Enter The Gungeon developers Dodge Roll have announced via Reddit that their plans to release a paid expansion to their popular bullet hell roguelike have been cut short. Instead, they’re going to re-focus on producing one final update to polish up the game as much as they can before they go all-in on their next game. The devs say that just looking at their latest internal work “shows just how shaky our foundations for Gungeon truly are” – it’s just become impractical to add more to the game, short of completely redesigning it from scratch, as The Binding Of Isaac did.
While I wouldn’t mind another set of new places to shoot and more guns to shoot guns which shoot guns to shoot, I appreciate that Gungeon received plenty of post-release support. Its last major update – Advanced Gungeons And Draguns – helped tune the game into a more friendly experience, giving players more ammo, and adding a bunch of new side-adventures. It also felt like the game was starting to crumble under its own weight a bit, launching with some bugs, plus stumbling into some scattershot balance issues inherent in having so many random elements.
It’s a not-uncommon problem for developers of modern roguelikes. After a while, all the spaghetti code, exceptions, workarounds and hacks inherent in programming catch up with you, and new stuff starts to get squirrelly. Dodge Roll say that’s why the much-delayed AG&D update took as long as it did to produce. The original foundation of the game just wasn’t designed to be as modular as it needed to be. The upcoming update will add a bit more to the game, presumably what’s left over from the DLC – around twenty new guns, ten new items and a randomised ‘Paradox’ character.
The final Gungeon update is due to enter console certification by the end of the year -hopefully meaning a 2018 PC release. The game is currently half price on Humble, at £5.50/€7.50/$7.50. It’s published by Devolver Digital.