Delays are an accepted if not expected part of game development. Sometimes things happen beyond a developers control and it makes the project take longer. As developer, Cardboard Utopia, discovered with their tactical JRPG, Children of Zodiarcs, delays can happen even under the best circumstances. Or, in their case, because of them.
Children of Zodiarcs raised CA$ 259,593 with its 2016 Kickstarter campaign. This was far and away beyond anything the developers had expected when they set their CA$ 50,000 funding goal. Rather than let the extra money gather dust in the corner, the team decided to expand on their original vision for the game. As the game grew, so did the development timeline.
During the campaign, Cardboard Utopia estimated that they would release the game in August of 2016. After raising over $200,000 more than they’d expected they realized they could afford to not only make the game larger and more polished, but also pay for 6-8 months of additional development. This was communicated to backers in the April 20th Kickstarter update when the release was pushed back to early 2017.
Nearing The Finish Line
With 2017 in full swing now, backers wanted to know why they still didn’t have a launch date. Despite Children of Zodiarcs being in the “last sprint” of development, Cardboard Utopia has kept quiet about when the game will finally be done. As it turns out this was due to yet more unexpected opportunities for the project.
“Yes, as indies working on our studio’s first game, we have had to rescope and reevaluate our schedule. This being said, through the course of this project, it’s not so much misfires that have caused us to significantly change plans, but rather the surfacing of opportunities as we were establishing ourselves as a studio and coming up with material to demonstrate our potential. And I must say… I’m happy about that!”
In an early March update the team announced that they had signed with Square Enix Collective. Partnering with a publisher granted the team access to a plethora of post-production assets, but also pushed the completion out a bit further.
Their most recent Kickstarter update outlines the different milestones and just how close Children of Zodiarcs is to being ready for release. Since the devs have to coordinate all release materials and dates with the publisher, they still aren’t able to give a definitive release date. However, they have stressed that it will happen soon.
In the meantime, all backers who pledged at alpha and beta tiers can look forward to a beta release as early as next week. Fans attending EGX Rezzed in London will also have the chance check out the game before the beta goes live. As far as delays go, there are certainly worse reasons to have to wait a bit longer for a game to launch.