It's hard to write this as I've spent so long working on this game. But at the same time, the amount of work required to finish it is just too much.
I've done the hard decision of completely stopping my work on Fairtravel Battle. This is a project that means the world to me, but at the same time it's a project of such high scope and complexity that I don't have the power to keep working on it.
I've worked on it for over 4 years, with near constant work. During those 4 years, I released around 9 updates a year, several of which were 5+ months long. I did the work of essentially an entire company on my own, with some help from other people along the way, but the bulk of the work was up to me as the main programmer.
In programming terms, I wrote so much code that it goes far beyond the size of my job's main product, which itself is developed by around 100 people. I spent a ton of time and money on this. I love this project. It's not an easy decision, by far.
The collectible card game market is extremely competitive and I had a lot going against me from the start. I can't get art in timely manner because I can't afford it. I can't get other coders to help me because I can't afford to give them a wage. I have to do the job of everyone at once and get some art and assets over time to fill in the blanks that I can't myself do.
The CCG genre itself is also a huge amount of work. Even with me planning on doing just one set for the first release, the amount of work required to get things done is just too high. The scope is just huge.
I was working on FTB after my full-time job, and during weekends, and I went above and beyond just to get things done. I had many doubts and wanted to give up several times, even felt sick while working on it because it was so intense. At this point it's severely affecting my health.
But right now I just feel like I can't keep at it. I can't work another 3 years in order to get FTB ready for paid early access and to maybe make some money to get art done over time. There's no reason to believe that it will actually provide all that many resources for finishing it. And I don't want to work 1/8th of my life in a project I don't think will have a good payoff. Time is money, and a huge amount of my time was spent here that I could've used on other things.
The only way to make this work would be to lower the scope but I can't do that due to the genre. It'd harm it more than help it.
I'm very thankful for all the support over the years. I know this is likely very disappointing for a lot of people. Thank you so much for your patience. I'm proud of this even if it ends now. I went much further than any of my other projects, and I know that if the amount of work was much lower, I'd have finished it.
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This is most unfortunate, the game certainly looked promising and I've certainly seen it evolve over the years. It always seemed like a massive labor of love and highly ambitious!
The dedication you've shown is amazing and the strength to call it quits is commendable too (I'm sure it was a very hard decision).
I hope the experience you've gained from this helps you going forward and leads to a (or multiple) successful projects. It's all we can do facing these setbacks, take the lessons and keep moving forward.
Wish you the best, and I'll be looking forward to your future projects.
Thank you very much for your support, it's highly appreciated.
I learned a lot from this and I already got ideas for much simpler projects that shouldn't take that long to finish. I'll be posting them on itch when they're good enough for alpha testing.
I improved massively since undertaking this project, and although it saddens me to stop it, I'm very proud of what I did accomplish.
This game looks amazing
We don't know each other, so, I hope this doesn't come across overly personal.
I admire what you tried to accomplish. Plenty of people want to make a game and never start, but you at least attempted to bring your project into reality. And it got as far as physically printed cards, how cool is that?
You said this project is abandoned, and I get why you'd say it like that, but for a solo-developer, in a way, because a project is just a never-ending onslaught of problems to solve, to spend 4 years on it, is 4 years that your project undoubtedly made you smarter. Smarter at coming up with solutions, smarter at marshaling your resources, smarter at seeing problems coming so you can make corrections.
Project or no project, abandoned or not, you're an example for us all, to go out and try and see what we can do.
Thank you very much, Noah! Yes, it was a huge learning journey and I definitely became a much better game designer and game dev as a result. I'm proud of what I did accomplish. I'd say that 99% of indies wouldn't even reach 4 years working on a project, especially one that actually looks good and functions well enough.
Thank you very much for the encouraging words. I am not giving up on gamedev, but I'll return with much simpler projects in the future.