With The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth's final, final, for real this time final expansion launching next week, lead Isaac man Edmund McMillen has spoken about his plans for what follows. One answer I'm actually surprised to hear is Isaac 2, a full-on sequel to the roguelikelike dungeon-crawler which has already had a remake and numerous expansions. That won't be for many years, mind. Once Isaac's Repentance expansion is done, one of his main plans is to finish Mewgenics, a weird cat-breeding game first announced way back in 2012.
All this comes from a livestreamed interview with excellent YouTuber and Twitcher "Northernlion", who made his name with a nine-year (and counting) Isaac Let's Play series. NL's one of my favourite vidfolk and it's a good chat:
With Repentance launching on Wednesday, that's a big focus of the chat. McMillen said they were busy testing, as much as anyone can with such a complex game with so many items and interactions, and he really wants this launch to go well.
"The Afterbirth+ launch wasn't good, the Bum-bo launch was terrible," he said. "I've had these two horrible launches that I just- I don't want to do that again, and I want to make sure that things work."
Beyond Repentance, McMillen said, "Isaac 2 will happen one day, but it's not going to happen any time soon." He's got a lot to do before then, including Mewgenics, which he started to dust off again in 2018. That was originally a Team Meat project, before he went his own way, and these days he's making it with The End Is Nigh collaborator Tyler Glaiel.
"My big plans are simple," McMillen said. "I've got a Kickstarter in two months, and then I've got to finish Mewgenics. And Mewgenics has been in development for over a year but it's just been mostly Tyler's side."
lol even with my placeholder animation its awesome pic.twitter.com/XYxr9jFKkP— Tyler Glaiel (@TylerGlaiel) March 26, 2021
McMillen says the cat-breeding game feels "like a bunch of things, but not like anything else. It really feels like Final Fantasy Tactics meets Pokémon meets some sort of D&D-type adventure game, with an Animal Crossing hub". He expects that is "probably going to take another two years to finish, once I get back into it full time." After that, he'd like to spend two years getting back into quickly making "Flash game-size" projects so he can learn new things and improve his skills. And then maybe he'll look into Isaac 2.
"I just want to go with what moves me. And no doubt Isaac 2 might move me, but I just don't know," he explained. "I have a design doc for it. But I need the dust to settle. The dust has not settled for ten years, and I need to have some perspective over what's going on here and what would be appropriate for a sequel. Do we 'do a Spelunky' where we remix existing things but update them? That feels appropriate. Do we do something new? Do we go real crazy and do like Zelda 2 new perspective? Or do we play it ultra-safe and just kind of almost make it a big expansion to what already exists? Do we do new art? Do we do 3D? Do we do Photoshop-like Spelunky-lookin'? I don't know. I'll figure it out when I get there. But I think this update will give everybody enough to play for a long time."
It's an interesting interview with lots of Isaac chat, some dad talk, and more info on Repentance, with two more of the expansion's devs joining the call towards the end too. NL's a good egg, worth a follow on Twitch and YouTube.
Repentance hits Steam on Wednesday the 31st. It's based partially on the impressive mod Antibirth with extra newness and revamping on top - including making some rubbish items actually useful. I'm still playing Isaac near-daily so I'm well up for it, even with full awareness that Isaac expansions have historically brought a lot of bad along with the good.