I have a process.
An idea that I have typically spends a good couple months tumbling around in my critical thinking cavity, vetting itself as I ride the Duc around the south bay. Eventually though, it will become something I need to put honest thought into, some of its features will need proving and I’ll need to bang out a few prototypes to see how feasible things are. Ill spend another couple months jotting down ideas and trying to hone the idea down, paring off the silly and unnecessary details so I can handle a 5 minute pitch and probably build out a team that is interested in the project.
When I saw Gravity, it was a must and I was immediately working towards piecing together the narrative. Months later I met a couple folks on the UE4 forums and we did some discussions about collaborating on the project, as we had very similar ideas. And months later, it is shelved.
Well, to be blunt – someone else beat me to it and I am working solo with kids.
Bohemian Interactive released a survival/multiplayer patch to Take On Mars, and a game built on UE4 by THREE ONE ZERO called Adr1ft is planned to be released in the summer of 2015. Here I am, working solo on a project that is in this space? How ridiculous is that going to work out? Ignoring all the visuals, I have been working out the modeling of how a battery discharges itself when used to power a magnetic grappling hook like device; I’ve been working on tools for about 4 months – and whether I like it or not, that’s not going to make my game stand out in this genre.
Over the years of working on Firearms, Project: White, Hades, and four dozen smaller games that you likely have never heard of or tried, I’ve had similar events happen 11 times, and I remember them all because it is always a punch in the chest. It’s a great way to wake up, forcing you to re-evaluate the state of your project, as well as the intentions and goals you have – and it forces you to be realistic about it.
As of now, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll end up working on at this point, I am a free agent. The above is just a fact of life for Indie Development, and in this situation it means the end of a project (or at least a long pause until I can assess the state of the genre). There is a lot to be said about reinventing the wheel a thousand times, as you learn a lot doing it, but to be inventing the wheel when you wont get the glamorous spot in your niche you were looking for… I’m not so sure it’s worth it just yet.