Two Tribes co-founder Collin van Ginkel revealed the motivations behind the last-minute delay of Toki Tori 2 today, also showing off a bit of the results in the form of before-and-after graphics (above). The team realized that with no publisher to worry about, there was no external pressure to get the game out by Christmas.

"Now we only had to let the others know," van Ginkel said, "and inform Nintendo that one of their Christmas games would not meet its deadline. Nintendo was amazing and said: 'That's tough for you guys, let us know when it's good enough!'"

The improvements Two Tribes identified include graphics, performance, more testing time, and most importantly, flow. The game was designed with an open level structure allowing players to choose their own course between levels. "Sounds great, and it certainly has its benefits," van Ginkel said, "but it turned out to be a design nightmare. We had to find a way to accommodate novice players, as well as experienced puzzle game players. In the end it resulted in many question marks above the heads of our testers." Amusingly, the structure remains open in the final version, "but we don't advertise it as much anymore."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.