Before I get started, I just wanted to thank all of those who have sent me messages or contacted me on Twitter about the game. It’s good to see that there are people looking forward to our work and it’s that curiosity and enthusiasm that keeps us going. All of that said, it should be noted that this game is made by two people with the help of some contributors that we pay for short bits of work. The bulk of the programming and design is done by me and my wife does a lot of the detail work and UI graphical design. It’s a hard job and takes a lot of work to get even the smallest things working. Just understand the starting position we’re at. There isn’t some huge team working on the game.
So what about the future? When I started this in 2015, the goal was to be done in a couple of years. What we were working with wasn’t huge and I dialed back a lot of the features we had planned because it was going to take too much time to do everything. At the time, I thought we were being realistic about what we were trying to accomplish. I knew then that it was going to take some time, but I had no idea how much time that would be. Here we are in 2020 and though we’ve made a lot of progress, we haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked. On top of that, I learned that using middleware can be super frustrating and I don’t recommend anyone do it unless it’s well known or it’s made by someone you can trust to do it right. We’ve lost so much time just rewriting or maintaining middleware add-ons that were promised to be well kept…but weren’t.
This is where we’re at now. In the spirit of transparency, I’ll just say that there are two middleware programs that I have to find a solution for. If I decide to drop them entirely, then whole sections of the game have to be rewritten. If I decide to maintain what we have now, then I have to rewrite the middleware and maintain it properly. This is technically the easiest of the two. I’m just not a fan of maintaining someone else’s code. It sucks that something I purchased to save time ended up costing more time and frustration. In any case, there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. The fact is there are a number of hard choices that need to be made.
This has also lead me to re-evaluate what platforms I want to develop for. In the beginning, the goal was to hit a bunch of platforms and release everything at the same time. It’s one of the main reasons I chose Unity over something like Unreal Engine. Over time, the development landscape has changed a lot and my own feelings about different platforms has changed. Right now, whether or not we release on Linux is up in the air. Same with the Wii U. I would love to swap the Wii U with the Nintendo Switch, but getting into Nintendo Switch development has been tough as they haven’t made it as easy for those of us who are low on the pole to switch over to the NS. Linux is just a matter of trying to keep a machine up to date with the latest Linux distro. I don’t use Linux personally (as opposed to all of the other platforms we’re working on) so it’s hard to have a real connection there. It’s pretty much off of the table right now, but I have given myself the option to go back to it after the game is released. I apologize to anyone who was looking to purchase the Linux version. That version isn’t dead, but also not in active development anymore.
Finally, that brings us to 2020. What’s the overall plan at this point? That’s a good question. The goal now is just to work on the game full-time. Over the past few years, one of the main reasons this has taken so long is because I could only work on the game a few times a week. I worked a regular job, so that limited the amount of time I could spend on it. Due to some circumstances, I can work on the game full-time. This means progress can be steady and that means the game can come out sooner. What I want to do is release a playable demo by the end of the year. This should give everyone a good idea of what the game is about and how it functions. I’d also like to be present at some indie events and the like. I’m just not confident in what we have at the moment since so much stuff needs to be redone to accommodate the updated middleware I mentioned before. Also, a lot of the “help” features aren’t in which means most people will just be wandering around trying to figure out what to do most of the time. I can’t and won’t say when all of this is going to happen, but it should be this year at some point. Let’s look forward to it.
Before I go, I did want to briefly address a question I was asked about other platforms. As for the Playstation stuff, that’s just not gonna happen. There’s zero chance of that. I apologize to the Sony fans and those looking to play the game on the PS4 or PS5. The Xbox is a bit trickier, but that’s something I may look into fully once the game is out. I don’t want to promise a bunch of platforms and not be able to deliver. This means that if we get approved to make a Nintendo Switch version, then the Wii U will be delayed until after the game comes out and will be put into a pool with a possible Xbox and Linux version. The goal would then be to bring all of them out at the same time. Much like a “Phase 2” of releases. No promises, but that’s my thought process at the moment.
Again, thanks to everyone who have stuck around this long. I sincerely apologize for how long this has taken, but considering our manpower, I guess it’s not too surprising. The next major milestone is to get a demo out and into the hands of the player and then go from there. Here’s to the future!