We get a fair number of emails asking about the status of Act III, which is totally understandable. We know it’s a bit unusual for a game company not to announce release dates in advance, or generally to keep such a low profile between releases, and of course since many of y’all have paid in advance for all five acts of the game it’s not surprising that you’d want more clarity from us or reassurance that the game is still under development. We have pretty clear reasons for working the way that we do, but it seems like a good time to start being a bit more publicly transparent.
So here’s an update about what’s going on with Kentucky Route Zero development right now:
We are asked sometimes if the project is abandoned. No! Acts III, IV and V are still coming out. We’ve never stopped working on Kentucky Route Zero, and there’s no risk of us abandoning it. Making this game is what we do.
We publicly announced release dates for Act I and II, and in both cases those dates slipped, which is not at all unusual in videogames or other creative projects. But, all the same, it was pretty demoralizing to miss deadlines, and the barrage of negative attention that followed made it only more difficult to focus on work. More importantly, we’ve learned that our process is quite exploratory, experimental, and unpredictable anyway.
It’s crucial for our work that we reserve the right to throw things away, rework things as necessary, and allow the project to grow organically. Regularly, scenes that we imagined would be very simple and small-scale bloom into something much more complex as we work on them. In short, it’s difficult (or impossible) to really know what you’re working on until you’re really working on it, and it’s important to us that we err on the side of respecting the game rather than the timeline.
One piece that grew larger in scale than we expected it to is the interlude between acts II and III, “The Entertainment.” But even though it demanded a lot more of our time and attention that we anticipated, we’re very happy with how it came out. “The Entertainment” is at least as important a component of the Kentucky Route Zero project as any other, which should become more clear when Act III comes out …
Without getting into any spoilery detail, Act III is *significantly* more involved than the first two acts. We knew this coming into it, based on our narrative outline of the game. There are also components of it that grew in scale beyond our expectation, but we feel they’re worth the time and effort.
It may be unusual, but this is how we work; this is how a game like Kentucky Route Zero gets made. We’re proud of the game and excited to share the rest of it with you, and we hope it’s worthy of your patience and support.
That’s where we’re at! Always happy to hear from you, at firstname.lastname@example.org.