Some sad news were released for the many fans of the indie platformer Celeste. One of the lead developers of the game, Noel Berry, had been working on a project called Skytorn even before Celeste. According to a blog post by Berry, it was revealed that development of the new game has been halted and the game canceled.
Skytorn had been in development years before Celeste, almost four years before. The game is described by Berry as “a procedurally generated metroidvania,” where multiple dungeons would need to be explored in order to find powerups. You can check out some early gameplay below. While Berry goes into a good amount of detail on the history of the game, and what it originally was intended to be, the short answer as to why the project was abandoned was that “Skytorn just never figured out what it was.”
Berry recounts that the small team working on the game had an overall sense of the feel and the atmosphere of the game, but would have kept running into issues with the procedurally generated nature working with the Metroidvania aspects of the game. “To its core it was a procedurally generated adventure game without permadeath, but the procedural elements always clashed with the Metroidvania themes, and I didn’t know how to design around that,” Berry states in the post.
The team decided to take a break from Skytorn to work on Celeste, but after a 2-3 month break turned into more than a full year working on what would be a smash indie hit, the team opted to pull the plug on Skytorn. “If we were to finish Skytorn I believe it would require us to throw away a lot of the code & gameplay design,” says Berry.
While the game was very near and dear to all who worked on it, Berry said the team learned a lot from both their work on Skytorn and later Celeste. While they are sad to see the game they put so much work into not pan out, they are excited about the future and are already working on a new project. Berry and the team are hush about the project currently, as he states more details will be released in the new year.