Just a month shy of us having to run a ‘Missing in Action’ piece, Don’t Be Patchman has posted an update. Developer, Naturally Intelligent has crossed a huge milestone by releasing the game’s first episode. A surprising move since they’d never planned to make the project episodic.
Don’t Be Patchman raised CA$ 27,625 with its 2015 Kickstarter campaign. The pixel-art action/adventure game tells the story of the ‘Sheeple’s’ enslavement at the hands of a drone army. Since it is largely his fault, it’s up to purple protagonist, Patchman to reverse the brainwashing and save the day. Somehow this tale of redemption grew too massive for a single entity. The devs decided their best course of action was to divide the game into four episodes.
“It would have just taken too much longer to get everything to you, and meanwhile there is this really nice section of the game just waiting to be played,” Naturally Intelligent’s Dave Kerr explained.
Backers and users who purchased the game through Steam Early Access can play the first episode now. New episodes will unlock once they are completed. While unexpected, it’s an interesting way for a developer to handle scope creep delays.
After the campaign, the developers decided to include additional stretch goals which pushed the game’s release past their expected deadline. The team’s spotty update schedule also left many questions unanswered.
More Patch For Your Buck
This early access episodic release gives backers a look at the new features (comic book cut-scenes, huge bosses, procedural generations etc.) that will hopefully make the wait worthwhile. Curious to see how well the devs do with backer communication going forward. Thus far nobody has called them out for changing the product, but big post-campaign changes have burned even the most well-meaning developers before.