September 28 is a special day in the realm of survival horror for two reasons. First of all, it’s when the first half of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis goes down. Second, it’s when development on Derange finally wraps. That’s right – as of today, I’m finishing up the game’s endings and then Derange is done. The maps are all done, the events are programmed, dialogue and memos are written and gameplay systems are tested and working. Aside from a final round of bug testing, balancing and a bit more polish, Derange‘s development is complete.
So, all that’s left is to set a release date, right? Well, it’s not that simple. You see, we’re at a crossroads here at Dark Gaia Studios. Our last survival horror title, Mythos: The Beginning, was published by Degica, who also handled the Legionwood series. Degica is a great publisher, and the care and professionalism they’ve put into our games is nothing short of amazing. But if the sales numbers for Mythos have proven anything, it’s that horror games aren’t their forte; they’ve carved out a niche as a publisher of indie RPGs, and that’s the audience they cater to.
On the other hand, we could try self-publishing Derange, just like with the Steam re-releases of One Night and One Night 2. However, that’s not really a viable option, either. The One Night games have managed to do just okay, and that’s mainly on the basis of being older games with fans who recognised them from way back. To make self-publishing work, especially for a brand new IP like Derange, a developer needs to put all their force into marketing. They need to be online 24/7 promoting their game and doing their best to beat the algorithms. It’s just too exhausting for a tiny studio (ie. just me) to manage.
And so, we’ve made the decision to pitch Derange to a new publisher, someone with a proven track record of publishing horror games. We’ve got a couple of candidates in mind, and we’ll be reaching out to them shortly. The problem is, even if everything goes smoothly, finding a good publisher isn’t a quick and easy process. It’s probably going to take several months, at the very least, almost certainly pushing Derange‘s release into next year. We know you’ve all been waiting far too long for Derange already, but please continue being patient. We want this game to do well enough to justify a sequel down the line. We want to bring you a whole series of old school survival horror games.
In the meantime, you can try the Derange demo on itch.io.