Let's Talk About 'Scope'

Hey everyone, Crimson here, I'm gonna be talking about scope today, something that has been in the talks for the past few months within the team and something that's been on my mind, I want to be as transparent with the changes as possible and why we're conducting these changes.

Let's talk scope, it needs to be discussed so we're not promising content that we can't deliver.

What is Scope?

First off, you're probably wondering what we mean by scope; scope basically means the extent of a project, how much we want to create and add into the game, and ultimately how ambitious it is.

A far better description coming from a third-party site, credit to GameCareerGuide:

The scope of a project is its breadth and depth. What are you making, and how complex does it have to be to achieve what you want?
Scope is something to be decided, not something to be discovered post-facto. This may seem silly, but many projects roll forward without someone taking a step back and asking, "What does doing this really entail?" 
Scope, most simply put, is the understanding of how vision meets execution. 

As a small indie development team, we have a certain limit as to how far we can go with the project, sometimes we have to 'take a step back' and ask ourselves how much is too much. You may have seen that some certain texts on the website have changed, specifically the number of Kingdoms that we want (from 100 to dozens), now why did we do this?

Picture hundreds of worlds, all unique and different, full of life and adventure; that sounds and looks great in your head but how can that be executed by a small indie team? Well, it just can't. Unless of course we want to continue this project for the rest of our lives, until we're old and growing gray beards, which that won't be happening.

Many indie teams end up in this deep abyss called feature creep, something I've been through in the past and thankfully I've learned from. Now, let's be honest, we've seen it before and we see it time and time again, indie teams showing nothing yet promising so much, it really helps with marketing, gets the hype going, and gets the imagination pumping. But when will that game that promises so much release? Probably never, or it does and most of the promises were lies.

We've decided to lower the scope, we're still going to have a lot of the features that we're aiming to have, but the amount of Kingdoms had to change for our sanity, and so we're not over-promising to our community.

The New Scope

So here's the things we have planned for Early Access release and for official release, and possible things that might come through:

  • The goal of 100 Kingdoms (which was over-ambitious since the beginning) is now 10 Kingdoms for release
  • Early Access release will contain from 2-5 Kingdoms, this is essentially an Alpha release, giving you all the mechanics and features, but still working on content
  • Possibilities: DLCs and additional content after the 10 Kingdoms, we don't plan on stealing your money, if DLCs are released, they'll be full of content, at a super reasonable price

Covert Games Studio doesn't plan on working on Blades forever, in fact, our goal is to only work on it for 2-3 years, then move on to the next title; something that may be more exciting and potentially higher in scope, that's the future though, right now we're completely focused on Blades of Orterra!

TL;DR: We're lowering the scope from 100 Kingdoms to a dozen or so for final release.

See you guys in the Developer Update, thanks for all your support, love you guys!

- Crimson
Creative Director