I have some sad news today for Fief fans. I’ve decided to officially call an end to the project.
I’ve been pouring my spare time into this project for the better part of eight years. In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about programming and game design. Combined with the scientific programming from my day-job, I feel my skills as a developer are at a peak. Unfortunately, no amount of skill can stymie the bleeding ulcer that Fief had become.
I have had a great time working on the game. My passion for the project ebbed and flowed, but predominately was positive. This past year, however, has wrecked havoc with that passion. The codebase was reaching maturity to the point where I decided it was important to improve the visuals of the game aiming for eventual release on Steam Greenlight. So I started looking into artists to help with the visual components of the game. This decision however also added administrative duties to my already limited time for programming. Thus my programming work became quite a bit slower as I spent way more time coordinating with artists on the needs for the project. I had to train them on the image layouts and parameters required by the resources. The turn-over rate of artists was ridiculous! Each new artist would proclaim excitement for the project and throw out ideas. I wanted to give them a lot of say in the visual design, so I sincerely listened and supported the ideas I thought were tenable. However, when it came to actually working on project materials, only one amateur artist, Dino, continued to produce output throughout the time period. The others simply stopped working and/or responding to my inquiries. So I had to find new artists to train on the project, and the cycle repeated. It repeated at least three times over the year.
The frustration that came with all this came to a crushing point. After the last batch of artists fizzled out, I took a break from the project. I got really busy with work from my day-job and let Fief gather some dust in the corner. I tried to return to the project numerous times, but I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. The eight-year flame may have finally gone out. The project was always too big for one person, and perhaps I thought with enough passion and devotion I would be able to put it together. Without that passion guiding my fingers, I certainly cannot.
Thus I will say good-bye to Fief. I don’t know if I’ll see it again, or if the project will be revived at some point in the future. I’m just grateful for all the people that kept encouraging me along the way. I really appreciate your support!
I cannot leave my hands idle, however. I have begun a new project using a lot of the best features from the Fief codebase. Really its a revivification of an old project, the same project I was working on before Fief took over my life years ago. It is a procedurally-generated dungeon-crawling RPG titled Endless Worlds. My passion for this new project is strong and I am determined not to make the same mistakes I did with Fief. I intend to handle all the graphics and visuals myself and avoid dealing with flaky artists. It may not look at good, but at least it will not be susceptible to the same pitfalls. I’ll post more information in the future as the project planning comes together
Thanks again for all your support over the years and I hope you follow along as I embark on this new project.