Hey folks, rather than try reply to individual comments I thought it best to write another blog post, a week has gone by since we made our sad announcement and some of the dust has settled, so I'll try answer the most common questions and suggestions.
First off, the main reason for stopping with development of neotopia now is simply money. Without a serious chunk of investment we cannot get neotopia off the ground, we were trying to do so in our own time, i.e. by funding the development from contract work that pays our bills, but with the competition from other virtual worlds the slow lane approach is just not going to work.
Why does it take a lot of money? Well first off it's simply to pay us, as in madmunki as we currently exist (there are now 4 of us) - we have all the same day-to-day living costs as anyone else and we have to cover these in order to be able to work. Then there is the fact that to get the whole thing up and running properly we would need to take on more people, which would cost more money. Then there is the equipment - Playstation 4 Development kits are not cheap, then the server costs and cost involved in submitting a product to Sony to be released (at least some testing would have to be paid for, beta or otherwise). All of this is money which has too be spent before a single cent is made. We don't have access to money like that I'm afraid, perhaps eventually we could have run another kickstarter, indiegogo or some other crowd sourcing method, but as I said last week we are not doing this in a vaccum, we have to consider what other devs are doing, I really believe whoever gets there first will win out and I know that there is sadly no way we are going to get their first.
Teaming up. I know a lot of you love the idea of the PSH devs teaming up, tbh I love that idea too, it would be the most fitting way for PSH to find a succesor, real poetic justic even. We did speak to other devs at the beginning of our original KS, but understandably a lot of people had their own plans and hammering out deals between companies is not an easy thing. Who owns what, who runs and provides the infrastructure and what does everyone else pay for that, who has final say, who is it that speaks to Sony etc. We spoke to Atom late last week, and I cannot say we are going to team up - like i say that's complicated, but we are more than happy to give him the benefit of our experience in getting to this point. The important thing is that someone succeeds, but whoever that lucky developer is they are going to need a lot of money.
So what do madmunki do now? Well we are a games company, so that's what we'll keep doing - in the past year as well as continuing to support Spunland and launch into the neotopia kickstarter we ported "Strike Suit Zero : Director's Cut", to SteamOS and Linux, as well as adding Oculus DK2 support for it. We also have two unfinished games on the backburner that we were working on with other people, both of them Spunland related as it happens. One is a puzzle game and it is very close to being finished, so we plan to get that done and launch it as a free game (most likely on facebook) and see what you all think. The other is more complex and I have not spoken to the other guys working on it for a long time, they many not answer the phone to me now it's been so long. But the point is we will get back to making games that we can make on the kind of budgets available to us. Personally I'll be pushing madmunki to make a proper Spunland stand alone game, ideally on PS4, maybe even a little like what @NeoHelper suggested in his comment on my last blog post. Ultimately my passion for virtual worlds is not going to go away so that's what I'll always be pushing towards in the long run. I could fill screens worth with the reasons for why, and if you give me half a chance I will, but we're almost at too many words for now...
Before I sign off, let me thank you all again, the supportive comments to our announcement totally floored me, and the fact that folks wanted to all meet up and chat in PSH last week was just amazing. As I said last week we will keep this site running on our server so long as folks want it, and I'll keep dropping by and posting blogs when I get the chance, and I'm more than willing to meet up and chat in PSH whilst we all still have that option open to us. It strikes me that the community here know what they want from virtual worlds and the more folks band together to let developers know what they want, and really push for it, then the more chance there is of getting it - I'll be about to support you all as much as I can (and while we're at it let me plug Ransom's crew to that end).
Ok, enough for now. Take care folks and hope to see you all soon!