Hi there, hope you all had a great thanksgiving! I just thought it worthwhile to give you all the detailed low-down on neotopia and madmunki for anyone who wants more details.
So we set about looking for funding, and we are still trying to do that, but it's slow going and to be honest is not something we are experts in, but we are experts in making games so we decided to properly get on with trying to make neotopia. As we don't have spare cash in the bank to keep us in food and shelter we are also having to do some contract work and follow up some other odds and ends, but more about that in a minute.
The first step to getting neotopia up and running is to get an envornment running in Unreal 4, so I am doing that with all the spare time that I have right now, Jagz is also doing what he can to get an avatar in and running about this environment. We'll show you what progress we've made as soon as we can - but don't hold your breath quite yet! Without funding what we will attempt to do is get this working with multiple avatars and have it running online in some kind of limited way. We'll then seek to release this somehow and work towards a closed 'Beta'. We'll be looking for your input on what you'd like to see in this environment and initial avatar themes etc in the nearish future. We may well get to the point where we are looking to raise funds through the community again, be that donations or some other kind of crowdfunding, but we will not do that until we are very sure about what we can provide and actually have something to show.
Other munki business involves me spending 4 days of my week (which as I don't have what most folks would consider a life leaves 3 days and most nights free!) contracting for Pixelhero on their Eisenhorn game for Games Workshop - I'm making levels - from an art point of view in this case, not a design one - you can check out their stuff here. Pixelhero were a key part of the Kickstarter campaign, indeed Nader, the Pixelhero gaffer (sorry dude) created the neotopia avatar mockup - without the funding though Pixelhero cannot afford the time to spend on neotopia and have to focus on their own project, thankfully they can afford to pay madmunki to help them out.
The other madmunki project which we hope to derive some funds from is, confusingly enough a mobile game called 'Topia'. Topia was created by our mate and computer game legend Glenn Corpes (he wrote Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Magic Carpet among many other games - he also shares the madmunki office with me), Glenn released the game on iPhone and we ported it to Android for him earlier this year. Now we're working on putting an actual game in it for him, right now Topia is really just a fun little sandox where you can deform the landscape and lay down hudreds of little creatures to see them running about and eating one another etc. The name neotopia did in a funny sort of way come from Glenn's game, but thats a story for another time.
So we have other things on our plate because we have to in order to survive, but neotopia is a dream we are not going to give up on just because we don't have the money right now - its just going to take a while. In the interests of transparency; we won't hear about the sales from the apartment till next month, and we won't see the actual money till next year, but as with all things we'll keep you posted. Ultimately we want to see neotopia, or something very like it happen on PS4, that is to say; a virtual world where people can can interact through text and speech, where there are private and public spaces and where there is a system in place for it to be properly developed WITHthe community. It does not matter what the thing is called at the end of the day, or (due dilligence aside) who runs it, only that it exists and that we can all be a part of it.
We will continue doing the neoflag events to keep the dream alive and to be honest because they are fun - I for one get a real kick out of all the beautiful images that we manage to make together, and massively appreciate all of those posting pictures and video (thx Arwen!). I'll sign off for now, but I'll try post on this blog once a week from now on, it is really important to us that you know exactly where we are at. Let me finish by saying; I am massively proud of our community, it's commitment, imagination and humour are genuinely an inspiration - so thank you all!