodbound I've made it something that's playable to completion before making it something all that enjoyable. Here, look:
I've thus far done the first two steps of this advanced three stage process, and am yet to intersperse the interpuzzle farming with anything noteworthy - or indeed anything that takes more than fifty seconds to do. Now, the eagle eyed of you may have noticed that this is a bullet hell farming game and yet I am speaking of puzzles being dotted around the game. Fear takes hold as you realise that you will be forced to hang up the hoe and trowel every four and a half minutes to stare nonplussed at some incomprehensible engravings on the wall of an ancient city, trying and failing to figure out in which order one must step on the stone floorbuttons in order to open the great doors. But nay, I say, this is not what I mean by a puzzle. A puzzle in this context is merely some interesting application of the available plants other than "water plant, get resource". For instance, something like using an electric plant's attacks to electrify some water, killing the deadly squid within and allowing you safe passage. The "puzzles" are often nought but a natural extension of partaking in the normal combat of the game in a particular place.
"But Yokcos, when can we play this masterpiece to define a generation?", you may ask. The answer, like a photon, is two different things at the same time. The answer is simultaneously "Dunno" and "Right hecking now". The most recent output version of the game is constantly available over here, and so one can familiarise oneself with the setup of the game without fee and without wait. But when will it be done? Dunno. One thing about making the start and end of a game then proceeding to fill the middle with details is that you can do it infinitely, there's no final certain endpoint. But that said I'd like it to at least be done by the end of the year.
Please refer me back to this post when the game releases in 2025 after numerous completely predictable delays.
Oh, oh also I made two games in February: Rotating Squares of Quantisation, a mechanically uninventive aesthetically novel Frogger clone, and Relative Fray, a spacegame without arbitrary spacefriction slowing you down all the time. Check them if you want.