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Time to Abort the Mission

If you are one of the few people who have followed this project for a while, you may have noticed the distinct lack of any sort of update for about a year and a half. The reason for this is unfortunately rather simple: I have done very little work on The Campaign over the course of the past year. And the more time passed, the more I became aware that when I did work on it, I did not get any enjoyment out of it. It's time to face the truth: The Campaign is going nowhere as a project at this point. Therefore, I am cancelling it permanantly.


The Campaign was originally created for the Fundamental RPGology contest, in which it even won the third prize, despite the fact that the contest version was very much flawed in numerous ways. For a long time, I felt obliged to finish a full and improved version that would add all the content I had originally planned, and address the problems the game currently had. And to be fair, I did put a lot of time and effort into trying to make that happen. I rebalanced or completely replaced skills, overhauled stats, added numerous features and visual clues to make the gameplay more transparent, and cleaned up a lot of my incredibly convoluted eventing. And all of that made it even more frustrating for me when it finally began to dawn on me that I would very likely not finish this project.

Why is that? Well, I can definitely say I learned a lot from creating this project: For example, I have become aware that I really dislike having to balance combat. I also was painfully made aware that a huge disadvantage of making a game with very complex mechanics is that after taking a break from it, getting back into it and re-learning one's own "coding" is very exhausting and demotivating.

But the most important lessons I learned are of a different kind. The aim behind creating The Campaign was to build my own battle system in RPG Maker based on events. And I successfully accomplished that mission! Working on this game taught me so much about efficiency in building mechanics, the economic use of variables, long-term planning in resource management, complex eventing in ways that I had never tried before, and taking constructive criticism. Many of the mistakes I made when developing The Campaign I will likely never make again. That is in itself a huge success.

However, I also realised something different, which is ultimately the other main reason I decided to cancel this project: Sometimes, one's ideals and plans do not work out in practice. I still like the basic concept I structured The Campaign around. But I have not only come to see that personally, I simply like turn-based combat less than more action-based systems. It just became clear to me that despite my best efforts, the combat in The Campaign is just not a lot of fun to play. No matter how proud I was of my own work, no matter how pleased with what I perceived to be the originality of the concept: Playing my own game did not feel engaging to me. Taking the perspective of the player, I perceived it as slow, one-dimensional, and simply boring.

Sometimes, an idea only sounds good on paper. Sometimes, a developer lacks the skill or insight to make a potentially good idea work well in practice. Regardless of which is true in this case: A feeling of obligation as the sole motivation for finishing a game that I neither enjoy working on nor think is enjoyable to play is just pointless, and not beneficial to anybody. This game has been a mental burden for me for too long now, and I want to be free of it.

Sometimes, you just have to admit defeat, return to camp to regroup, fill up your HP again, and keep the lessons of this moment in mind on your future campaigns. And that is what I intend to do. I hope you understand.

See you in future projects, everyone!

Posts

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Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
Aw, sorry to hear this. Though, since you learned a great deal about development from the struggle, the time spent on this was definitely not in vain. Are we going to see more RPGs from you in the future? Or will it be more puzzle games like The Book of True Will?

Either way, I'll be eagerly anticipating more from you. Good luck in your future endeavors!
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
5314
Thanks, Nova! Cancelling a project is always terrible for me, but I think it's ultimately for the best here. If a feeling of having to finish something is constantly gnawing at you, even to the point where it prevents you from working on other projects, it's necessary to draw a line eventually.
I definitely don't regret working on this game, though. Without all the know-how I gained from it, I probably could not have made The Book of True Will in the first place. (Not to mention its placement in the RPGology contest netted me the title screen.)

Regarding the question of what kind of games I want to make in the future: I'd say hopefully both! Right now, I'd really like to turn the project I started for the Swap event into a full and complete game. It's planned to be a rather short puzzle game with a relatively minimalistic story.
I do dream of creating a larger action-based RPG at some point in the future - but I don't think that's a plan I could do justice completely on my own. For now, I'm going to stick to smaller, more manageable projects rather than annoying the whole community by trying to build a team.
I'm probably too late for this, but were I can find the RPGology contest version? I want to at least try a buggy game than play nothing at all
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
5314
The Fundamental RPGology contest can be found in the list of past events, but here's a direct link to it as well. The contest version of The Campaign is right here.

However, I realise that although I am not going to complete this project as I had originally planned, the newer version I have now is still playable and introduced a lot of improvements. Maybe I'll just put it up as the download for this page, so that people who are interested can take a look at it. Considering the contest version is still available on the RPGology page, it would be a shame to just leave it at that. Please just give me a little time to get this set up.
I might even leave it unencrypted, so that everyone who owns RPG Maker XP can laugh at my ridiculously convoluted eventing...

Thanks for your interest, El_WaKa!


Edit:
Oh, I probably should have mentioned that the contest version still had a terrible bug in it that caused the game to crash after a certain time. You should probably not play that version, come to think of it.
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