There was some good Kickstarter news this week as Jon Shafer released his 4X strategy game At The Gates
, funded in March of 2013. (I've been playing a bit of it, and the early game is pretty interesting.)
Unfortunately this game from Tyler Owen, Lacuna Passage
, will not be completed. Although much of the game was developed, and supported through Steam's Early Access, eventually it just wasn't bringing in enough money to feed a family. Here's how he delivered the news in his Kickstarter update:
Since the launch of Lacuna Passage on Steam Early Access I have put out 25 updates adding a wide variety of new features and improvements. Dust storms, rovers, scientific research, and more. This has all been done in an attempt to expand on the features that would support the eventual story mode. During this time, I have been the only full time employee working on Lacuna Passage.
When I started on this game I didn’t even know how to program. I’ve taught myself more and more over the course of development. And in that time, the indie game landscape has shifted substantially. The floodgates for selling on Steam burst open and everyone is on an even playing field. Unfortunately, that means my inexperience and lack of resources makes it extremely difficult to remain competitive enough to support continued development. The game is taking longer than I ever could have imagined it would take, and it isn’t selling near well enough for me to assist in supporting my family. No one wants this game to be finished more than I do, but at the end of 2018 I had to ask myself some hard questions. Would I continue to string along development while asking my family to make more sacrifices for me? Or was it time to move on?
I’m sure you can tell where this is going. Development of the story mode is now on indefinite hold. It’s unlikely that any major new feature additions will be worked on either. At the beginning of January I accepted a position as a Junior Programmer for a software development company. A moment that was more bitter than sweet for me and my family. I had to give up my dream of finishing this game, but I also wouldn’t have gotten the job without the experience I gained while making it. Now I have a more stable and secure source of income and my money-related stress and anxiety have greatly decreased.
Despite this new path ahead of me, I’m still devastated. I feel like I’m killing something that never got a real chance to live. And it’s my fault. I was naive, inexperienced, overzealous, and short-sighted. I want to apologize to everyone who is disappointed by this news. Especially to you, my original Kickstarter backers, who put their trust in me to deliver on the concept of a story-based Mars survival game, but also to everyone who has helped me along the way by providing feedback and suggestions that have dramatically improved the game from where it started. I literally would not be where I am today without you. I’m truly humbled.
Making games is hard. Finishing a game as a solo developer is really hard.