Prior to their embrace of ever-reliable menus, Supergiant thought it would be cool if Bastion players upgraded their gear through gardening.
In a panel called The Failure Workshop at GDC 2012, as reported by Eurogamer, studio director Amir Rao said the feature was scrapped because it was too difficult to explain.
“Players had no idea what was happening. I find a seed in the world, I plant it in the Bastion and it upgrades my hammer? That was a real thing that was going on. Nobody knew what was happening,” he said.
“It took us a year because we were solving the wrong problem. We were tackling this huge thing – we were trying to make this one thing be everything. The conclusion is: you know the one thing that people understand a lot better than planting? A menu. A menu is something that’s a good place to make decisions at and understand what’s going on.”
The shelved gardening system had players collecting seds and cores – which were used to water plants – while out adventuring, slowly nurturing them into upgrade or even whole new levels. Players had a limited number of planters and had to use trial and error to discover what each seed did.
Dungeon crawling RPG Bastion is available on PC and Xbox Live Arcade, and has been highly praised for its unique narration mechanic and aesthetic.