Change of Plans
Just a quick post to go over what we've accomplished so far in the past few months and where we're headed.
Previously I mentioned finishing up two of our projects from a long time ago, which were a sequel to our game Detective Butler, and the puzzle-platformer Witch Doctor Kaneko. The first two months of the year, I spent researching how to properly go about the marketing and business side of game development, specifically with regard to these two games. My findings sort of culminated in the previous blog post, where I explained all the financial difficulties of trying to sell a game in today's market. After that, I got a bit sidetracked working on an NFT-related side project, which took up almost all of March and April. I also had some renovations going on at home which took up a considerable amount of time.
During the latter half of April and May, I ended up getting some attention from investors regarding the NFT side project, which absolutely gave me a much-needed boost of confidence. I can't deny that I enjoy this type of work, but the project in question was too early for me to pursue any further, and was not exactly designed as a long-term project. However, it got me thinking that I should probably follow my motivation more than anything else.
This is also because I set aside May to write the outline for DB2. But every time I set aside time to work on DB2, all progress on anything grinds to a halt. I stopped streaming to work on it because I can't write while on stream, but I always run into the same problem. I bring up the outline, I start typing, and then I realize that it's just not working. By the end of the day, it's back to square one. I think that's a sign that the project just isn't going anywhere, and that I'm no longer passionate enough to make it happen. Although I still have some interest in WDK, I have to admit I'm stuck on the level design part and feeling like I don't have a strong enough core mechanic to convey what the game is about, so it's not too different there either. Both ideas suffer from a classic case of being solutions looking for a problem, rather than being solutions to a problem.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, it has been many years since I started those old projects. Technology has changed, the world is different, I have gotten older, my interests have changed, and unfortunately I have to admit that my passion for those projects is mostly gone. The only reason I would continue to work on them is out of obligation, but even then, we're much closer to the beginning on both than we are to the end. Meaning that all I'm seeing right now are two giant to-do lists with no economic incentive and no close end in sight. Honestly, it would probably take a budget of $100,000 and at least two years of development for each game, and unfortunately I don't have that kind of money or time right now. Those ideas were the types of ambitious projects that a new developer might dream up when starting out, so experienced developers should understand where I'm coming from when I say those ideas were unrealistic. They are bigger than I could handle back then, and still bigger than I can handle now. So rather than go through that struggle and waste all that time to make a game that probably wouldn't even turn out good, it's best just to quit now and move on.
I tried giving it one last go, but I think it's time to just move on. There are other more interesting projects, that not only would I rather work on, but that other people would want to play. There are also some non-game projects I'm interested in working on that I know people would benefit from, especially other game developers. I want to take the game engine further and make it usable by other developers by the end of the year, and I also have some ideas for web apps that can help game developers.
Regarding games, I think it makes more sense to focus on creating smaller games faster while spending next to no money, that way we can build up cash flow which can be used to fund bigger projects that I can't make on my own. I can't in good conscience spend even more money on projects that I can't know will make any of it back, especially if I've lost my motivation to work on them. I've already lost so much, and there are too many other project ideas that I'd rather create right now.
There are a lot of games from the past (10+ years ago) that I've made that I never actually released. I'd like to quickly remake them and put them out there so the world can see them the way they were meant to be seen. I'd also like to explore new ideas using new technology, because it's not enough to look backward, but you must also look forward into the future to make it big.
I am sorry if this news disappoints anyone, but I don't think the games would turn out well when I've lost my passion for working on them. Sometimes it's important to know when to move on, and I think this is the case. But I had to give it one last try. Also, perhaps in the future I will feel better and come back to them when I have the motivation and resources -- I wouldn't rule anything out -- but it's better to assume that I've moved on to other things for now.
My plan is to reduce streaming hours and instead upload videos so that people can watch my content without needing to be there live. I have so much planned for those videos that I needed to make time for those as well. I've already spent some time recording, and while it is indeed a learning curve, I'm starting to get the hang of it. Also, I've shut down the Patreon because I don't need it anymore, and it wasn't being used that much anyway.
I will make another post when I've got another game beyond the prototype stage. Thank you for your support thus far, and I hope to continue making things that people can find valuable.