The last few months development of Corrosion has been very slow. As with all things, persistence has been cyclical and interest has waxed and waned. As a result, user participation is slowing too and I don’t generate as much traffic any longer. Usually in a project of this magnitude and nature, where a long term commitment to develop is needed and resilience is a must, this usually leads to the slow death of the product. Disinterest, poor motivation or more interesting projects come along and kill any chances of a revival. I think it’s even more dangerous the smaller the team is, because collective enthusiasm and moment counts and when you’re essentially by yourself the strongest link in the chain is automatically the weakest.
Corrosion’s code is already thousands and thousands of lines and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to do with it. I have decided that 2012 is going to be the year in which I either give it a proper go, reboot or scrap the project. By the third quarter of 2011 I wanted to reach the alpha stage, but Deus Ex and Skyrim severely undermined that goal. I’m still very far off, but there are still eleven full months in this year in which, if I dedicate myself, I can get a shit load done.
My heart goes out to continuing this project because I’m very happy with the stuff that’s already been done and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. There are quite a few people that want to see me continue and finish as well. The project is flawed, but you learn as you go and I have the feeling that even if I reboot the project, that six months in I will have regrets like I do now.
But rebooting does have advantages. I made many mistakes that prevent me from progressing as fast and as smoothly as I would like. Also, deciding to incorporate all the aspects of Shadowrun the way I would like is a very, very daunting and ambitious task, the likes of which I am not a hundred percent sure of will lead to a playable browser game, especially multiplayer. It’s a case of waiting and seeing, tinkering and tailoring. Rebooting will likely net me a cleaner framework. Lots can be recycled and upcycled while the problematic bits can be canned. I have had several ideas about other projects to try, but I’m trying to keep my enthusiasm from wandering in that direction and focus it on Corrosion. A lot has already been done that would have to be redone. A lot.
Scrapping it has been on my mind too. Especially now that it appears an official Shadowrun browser game is in the making. Quite more high tech, done in a Unity type engine that will give a far more immersive type of play. It’s of course unsure when that will be published (if at all), but I would love to play it myself so I can imagine it would wipe the floor with my relatively amateur, hobbyist game. Then there’s the probable cease and desist I might be served, since I’m doing all of this in good faith, knowing that by the grace of the IP owners I am allowed to do this. At a whim they could shut me down.
But for now, I think it’s a learning experience and character building as well. A project of this magnitude is forcing me to exercise my planning and strategy muscles as well as testing my fortitude. On top of that, and anyone who has made anything and seen a project come to life will attest, there is something invigorating and exhilarating in making something. Creating and nourishing something.