Hey folks, it's with a very heavy heart that I'm writing today to announce that this is the end of the road to neotopia for madmunki. It has been an honor and a privellege to walk this road with you all, but we cannot in all good conscience keep going. Let me explain why, and why now.
As you know since November we have been working as hard as we can in our spare time on getting a demo together in Unreal, given that it is only in our spare time it has been slow going, but as the project itself doesn't bring in any money that was the only way we could do it. The plan with the demo was to create an environment and an avatar and have said avatar able to run about the environment etc. We managed to get the environment to a decent enough point so that we could focus all of our attention on the avatar - so that's what we've been doing lately. Last week was the first time where I got to spend an entire week working on the avi, and my hope was to get it finished in that week, but I didn't manage. I reckon it would take another week to get it finished, but as I can only spend 3 days/week working on neotopia that means it still would not be complete for another 2 weeks. Now in theory we could just keep on working at this pace, the plan was always to get to a point where once we had enough to show perhaps we could get other developers involved, look to raising investment, possibly even do another kickstarter, but the fact is we are not doing this in a vaccum.
As you will also no doubt know Atom is on the verge of launching his kickstarter for Atom Universe. I cannot honestly imagine that there will be two virtual worlds on the PS4, or at least not two virtual worlds which are essentially containers for content, hubs that lead to many environments as opposed to providing a particular kind of content in themselves. Atom can commit more resources to AU than we can to neotopia right now, so he will in all likelihood be in a position to launch AU before we could launch neotopia. I think the fact that neotopia got to this point, with a thriving and creative community has been to the advantage of other devs, I think it shows that there is an audience and has demonstrated the ways in which developers of virtual worlds should engage with that audience. However I also think that if we continue it will be to AU's detriment, I know how I would feel if whilst running a kickstarter the competition were releasing screenshots and so on - that would only be divisive.
We have always said that the important thing was that there should be a succesor to Home on PS4, not that we have to be the ones to make it. We tried, but I genuinely believe that it is in the interest of the wider community that we stop here, if everyone gets behind Atom, hopefully AU will happen. As far as I can tell Atom is listening to the community, he is running polls and so on and is determined to give people what they want. You folks can help shape that, help ensure that it is the virtual world that you want.
The only thing saving me from feeling any worse about this than I already do is that I believe we all had a lot of fun getting to this point. I need to thank Carla & GreyNeo especially for all of their hard work in fostering this community, and all of you for being part of this community, and contributing so much of your time and creative energies into making it what it is. Madmunki will continue to host the site on our server, we know a lot of you have made friends here, and I for one have enjoyed reading people's blogs and seeing the awesome videos (special thx to Arwen), and screengrabs (special thx to Tamarra) that you have posted. We'll only take it down if it becomes derelict or something we can no longer have associated with ourselves due to inappropriate content.
So finally - apologies. It turns my stomach to think that we let you all down. I'll try my best to respond to comments, and will show up in the shoutbox to provide you with a target for rotten tomatoes. In the end we still love you all.