Hey there, pretty lady. Come here often?
It's weird to think I started development on Lament roughly a month before my fourteenth birthday. Realistically, I could have finished it within, eh, probably a year, and just released it then. And you know what?
Nobody would have liked it.
I realize that's probably and overstatement, but, honestly, I was so clearly an amateur, so painfully inexperienced.
I didn't have a damn clue what decent level design was. I didn't know what decent lighting was either, or even decent storytelling. But I kept chugging ahead anyway. The more I learned, the more I changed until, eventually, I scrapped the early levels entirely and started anew.
The ModDB page was already up at this point, and I think that's the biggest mistake I made in the year-and-a-half I've been working on Lament. Had I done the smart thing and waited until I'd actually, you know, gotten somewhere with development, I wouldn't be explaining the slow development every month.
But what Lament has been, above all else, for the past year, is a learning experience. I've made leaps and strides in all aspects of game design, not just level design and lighting. I've learned what makes a good horror game effective, and I finally understand the finer points of storytelling.
Unfortunately, I can't apply all of my skills to Lament. Too much is left over from the original design for me to change the core of the story without starting over from scratch.
The core of the story was always vague, allowing for me to mold it into something far greater than what it was before. There are more characters than there ever could have been before, all of them unique and different from one another, with feelings and emotions, goals and aspirations, before their lives are thrown into turmoil. Michael has, undoubtedly, had the most changes over time, with his past and relationships with the people around him finally being fleshed out.
Anyway, the main thing to take away from this is that the sequels will be a lot better than Lament.
Which brings us to the present, and my plans for the future. Yes, the sequels! The story expands beyond the boundaries of Lament itself, which makes sequels necessary to convey the full story.
I did say sequels, but the story expands both before and after Lament, so it'll a prequel and a sequel (see: restrictive base plot necessitating expansion). I won't tell you what exactly they'll be about, but I can assure you they'll provide more insight into the events of Lament.
Alright, I think I'll wrap it up here because holy hell look at all those words. I've been typing for an hour and a half, and It's time to get back to work.
Hopefully this has given you a better idea of what Lament is all about, and why it is the way it is now.
What's more, I got to talk to all of you as the guy I am, as opposed to just being some developer shouting about character development.