Devlog #4: About current Progress, and multiple endings and their impact on the story
First things first: American Angst is as of now 80 percent finished. Which is a tad disappointing, as I wanted to release it next week, but that won't be happening. What with our new dog and me underestimating the scope, it's safe to say end of September, beginning of October is a more realistic timeframe for the launch of the game. Also, this is just my personal ambition, I am absolutely not under the illusion that there are myriads of people waiting for it to drop.
At least 4 distinct endings
That being said, quite a lot of progress has been made in the past weeks. As promised, the game will have multiple endings. Right now, it boils down to four distinct endings, with each distinct ending having variations based on minor decisions throughout the game. To illustrate: If you made major decisions X and Z in the game, you will experience ending 2 in its B variant based on a minor decision you made earlier.
So there basically will be more than 4 endings de facto, but when communicating about the game I will restrict the official number of multiple endings to the distinct ones, because the variations are often atmospheric, less than consequential.
Also, as there are forks in the game, impacting your geographical and chronological progress, which in turn influence the events taking place in the endings, technically there are of course more than four distinct endings. Currently, I am working on the last fork, so the number of distinct endings may change.
One distinct ending depends on multiple decisions you make throughout the game. These decisions impact an "invisible" psychological variable of the playable character. The state of this variable in turn reveals or hides options throughout the game, and the choices made on these options again impact the variable. Based on your psychological decisions connected to this variable, you may or may not get a specific ending related to the character development in response to choices made, but this development won't be reflected in the stats in your inventory. I want this to be invisible, organic . While my game is a gritty, pulpy, text-based splatter survival horror, I aim to flesh out the playable character as much as possible.
All in all, I hope this will contribute to the replay value of the game. Given the fact that you only really find out what happened full-scale if you experience all the endings, I sincerely hope players will enjoy it enough to replay it a couple of times. That's why I am trying to keep the amount of copy and paste prose to a bare minimum. This approach as well has contributed to the release being delayed.
I obviously underestimated the scope of work, so I apologize if anyone was hoping for an early September release – my fault completely. But otherwise, I am quite happy with how the game plays out right now. I am really hoping it will be entertaining to future players. Hope you stay tuned, either here or via Facebook and Twitter.
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