Well, it's come to this. After about half a year working on the game I've decided to call it quits for this project for a number of reasons. I know all 5 people following this blog may end up being disappointed but that doesn't mean the entire thing is for naught; It's become something different. I can explain, and will do just below. I'd point a pointy hand-arrow thing to show that, honest.
Reason Uno - Preda-who?
I never really wanted to say this, because I wish both parties well and hell, things seemed to have gone down amicably between the two, but the departure of Jared from ScrewAttack ended up killing the entire project hype wise. I recall one of the episodes of Sidescrollers where they made a brief reference to the project, and the development and how they were looking forward to it, but after Jared left all interest in the project from the community just disappeared entirely. It was already too late then to promote the project further because any interest in the game just vanished. It wasn't ever a super popular project from the looks of things, despite posts by Chad and Sam on the project blog page. My page has also been flooded with spam advertisements and comments, I have around 200 notifications because of these spam bots and sadly it makes it hard to even talk about the project when there's people selling sport equipment all over the walls. The demo is still up to play, I won't ever remove that, so if you're interested in checking out what the state of the engine was at that period of time feel free to check it out.
Reason Dos - Dude where's my Data?
Picture this. You've been working on a project for a good half year. Systems are in. Enemies are moving as they should. Quirks have been fixed. You've got new elements in place and you've got a backup of the project dating from about 1 month previous, but that's fine because you're in the process of backing up the files right no-
Power Fuse blows.
Hard-drive gets totaled in the process. Music assets = Gone. Graphical assets = Gone. Features = Gone. The backup you have contains a fraction of the work completed, as a lot of the new features were finalized and programmed into the project the month after the backup. The frustration and sheer amount of work gone from the project is enough to drive anyone who works on projects as a whole into madness.
The most frustrating thing about it all, was a group of features I had added into the game to give it a bit more flare compared to the original title it was based on. Here's a list of the "Modes" I had implemented.
- Normal Mode - Same as the original game, but had more of a Contra flare. You could upgrade weaponry and the likes as you collected them through the level
- Big Mode - Same as the original game, this mode had the Contra aiming scheme though and allowed you to target foreground and background
- Hunter Mode - An overworld map leading to different destinations and Predators to hunt down. This was to be akin to Zelda II or Getsufuumaden. The original Predator's game had branching paths but they were very hard to follow, and were often just level skips. In the original MSX version, the map played more like Metroid, but I wanted to do something more along the lines of hunting down and tracking big prey, which is what I wanted to achieve with this mode.
- Scorpion Mode - A vertical shmup-style segment where you ride one of the many Scorpions through an enemy encampment, blasting things as you go.
Out of all the modes, I lost a good 80% of the world map, most of my code for Big Mode and the first stage of Scorpion Mode due to it. With a good deal of time having been dedicated to the World Map, everything got Tabula-Rasa'd on me.
Reason Tres - Is this the Real Life?
Conclusion- Gee, what now?
All the above aside, the entire project isn't necessarily gone for good. With the lack of interest and the departure of Jared alongside the loss of a lot of data (including an important essay assignment for University) and the finals coming up, I've been hard pressed to do anything other than some projects for Ludum Dare and small games for 1 Game a Month. But to do nothing with an engine that I've got ready and prepared would be a shame. As a result of that, Hunter of Predators may be no more, but a game using the same engine but tweaked, made less "so bad it's good" and more "actually playable", something I hope to show off sometime here and get a few viewpoints on with a demo in the future. As for now however, managing stuff on the side involving real life and this mini-project Studio Anjin, I just need a bit of time, and a bit of focus, and a bit of fun.
Thanks for reading folks, I'll see you folks around soon.