The team behind the critically-acclaimed indie platformer “Celeste” are cancelling another project, a procedurally-generated Metroidvania called “Skytorn,” developer Noel Berry said in a blog post on Saturday.
“We’re no longer going to be finishing ‘Skytorn,” he said. “I’m really sorry for those of you who were excited about this game. We were too. We poured a lot of time, energy, and heart into the project and we’re definitely sad it’s never going to see the commercial release we were hoping for.”
Berry quit college to become a full-time indie developer in 2012 and said he went through a lot of ideas before settling on “Skytorn.” But, he and his team put the project aside once they began working on “Celeste” in 2016.
“I think it was in January 2017 the team sat down and decided we’d spend two or three months full-time on ‘Celeste’ and put ‘Skytorn’ on the back burner,” he said. “Of course, ‘Celeste’ ended up taking a whole year full time from that point, and ‘Skytorn’ development completely stopped. When ‘Celeste’ development and post release work finally slowed in May 2018, we were faced with the tough decision of reworking ‘Skytorn’ to its core, or beginning work on something brand new, taking in all these lessons.”
Ultimately, “‘Skytorn’ just never figured out what it was,” Berry said. Since there was no permadeath, its procedurally-generated elements clashed with the Metroidvania ones. Story and progression became more linear. It was broken at its core, he said, and fixing it all would’ve taken a lot of work. The team decided to work on something new instead.
“As much as we all love ‘Skytorn’ and how much it’s meant to us over the last several years, we’re excited for new things and new projects,” Berry said. “I’m okay saying it was an amazing learning experience, and we’ll take all these lessons onto our next project.”
Berry said the “Celeste” team is sticking together and working on something new, but it’s not ready to talk about it yet. It will share more details in 2019.