One of the developers behind the acclaimed indie platformer Celeste has announced that the Skytorn release date has been canceled. In a blog post published last week, programmer Noel Berry explained that the Metroidvania-style title “just never figured out what it was”, and that the team will no longer be working on the game.
The procedural adventure game had been in development since 2012, but suffered from fractured gameplay throughout. Berry comments that this left the team split between “reworking Skytorn to its core, or beginning work on something brand new”. The Celeste team will remain together, and is currently working on bonus levels expected to release in 2019 for the indie platformer, with future projects to be announced in 2019.
For Berry, the continued development of Skytorn would require the team to “throw away a lot of the code & gameplay design”. With hindsight, he concluded that “the procedural elements always clashed with the Metroidvania themes,” preventing the team from pinning down what the game needed to achieve.
The procedurally generated levels were incredibly ambitious for the indie developer team, with gameplay that needed to be “much more open and free flowing” than they were capable. Berry noted that much of what he set out to achieve in gameplay was later realized in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In January 2017, after the project had been in limbo between different projects, the team decided to work solely on Celeste for a few months – which then took a full year to complete. After that point, with the Skytorn release date pushed back once again, the team decided to move on to new projects.
While we won’t get to play Skytorn, the Collector’s Edition of Celeste was announced last week, which includes a steelbook case with the game, a strawberry plush, and a cassette soundtrack to fill that Skytorn-sized hole in your heart.