My account and all posts with it were zapped as fallout from a spamfighting cleanup effort: perhaps your post was also collateral? Or maybe, yeah, they didn’t want spoilers on this until they were out
Either way, I completely agree with you about wanting to see them officially - these two characters, for me, give a hint towards what they had hoped for all characters in the Underworld, even after they “ditched” conversation trees. They have character, they have life, they have humor and a backstory and more, all imparted in a few well-written lines.
And more than anything else in the game, Bertha and Bart suggest that perhaps they could pull off a No Man’s Sky, and go from bottom-of-most-leaderboards to beloved, if they can just find the funding to keep working on this.
Were they just an experiment with the random speech triggers for the shopkeeper, that they threw in as an exploration reward?
Was it an annoyed dev who stuck them in as a proof of concept to say “Look, this is how you do engaging characters!”?
Or are they part of some future DLC, perhaps stuck in as a teaser? If so, I have to say… that’s a damn clever teaser, and I look forward to that DLC!
Most likely, perhaps, is that it’s another part of their dream that they had to cut to release before the financial Doom Counter ran out and they were all on the street with no game to show for it despite months of crunchmode. D-day always seems to hit at Christmas, too. At least if you release, you might net a few more months of wages to release a few patches, and get it closer to the dream, and have time to get funding for the next project so you won’t have to lay off the awesome team you’ve built.
And to me, having been there, that’s just a heartbreaking thing and it sucks balls that it’s the normal state of indie game development nowadays, and it’s why I’m not a gamedev any more. I’d love to be, but big tech pays more, is way more stable, and has crunchmodes one sprint long at most! My team released a 2-year project this year, and in that whole time, I worked only two weekends! That’s unimaginable in gamedev.
Given they got Patch 1 out the door, I hope Otherside let themselves take a week off for Christmas. They’ve earned it, despite their detractors.