The Neural Network has been in preproduction since January 2013, and in full production since Summer 2013. The game has yet to come out (or really be officially unveiled) for a handful of reasons.
- During the school year (September-December and February-May) the entire team has had much less time to dedicate to the full project
- Focus on story and writing rather than art makes the game difficult to show in screenshots
- Company re-branding - we wanted to get our new organization sorted out before we fully promoted the game under a different name
Now that the Summer has began (for two of the three members, anyway) and we have our new website, the only issue to address is the second point. It is our firm belief that the story and the writing of The Neural Network would not be as good as it is now if we had spent the same total time, but over a shorter time frame, working on it. Because we spent so much more time in the conception and brainstorming phases, the game makes more sense, flows more appropriately, and is much higher quality.
That is to say, The Neural Network would not be as good as it is now if we had done it in a shorter time frame. If we had all been working full time, it probably could have been completed in six months, but it would not be as well thought out or as interesting a narrative if it would have been developed that way, we think.
Which brings us to where we are now. This will be the last Summer working on The Neural Network. Our current plan is to spend the next few weeks getting the game into "Alpha" - a state where the game is fully playable, start to finish, but with some placeholder graphics and dialogue. Then, we will work on getting the game into "Beta" with polished up dialogue and graphics. This is when we will spend extra time going through and making slight tweaks to cutscenes, art assets, dialogue, puzzles, anything really, to make it the best experience we can.
Our schedule is to get the game into Beta by mid July, then spending extra time polishing until we are comfortable with releasing a finished, polished product. Our goal is to have the game released in August, but if we feel the game needs extra time, we will absolutely take the extra time to improve the game.
We plan to update this blog more regularly over the coming weeks and months to keep you guys up to date on the progress of the game, so we don't have another 8 months of silence.