Designer Noel Berry created the incredibly successful Celeste, the action platforming title which went on to sell a ton of units. The team was already working on their second game, Skytorn, the Metroidvania-style game which would build on their efforts from the previous game. Sadly for fans of this particular style of challenging action platforming, Skytorn has been cancelled.
The cancellation was announced via a post on Medium, wherein the team revealed that the team couldn’t find their footing with this effort, and that they had “struggled with what the game was” during its development. It’s not unheard of for games that don’t quite find their identity to get cancelled, but it’s still sad to hear.
According the Berry, there were plenty of problems with the game from the start, I’ll let their own words explain the rest:
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.
There is still some good news for the team of Matt Thorson and Noel Berry when it comes to their games. The developers are still intending to create more content for their breakaway hit Celeste. The game already has tons of difficult levels, some even more challenging “B-side” levels that change the layout and mechanics in a significant way. This new content is due sometime in the next few months.
Celeste is available now for Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, and Linux. And if you’re and Xbox Live subscriber, you can pick up the game for free in January 2019.