Posting these sad news is the hardest thing for all the team working on Dark Triad: Conspiracy...
As you know, we postponed our Kickstarter campaign to add more features, and after the first failed campaign, that was the best decision we could take. As we kept working on the game, we made ourselves conscious of the stark reality. If we wanted to get enough funding from Kickstarter to help us finish our game, we couldn’t release a pre-alpha version. We would have not probably gained enough trust of potential backers. Of course we could have greatly reduced the scope of the game, and provided only 10 hours of gameplay, or maybe release the game as episodic content, so we could focus on the Chapter 1 of the game and then adding DLCs. But this is not what roleplaying fans want, nor us. If we wanted to make a CPRG, it had to include all the necessary game systems in a working state before were able to relaunch on Kickstarter. We are not a know developer, and gaining the trust of the needed backers is difficult is you don’t have a playable alpha with most features in. But this takes time. And money. A lot of it.
During these 14 months we’ve been in development, we’ve achieved great things, like a fully-fledged 3D graphic editor adapted to an isometric view, a basic turn-based combat system, a simple 3D-particle FX editor, a controllable group of PC and companions, some cool game areas, as almost and entire city outdoors and some indoors zones. We still needed to develop the dialogue editor, the quest editor, the faction system, the items management tool, the character customization screen, the non-combat abilities implementation, improving the pc and companions navigation, the abilities tree and character advancement windows, and of course more game content as new graphic areas, dialogues and quests.
We saw that working with XNA would take us another 8 months to add basic features, and this wasn’t feasible due to our reduced budget, until the point that the amount of money that Miguel and I could add has been used up. It’s been 14 months where we’ve spent about $40K and we would need to spend the double to finish the game. Miguel had let go some of his clients to dedicate more time to the project, I left my job to dedicate more time to the project, and made some freelance translations to pay all team members.
But the money issue is a wall that we can’t overcome at the moment. That’s why we have decided, with the utmost regret, to halt the development of Dark Triad: Conspiracy.
First thing we’ll do in the coming months is to refund the backers that supported us through our official website and Indiegogo. Once we’ve done that, we’ll post a note so everybody rests assured of our honestity and can claim if there were any issues in the refund process.
Does this mean the game won’t ever be finished? We can’t ask this question now. What we know for sure is that we already stopped making the game with XNA, as every little feature required weeks or months to be implemented as we said.
We made a test with Unity these last week
, and we know that if could give Dark Triad: Conspiracy another try, it would be the way to go. Unity has a stable environment and many add-ons that make things much easier. We’ve made a little tech demo to try it out, with no prior knowledge, and the results are very convincing. We didn’t want to say “Goodbye” or “See you later” without showing you some bits of this test, so we’ve posted a video so you can see the results. There’s no FX, no props, just a small map David Lopez designed for the game. Imagine what we could do with more time... and money.
But, as we said, we don’t have these dollars to move things forward. Maybe in the coming months Miguel and I are able to save up some money to continue the development of our CRPG. Currently, the team has been dissolved, and only our Lead Programmer, Jose Manuel Alcaraz, will stay with us to make some tests with Unity in the coming months. Depending on the results, we’ll see what we can do.
Finally, I want to thank of all you for bearing with us all this time since we started sharing news about Dark Triad: Conspiracy. It would be irresponsible and dishnoest on our side to tell you to keep following up the forums for new updates. We won’t update them anymore for the time being. If we manage to retake the project, you’ll be the first ones to know about it by sending you an email. Nothing would make us happier, believe us. You’ve given us the energy and fuel to try things out until the very end, so we deeply appreciate your sustained support. You are the best, guys, sincerely.
And as I said before, I hope this is a `See you later` rather than a `goodbye`. Let’s see what the future holds in store, maybe a rich businessman from Abhu Dhabi or Qatar approach us, one never knows!
Thanks again for your support,
PS. Again, here the link for the Unity Tech Demo: