From the outside, the Cardboard Computer had appeared dormant. The developers of lovely episodic adventure Kentucky Route Zero have been quiet on the status of Act III, refusing to divulge the episode's release status. Now, in a recent progress update on its progress, the studio has explained their silence, noting any previously planned launch dates had always been missed. As a result, the team are following game development trick #32: if you never announce a release date, it can never be delayed.
"We are asked sometimes if the project is abandoned," write Cardboard Computer's Jake, Tamas and Ben in a joint update. "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."
What's more, the team's intermission project, The Entertainment , also became bigger than anticipated. That release will tie into KRZ in ways that, they say, will become more clear with the release of Act III.
Perhaps the best news of the update is that Act III will be significantly more involved than the previous two. "We knew this coming into it," they say, "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."