When to move forward with or toss an entire idea aside and move on is something that every developer deals with during game creation. In his latest blog post, Yi-Sian J Seow (aka: Mr Bums.) of Worthless Bums reflects upon his thoughts and decisions throughout the prototyping phase of Wolves of a Dull Moon, and why he ultimately decided to shelve it.
Wolves of the Dull Moon (WotDM) was intended to be a real-time horror/comedy roguelike. You would be dumped in a procedurally generated forest a few minutes before the sun set. No instructions, no direction or indication of what to do. You could wander around, harvest berries, and pick up rocks or sticks. Curiously you can also urinate and defecate. You also have a fear meter.
Then your time was up. Night comes and werewolves start spawning. You can’t fight; you can only flee. Werewolves would track you by scent, sound, and sight. Cross streams to cover your scent. Piss on a rock then throw it away from you to lead them astray. Eat berries that make you less stinky. Eat berries that make your piss more stinky.
Werewolves coming too close to you would cause your fear meter to rise. Full fear meter would cause full blown panic and almost certainly cause nearby werewolves to rip you to shreds.
Try to survive till sun up.
The entire retrospective is a great look into the decision making process of rapidly prototyping and testing of ideas while still listening to feedback, constructive or not. Well worth a read for anyone stuck on an idea or trying to shoehorn in a mechanic that just might not fit.
Source: Worthless Bums Blog