Infliction update 2.4 was released about a month ago. In fact, at the time of writing this, 2.5 is already out. So why am I writing this? I wanted to talk about the bonus content I added to the game and the lessons learned from such a thing.
I love special features on DVD and Bluray. I own the special edition of Lord of the Rings and I often choose the watch the appendices over the movie itself. I don’t know how common that is. Maybe everyone does the same thing or maybe I like it because I’m also a creator. Regardless, I wanted to offer a reward for players that finish my game.
The first idea for this was the only idea I had really. In the game the “Tall Pines Gallery” is mentioned in a rejection letter to Sarah. This popped in to my head because the paintings in Infliction have been very popular. I thought showing them all in one space would be a cool idea so the gallery made the most sense and also ties in to the world. I didn’t realise how much art work was hanging on the walls in Infliction and was surprised to learn that it contained around 60 artworks. I populated the art gallery with the works and set this to be in 2019, twenty years after the game takes place. I also added a final room where I break character and thank the player. Here I show a few concept drawings, some videos of deleted content and examinable versions of the character models used in the game. There is also a locked door in this area that will only open if you have completed a particular achievement. Behind this door are a few more extras.
When I wanted to populate this bonus room at the end of the gallery, I struggled to find content. This was because I deleted or threw out many early sketches and game play captures. A mistake I’ll never make again because these things can have a use besides development notes. Even one of the deleted scenes I had to dig up by playing a very old alpha and recapturing the footage. My advice, save everything, even your notes. I know I will be from now on.
At face value, I’d assume nobody is particularly interested in bonus content for a game like mine. It wasn’t until I saw that a couple of streamers really enjoyed the bonus area and hearing them comment on how happy its inclusion made them, that I felt justified in the extra work I had put in to the update. It’s interesting releasing content and often not receiving any feedback at all. I suppose in this case, no news is good news because the feedback I sort out was all positive. I mean, how could you complain about bonus content.
Moving forward, I’ll always endeavour to include something like this in my future titles. Not only is it fun for me to do, it also rewards the player.