September 2001

Monday, September 24, 2001          
PROJECT ON HOLD INDEFINITELY  (7:42 PM PDT)  by Geist - 15 comment(s)
Well, here we go. This project is now on hold... INDEFINITELY.

This project was overly ambitious from the start, and given the lack of reliable tools and file formats to make our own (as a mod community), plus all the events in my RealLife(tm) and the general lack of time, this project simply never got to a point to release a good, stable demo.

I'm just one person, with a family to care for and a career to pursue. Yes, we have a few VERY talented individuals on the team, but if you've ever been involved with organizing something like this in an online setting, you know that it is difficult at best.

Anyway, this is not another delay in the traditional sense. I have taken a job at another game development company, and this project is a direct competitor for their current project. As most of you wouldn't, I'm not going to jeopardize my family's future on a project that is already taking too long to complete. And frankly, I'm tired of the delays and keeping everyone hanging. Instead, I will put my efforts into this new project, and you will all be better off for it in the end. I mean, Macross: Balance of Power was to be a user-modifiable masterpiece of Macross on the PC, but given the momentum, it would take even longer to complete than this retail product.

I can't stress enough my thanks to the fans that stuck by me and this team. There have been a few times when the support for the project has made me go back over the models to make them even more perfect. Or to go back and find time to tweak a special effect or two. All in all, I wanted to finish this project for one reason: Because there's simply nothing out there that does the Macross/Robotech universe justice... and I want to be part of something that really kicks some butt. Now I get that chance on a retail product that already looks VERY cool (I've played some of it very recently).

So then, consider this a final posting from me on this project. I MIGHT post once or twice on the forums in the next couple weeks, but it will be nothing major. As for the future, some of us may resurface and write a couple mods for a popular game or two. I've been looking at the Unreal Engine a lot lately, and it's really easy to pick up and write for. Another candidate for a new (and non-copyrighted) project is the Torque Game Engine (formerly-known-as-V12).

So in conclusion, let me say that you guys are great, and I can't wait for you guys to see what I'll be working on for the next several months. It will knock your socks off :)

Take care.

Friday, September 21, 2001          
This could be the clincher  (7:26 AM PDT)  by Geist - 2 comment(s)
Well, it has been over a month since the last update, so lemme tell ya what's going on. You should know by now that I was one of those that got let go from LithTech, Inc. when they (and Monolith) went back to the old paradigm of "let's make a game and then sell it with its engine." Since Monolith already had tons of game programmers, there was no room for another, such as myself. In fact, after taking all the engineers they could (server team, tools, PS2, etc), they couldn't even keep some of the engineers at LTI.

ANYWAY, back to the subject. I subsequently moved back to NC, and I've been doing the ol' job search. While at LTI, I had to "go though channels" to keep this Macross project excluded from my employment agreement (there was a clause in there about working on other projects). Now, if I get a job still in the games industry, I may run into the same wall with the new company. Furthermore, we're still under the risk of getting shut down by Big West (or MAYBE Harmony Gold... the jury is still out on that one).

So guys, I don't really want to be the Voice of Doom and Gloom, but although we've been doing a lot of cool stuff lately on this project, its future is very uncertain. Yes, if we had the proper tools and file formats 3.5 years ago, we would have probably finished the TC for Shogo within 6-9 months. We had momentum, and we had the talent. But we didn't have the proper tools, and we (and you, the fans) have paid the awful price of delays and setbacks.

Don't get me wrong, the LT engine is still very cool, and has a lot of bonuses, but the simple fact that I couldn't touch the Macross code for about 6 months while I broke down the formats and worked on a new tool (because the Max exporters for LT's abc models was broken), among other delays due to RealLife(tm) happenings, has simply dragged this project out to the point that few even care.

If this project survives the imminent obstacles, we will finish it, and it will rock everyone's world. However, given our schedules, it could take 2 more years. Therefore, I'm now urging the fans to be patient a little longer (couple weeks, maximum) until we can get a decision made. If I can't work on it, I'll let you know, and maybe the rest of the team will run with it (unlikely, but maybe). Either way, I don't want to keep you guys hanging anymore.