That nice lot at AI War developers Arcen Games have some interesting ideas about alien races crammed onto a sentient planet for their next sci-fi strategy game, Stars Beyond Reach [official site], but alas it'll be a while before we get to see it.
Checking over what happened while I was away on holiday last week, squinting at events and muttering "Didn't we already post about...?" and yes, yes I did already post about Stars Beyond Reach being delayed. Now it's delayed once again - this time until March 2016. But, curiously, Arcen also say that they'll halt work on SBR for a bit to release a real-time roguelikelike in January.
Arcen founder and lead designer Chris Park explains in a blog post:
"The short of it is this: this game is freaking huge, and it's extremely novel. That costs a lot in time, money, and also creative energy. We've been running ourselves ragged over the last few months, and we came to a decision as a team to put the game temporarily on hold. We don't have confidence that we could release this in 2015 in a state that we'd be proud of, and even if we did it would likely get smashed by the impressive roster of competing strategy titles that fill the remainder of this year."
He expands on this in a forum post, saying:
"... beyond just the money and eggs-in-baskets bit, I am personally just plain burned out with the game right now. I need time to regroup and collect my thoughts and take things in a more timely manner. I need time to work on the game without feeling constantly under the gun, and I need to not be SO emotionally invested in it. After 14 months of just being on this game and nothing else, it starts to intertwine with my self image to a dangerous degree. I need time to separate myself from that."
Sounds sensible, that.
So what's the other game coming in the interim? It's one Arcen have talked about before, under names like Airship Eternal and Life at the end of the Universe. Park says it's now "a realtime roguelike with persistence" and that they've worked on it on-and-off for a while. Releasing a smaller game will hopefully put Arcen in a more stable financial position while they finish SBR, which should be better after they return to it refreshed. That sounds more sensible than the previous plan Park had mooted, to crash on through and try to push SBR in November. It's a terrible thing, creative burnout.
And hey, here's the final part of SBR's related-ish animated series Tales of Woe: