In a blog post this week, Noel Berry from the team behind Celeste announced that and old project would be put to rest. The procedurally-generated Metroidvania Skytorn is no longer going to be developed.
In a blog post on Medium, Noel Berry mentioned how he first started working on the game around five years ago. However, in 2016, they put the game on the sidelines as they worked on Celeste. It released at the beginning of this year to massive praise. Despite being put aside, the devs said Skytorn would be completed. It looks like that’s no longer the case.
So why is the team abandoning work on Skytorn? According to Noel, it’s because the team “just never figured out what it was”. He clarifies:
Having worked on the game for several years we constantly struggled with what the game was. To its core it was a procedurally generated adventure game without permadeath, but the procedural elements always clashed with the Metroidvania themes, and I didn’t know how to design around that. The story & progression slowly became much more linear as a result of being unsure how to tackle an open & randomized world. Taking out the procedural parts felt like it defeated the purpose of what the game was, so as it shifted towards a more linear adventure, the procedural map stayed but simply got more and more constricted, until the proceduralness of it didn’t really mean anything — it was just… there. And this is a LOT of overhead for basically no payoff. Why make a procedural game at all if you don’t really get the benefits of it being procedural?
It’s definitely sad news, but there’s some good news in there. Noel said that the Celeste team would be sticking together, and they’ll have news about their next game in 2019. Meanwhile, Celeste will be getting new “farewell” levels will be early next year.