This month will be exciting as another game is ready to enter our roster: Neodori Infinity! There’s a lot to talk about so have a seat and make yourself at home.
I think this month I scored the absolute most hours I ever worked in my life, almost nonstop from early morning to late evening except for very few days off. Generally I am deeply against crunch culture, but ironically this time I inflicted crunch on myself (more on why later). The catch that makes everything bearable is that I am not working as an employee on projects I don’t feel part of: this time I’m shaping out my own ideas and following my own path, and it sure helps that I can just work at home and avoid commuting.
Game development started as an hobby for me and turned into a real job years ago when I worked at a bunch of small game companies, but that made my love for making games slowly fade away- I’ll spare the details. I am happier than ever to have chosen to go full indie, it’s a challenging path for sure, but when things work out the reward is huge, especially for the mind. My love for game development is back, and with it my will to push forward against all odds. I’m not as fresh and relentless as I was a decade ago, but in the end that’s not too important.
For those of you that missed it, I’m happy to announce that I’m publishing a new VR game, originally developed by Strobetano, and almost completely revamped by me exclusively for Quest: Neodori Infinity!
We just submitted it to Meta for review, and the trailer is going live May 2nd at 18:00 CEST! I expect the game to be available around the end of the month if everything goes smoothly. Check out the game page for more details!
EDIT: the store page is live, you can wishlist it now! The game will release on May 24th at 19:00 CEST.
A bit of backstory on this: if you played Neodori Forever on Steam, Switch or iOS and you reached the end credits, you might have found my name there. I first met the guys at Strobetano in 2019 and they were already working on a prototype Neodori game. We got along great and this sparked a lot of collaboration between us, so I ended up coding some basic core stuff for Neodori Forever, which is now out on various platforms, and it sure feels surreal to have worked on a game out on Switch (we are all pretty much huge Nintendo fans after all). While all of that was happening, I sold an extra Quest 2 I had around to Wheazel, the designer at Strobetano. He loved the headset and we often played together, so this obviously sparked the idea to bring Neodori to VR, to which both agreed pretty easily!
Given the differences between VR and flat-screen games, Neodori had to be changed at the core and at least include some VR-specific features, otherwise it would just have been a lazy porting. Unfortunately for everyone involved (I am sorry), I am an incurable perfectionist and I realise the more I age, the more I get picky about a ton of details when it comes to my job and developing games. While I love the original Neodori Forever, I wanted the core game to be much better than that for the VR porting because I am placing Commuter Games’ name on this, and so “Neodori Forever VR” started to change so much that we decided to use a new name and new key art to differentiate it from the original.
This is why I crunched during April: there was so much that I wanted to change, fix and improve, that I ended up overworking to finish it within a decent timeframe. This took five weeks in total, which is double than I accounted for, and for sure in the meantime my thoughts went often to Downtown Club, sitting paused for a month or so. But I happily worked on Neodori Infinity because not only this is another game for our portfolios, this is also the product of love of a group of friends, and I am grateful to the whole Strobetano team for letting me change the game so deeply. I believe this version of Neodori is really good, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!
With Neodori Infinity now ready to release, it’s time for me to go breathe a bit, and then back to Downtown Club soon after. I am often vocal about stuff getting in the way of DTC, but this was an exception I was very happy to make. Hope to see you soon in these colourful roads!
Danjel Ricci “SkyArcher”