Thanks for the link, but it doesn’t really respond to any of the critique I offered.
It’s clear to me this developer has commitment, and he’s done a pretty good job so far. There just hasn’t been much in the way of explanation for the lengthy development cycle. Honestly, I can understand if this guy is just working on it in his free time, but that hasn’t been shown either.
Is it the amount of features? The massive open world he has to make? Scheduling conflicts? If he’s chosen now to show off his progress, then I have to assume he’s fairly far along in what he hopes to make, I’m just interested in knowing what has occurred in that 6 years, not to mention how far along he actually is.
The only reason I want to know this is because of the lack of polish that I mentioned. 6 years is a pretty long time in terms of game development, and if I’m being honest, his Ta-Wahi demo did not look like it had 6 years of work put into it. Of course, it was only a small portion, but I’ve seen other game projects with more polish that are considerably farther behind in terms of progress and have only been in existence for maybe a year or two.
To put it into perspective, the average indie game, even for a solo developer, could take anywhere up to about 3 years to make.
If anything, it’s a symptom of development priorities being a bit wonky and the possibility that this will take more time than people think due to inefficiency. I don’t doubt the guy’s skill, but fan projects of any kind are almost never organized to an optimal degree, and this guy has done everything except the character modelling.
It also doesn’t address the multiplayer issue. When I said I was worried because he couldn’t make money off the game, it wasn’t because I was worried he’d get a Cease and Desist from LEGO, it’s because that would be the only way for him to pay for the servers needed to run a multiplayer game without paying for it himself. I honestly can’t imagine this guy taking 6 years of his life to develop a free fan game only to pay out-of-pocket for servers to run said game for who knows how long. Like, it’s a logistical nightmare. He’s either paying his own money for a server or running a server on his own machine that probably won’t be able to handle large amounts of players simultaneously.
The only thing he could do in that case is make the multiplayer run off LAN, but then it isn’t really true multiplayer. You’d have to have 5 friends all in your general vicinity to be able to play as all 6 Toa (and let’s be honest, how many of us have 5 friends near us who all like Bionicle?).
I’d be glad to be proven wrong on this one, I just can’t really imagine how he’s going to get around that issue while making his game free. Not to mention actually coding online multiplayer is a nightmare. I don’t envy trying to solve that challenge.
Don’t misunderstand me here, I want this game to succeed, and he’s doing a pretty good job so far. I’m interested in seeing where this goes, but I don’t think we should be blind to its issues.