Crunch time. It is always crunch time. Juggling the writing, production and testing all at once – in addition to other commitments – is not the easiest process.
I did the first rounds of testing recently and the results were great! The game is emotionally resonant to some and that is a huge ego boost. With the testing feedback there are some changes that need to happen, but that was a given and expected.
I have restructured how much I am making and I am only focusing on a single level. There is no time for anything else so I should make it as good as I can. This also means I have to streamline the production of the level and interactions. Pathfinding was a huge problem and needs to be incorporated into this restructuring as well.
Other focus is on ambience design. Sound, mood, atmosphere, I have to make the level feel evocative. I’ve found it is in the small details that the most emotion comes through. A certain line of dialogue or a particular image stays with the player longer than the total experience.