The Future of Errant Kingdom

Hi everyone!

We hope you’ve been doing well and have been in good health since our last update.

As of today, we’re reducing the price of Errant Kingdom from $20 USD to $13.99 USD.

While this means fewer earnings for our small indie studio, we felt it was an important change to make after closely listening to your feedback — specifically, your disappointment with how Errant Kingdom was released.

We understand a years-long development cycle isn’t the easiest thing to follow, so we wanted to summarise everything here for potential new players and deliver some other news we have. 

We value your trust in Lunaris as a studio and know that what we delivered was, as some of you have pointed out, not up to our regular standards.

As many of you know, development started in March 2019 and the Kickstarter was funded in September that year. Episodic releases started in January 2020 and lasted a year, but we paused those episodic releases in August 2021 due to a number of issues. This is when we decided to switch to working on completing the game in full before we would release any further updates. It’s been a long journey — and a tumultuous one.

Before the pause in episodic releases, we had been delivering on our promises for over a year, but at this time, the pandemic really began to impact our team, especially those of us who are core workers juggling both that important day job and working on Errant Kingdom in what little downtime they had. Of course, on top of this, all of our team members also have day jobs and personal lives we must contend with. We won’t be sharing our individual struggles, but as a small and close-knit team, what we can say is that Lunaris will always pride itself on putting our developers first.

We’re people, and speaking as a leader, I see my job as primarily caring about the incredible folks I’m lucky enough to work with. I know many, if not all of you, would hold me to the task of treating my developers in a humane way — as should always be the case. Game development is hard, indie game development is even more so, and we want our developers to have the best experience possible so that they can make the best games possible. But of course, nothing can prepare you for a global pandemic, so I hope you’ll understand the issues we experienced as a result.

Aside from the pandemic, we also ran into the kind of issues that typically arise from a game’s development. We had a large number of players experiencing issues with the game engine that we were initially using, which helped us realize it wasn't fit for episodic releases. We attempted to salvage the game on this engine, but it began to feel like a drain on our incredibly limited resources. We felt the best thing we could do was port the game, which already stood at over 300k words, over to Ren’Py; an engine we were already familiar with. This was a huge undertaking for our two programmers — one of which is me; one of the writers of the game and the person who oversees the project as a whole. As this was only our second game, we also underestimated how much work we would need to do in order to complete such a huge project. We learned a lot — the hard way! We’ve always appreciated your understanding of our growing pains.

We’ve been listening, and we want to make things right. Lowering the price of Errant Kingdom is the first step.

But it’s not the only one! Not only are we discounting Errant Kingdom, but we’ve kept a really careful eye on your feedback — thank you deeply for the measured, valid, and genuine criticisms. As a result of how kindly everyone has taken the time to offer feedback, we’ll be doing an intense edit pass on the game.  This will allow us to move closer to the version we would have liked to release in a world where we didn’t face so many development challenges.

With full transparency, it’s pretty hard to see the changes we’ve needed to make after several years of chaotic development. As we previously mentioned, Errant Kingdom began development in March 2019 — several years ago, and vitally before a global pandemic. Big studios and development teams have the resources to hire consultants up to several times throughout a game’s development to aid them with this; as a small indie team, we don’t.

That’s why your feedback has been instrumental in allowing us to figure out what we should specifically hone in on. We’ll be addressing various narrative criticisms so that Errant Kingdom feels more cohesive and respectful of your choices.

 We hope the changes we implement will bring about a more satisfying experience.

We love Errant Kingdom and, despite the other projects the studio has needed to devote time to in order to survive, we care deeply about its success and how much it resonates with our audience. Crucially, this won’t impact or take resources away from Call Me Under — this is an undertaking we have scoped for and are confident we can deliver on.

We don’t have a timeframe for when the edited version of Errant Kingdom will be published, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Thank you for reading this and for the time you’ve devoted to playing Errant Kingdom, offering feedback, and following our projects. Your trust in us means everything as a self-funded, self-publishing indie studio, and we never take it lightly. We hope that, despite our stumbles and imperfect development cycle, this post is reflective of that.

Stay safe, take care, and see you next time.

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