Originally planned to accompany the launch of the system, pushed back to 20th December and now with a release date to be confirmed, the arrival of Toki Tori 2 on the Wii U eShop has been a protracted business. With plans for a larger game world and the inclusion of a level creation tool, the delay perhaps isn't a surprise, but nevertheless its developer — Two Tribes — has posted a blog entry to clarify some of the specific reasons for the delays.
Collin van Ginkel has written about how, at 11pm on 9th December and shortly after producing a new puzzle, he realised that the game wasn't ready, and that without a publisher or investor demanding release there was no need to rush the final product. Below it's explained how the decision was shared with the team and Nintendo, and a realisation once the completed work was assessed.
Now we only had to let the others know, and inform Nintendo that one of their Christmas games would not meet its deadline. Nintendo was amazing and said:“That’s tough for you guys, let us know when it’s good enough!’ So we told the rest of the natives at Two Tribes and decided to play through the game to get a feel for where we stood…
It wasn’t pretty. It was very ugly actually. There was no way in hell we would have been able to ship the game the next day. Not because I could still think up new puzzles, but because we had fooled ourselves into thinking it could be possible, ignoring the obvious truth.
The blog post outlines four key areas that have been the focus for improvement. In terms of performance, enhancements have been made to the graphical engine — allowing greater detail — while the frame-rate has been increased from 30fps to 60fps. The gameplay and structure has also been part of the overhaul, with more extensive and detailed testing taking place alongside an evolution of the open world structure.
Sounds great [having an open world], and it certainly has its benefits, but it turned out to be a design nightmare. We had to find a way to accommodate novice players, as well as experienced puzzle game players. In the end it resulted in many question marks above the heads of our testers.
We are now addressing this by catering a bit more to the tastes of the novice players. It’s still as open as before, but we don’t advertise it as much anymore.
We'll be getting some follow up details on the changes being made soon, but in the meantime let us know what you think — be sure to check out the full blog post for all of the details.