To adapt an old proverb:
I adore good news, I hate bad news, and I despise no news.
Silence is golden, indeed, compared with no news.
It’s been a while since our last blog post – but today we’re fixing that, and hopefully explaining a little about our silence.
Since the end of Kickstarter, we’ve had a lot of important decisions to make about the direction of the project: we’ve had to decide how to fill Kimmo’s role in the project, how to focus development, how to approach alpha testing (and whether to have a public alpha at all) and what we want to see become of GeneRally 2.
First and foremost, GeneRally 2 is still in development – we are still very keen to see the project through to completion, in whatever form that ends up taking. As we alluded to in the last blog post, we’ve already made significant improvements and feature additions since the last Kickstarter build, and we’re generally quite pleased with the progress being made.
Despite this, there have been a number of complications that have arisen for us, personally, over the past month or two. James has been unwell for much of the time since our last blog post, and Markku has been focussing on some important work for his PhD studies. These factors have left us with precious little time to commit to GeneRally 2 recently, much to our own dissatisfaction.
Furthermore, we’ve had to decide how to best ‘replace’ Kimmo in terms of the areas he was contributing heavily to (most notably, 3D modelling). When we brought Kimmo on-board, it was to fill a specific need in our development team, and with him gone, we have to work out how to best fill that role again. For the time being, some features have had to be delayed, or moved lower down the priority list, until we can fill that role adequately.
Of course, all of this means that development is slower than it has been previously. In the run up to Kickstarter, the three of us took time off from work to push the project forward at a considerable rate – this was something we needed to do to ensure that the project was where we wanted it to be in time for the campaign. Obviously, with the Kickstarter campaign not having gone as we’d hoped, we haven’t been able to keep that pace up (especially with losing a third of our development team).
As far as community interaction, blog posts and social media updates go – we have always said that we’ll update you when there’s something to say. It’s always disheartening to read some of the aggressive comments left by people who claim to ‘know’ we’ve given up, or that we’re not worth the time and effort, or that we’re con artists, or that GR2 is vapourware – but, ultimately, we continue because this is a labour of love for us. We always aim to keep you updated with progress when there is real progress – but with a project of this nature, that may not be every week, or even every month.
Since the initial announcement of GeneRally 2′s development, we’ve said that we had two real options in front of us: fund the project early, and be able to deliver quickly; or don’t and delivery be slower. Whether you contributed to our funding campaign on Kickstarter or not, the net result is that we’re left with the latter option.
Funding via Kickstarter would have guaranteed a feature-set and particular expectations, based upon what we’d promised (that’s what the money was for) – but now, we don’t want to simply push out our early development work in some foolish attempt to replicate Kickstarter, but without the same security for you guys. We don’t want to do a half job, or take money and not be able to deliver, so we keep working until we have something worthy of your attention and, hopefully, your money (whether that’s donations, sales or pledges). We don’t want to fall into the trap of so many ‘early access’ games that force themselves to market before they’re ready, just to support a business model – we want quality, however long that takes.
We know that this blog post will be a relief to some and ‘fuel on the fire’ for others – but, as our mothers always taught us, “honesty is the best policy.” We’ll keep you updated with the progress we make on GeneRally 2 as we go forward, especially relating to public alpha/beta access, and as we make those decisions.
Thanks for your ongoing support!
– James & Markku