A Half Past Yellow Update

Catching you up on the last 18 months

Posted by Max on June 10, 2024 · 4 mins read

Difficult times

The game development industry has been having a hard time over the last year and a half. Studio closers, layoffs, and cancelled projects are a normal part of the news cycle now and it is difficult to tell when the bleeding will stop.

Half Past Yellow had to say goodbye to 2 of our team members in May due to uncertainty with project financing. The team members of HPY are the most valuable asset the studio has, and it feels terrible to lose key parts of it.

HPY team
The HPY team right after saving the world from a deadly virus

The struggle to secure funding

Half Past Yellow started working on Spectacle in late 2022 and we have been showing off the game to potential publishers and investors as early as March 2023. It was already clear that the landscape for funding new projects was difficult to traverse, but we were optimistic that we would find a passionate publisher for the project by the end of the year. We persisted with the project, but as the year came to an end, it was clear that we weren’t getting the interest we hoped for. Most publishers cited similar concerns about the puzzle genre, specifically noting the ratio of ‘development cost’ to ‘playable hours’ as a difficult investment to justify in the current market.

In the beginning of 2024, we decided to start prototyping new games that had a stronger focus on action and replayability (a better ratio of ‘development cost’ and ‘playable hours’). We already had a commercially viable demo as well as a showcase build with more complicated puzzles, so it was possible to work on something new while seeking investment in Spectacle. In the past 6 months, we haven’t made any breakthroughs with Spectacle, but we have seen some early interest in our new project.

We believe that Spectacle requires an additional 12-18 months of development and this isn’t something that Half Past Yellow can commit to without the financial backing of a publisher or investment partner. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to fully switch projects.

What is happening with Spectacle?

We were so excited to release the Spectacle demo and we are ecstatic that players enjoyed the game. The demo was released to show off the game that we have been diligently working on over the course of 2023 as well as give us some concrete information about player interest in a full game.

It was impossible for us to back up the demo launch with a proper marketing push, so we had to rely on word of mouth and Steam’s algorithm to be noticed. Spectacle saw good traction in the smaller Cerebral Puzzle Showcase but failed to get any real interest during Next Fest.

HPY team
We saw a good bump in wishlists during puzzle fest, but not enough to change our fate

The Spectacle demo will remain available on Steam forever and we are excited by the prospect of returning to the project one day, but the internal status is currently: delayed indefinitely.

What does the future hold?

The team is ready to show off the project that we started prototyping at the beginning of this year. We will be sharing gameplay footage on our Discord, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram over the next 4-6 weeks as we build up to a proper announcement and Steam page launch. I hope you take the time to check it out and let us know what you think. In the meantime, a sneak peak will have to do.

Top down platforming action with a twist...