CBE Software, the two-man team behind the recently released Someday You’ll Return, are taking a pretty unusual step with their game now that it’s released. Instead of promising more content and more features, they’re actually cutting elements from their game to try and make it better.
Cutting features often doesn’t go down too well with gamers – see puddle-gate as a classic case of misdirected internet rage at a “downgrade” – and especially not when there’s drastic changes being made after the game is already released, but maybe this will be just what the fanbase ordered?
CBE plan to cut out what they call “superfluous” content to tighten up the game’s pacing, but still allowing for some of these sections to be accessible for those who explore off the main path. Similarly, the game’s stealth sections have come in for some criticism, and so CBE have added a new potion called “Devil’s Pact” which will simply turn you invisible and let you skip past those segments.
Jan Kavan, co-founder of CBE Software, issued the following statement:
“After reading feedback from our customers, it became clear to us that some parts of the game, mostly in the second half, were not enjoyed as we had expected them to be. We took a hard look at the game and asked ourselves how we could make it better. While it is very important for us to remain true to our vision for the game, we felt if there were ways we could make improvements without compromise, we should do this even if it means sacrificing months of hard work.
We realized that some of the content and puzzles were not adding any value to the main game story. It is very important to us that our players have the best game experience, so after careful consideration we cut away hours of superfluous content, making the game better as a whole. Ingenious explorers out there shouldn’t worry, though, as they would still be able to access some of the “missing” areas by careful exploration and doing additional tasks well off the beaten path.
One of the features some players didn’t enjoy was stealth. To aid those players who dislike stealth, we’ve added a new, in-game potion called “Devil’s Pact”. This potion turns the player almost invisible to enemies during stealth sequences. Now players who dislike stealth sequences can drink the potion and through them easily, while players who enjoy being stealthy can keep playing the original version. We strongly believe that offering this choice is the best option for both types of players.
As luck would have it, this goes directly to some of the criticisms that Steve had in our Someday You’ll Return review:
“When Someday You’ll Return is at its best, it is one of the finest immersive horror games I’ve played. Its take on psychological horror and ability to create a sense of dread is second to none, but that comes with some caveats. It can drag in parts, has some frustrating stealth sections and some puzzles that are needlessly obscure, but if you’re prepared to make it through the less successful moments, there is a lot to love here.”
Having taken five years for the duo to create, it’s no doubt going to have been painful for CBE to receive this kind of feedback and to then take the decision to make these cuts, but it might well be for the best. In a strange way, they’re now publicly going through the process of cutting content that many developers go through in private, removing segments that don’t work quite so well, ideas and gameplay that there isn’t time to flesh out, and more.
Someday You’ll Return is out now for PC, with a planned release on PS4 and Xbox One sometime in 2020.
Source: press release