Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last wrote, mainly because I’ve had to be absolutely sure I was going to post what I’m about to post.
There are two things I’d like to share with you… Some good news and some not so good news. If you’d prefer the good news first, skip to the later section!
The Bad News
NEW GAME+, the dungeon crawler I’ve been working away on for the last six months (I realise I never officially announced the name), is no more.
I have decided to abandon the project. It’s been a very tough decision to make, quite heartbreaking really, but it IS the right thing to do. It was too big for a single person to make. This is the root of the problem. It wasn’t that I fell out of love with the idea, just that I can’t physically do it.
The good thing about being a self-funded, one-man team is that I can drop a project without hurting any co-workers, without feeling pressure to complete something that isn’t working, and without being somehow responsible to investors. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to remain a solo game creator, so that I feel less pressure to try and force something that doesn’t want to be forced, to remain agile so that I don’t need to flog an already dead horse.
I reached a point where it was getting very frustrating: the game demanded a lot of animation, very detailed level design, and a huge amount of gameplay code, all of which were taking so long that it felt excruciating.
I’d like to say sorry to any fans who were looking forward to it – it’s still a game I’d love to play, and should I ever have a team to work with in future, it’s definitely an idea I’d like to come back to. I had an incredibly detailed story worked out (it’s not what it appeared!), which I won’t share in case the idea ever resurfaces.
For now, let’s take a minute’s silence and look through the work in progress shots, leading up to the first build that I shared with a few friends a week ago…
First engine tests
First bits of level creation, writing the editor, figuring out the perspective etc…
Working out what sprites might look like…
Adding gameplay, weapons and AI…
So this is as far as I got with it. It still had a long way to go before it was going to be fully playable, and yet it had taken so many months to reach this point. I realised, not for the first time, that I’d been too ambitious. If you’ve followed Lone Survivor’s creation, you’ll see that there were quite a few failed versions of it in its wake.
So that is the story of NEW GAME+. When considering my decision, I received this excellent piece advice from Stephen ‘The Catamites’, something it really helped to hear…
“there’s no such thing as a trashed project, it always just gets subsumed into something else where you least expect it, so i won’t mourn new game +, even though it looked really cool. i am eagerly anticipating when the idea / images behind it suddenly appear in an unrelated dating sim or something some months hence…”
… and I think he’s absolutely right.
The Good News
That’s right, something wonderful has also happened in this time period. I have something I’m very excited to announce:
LONE SURVIVOR is coming to PS3 and PS Vita!
It’ll be re-coded from scratch by Curve Studios in London, creators of a number of great PS3 games like Fluidity, Hydroventure and Explodemon. It’ll be super-smooth running, and better yet (for my European cousins, at least) the plan is to include translations into French and German.
I’m greatly looking forward to this, as it’s been a dream of mine since childhood to release a game on console, and especially the Sony ones as I love what they do most of all. Anyone who follows my twitter will know that I don’t tend to play games on PC, I really am a couch gamer, most happy on my PS3! Lone Survivor was designed as a console game (in my head, anwyay.) In fact, all the games I work on I really imagine being on console, or fantasise about, anyway!
So there is is… With one door closing, another opens.
I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I figure out what my own next project will be. Who knows, it might end up being the dating sim The Catamites suggests…
… For now there’s just a glorious blank sheet of white paper in front of me.