I spent all of 2018 re-evaluating everything I've learned about running Shattered Isles over the last decade. I knew something had to change if this was ever going to go anywhere, but I didn't know where to begin. From the very beginning I have spread our resources too thin by trying to simultaneously build and manage a game. More than once I've come to the realization that this can't be done and I've pulled staff back to focus on building; a move that usually serves as the final nail in the coffin to any hope of roleplay resurfacing. We've never failed to make progress with each attempt at going live, but we always hit a point where the game simply isn't ready to stand on its own.
So we went back to our roots. Just your old pals Snaek and Austere, working late into the night to bring this dream to life. Our other incredible staff are still very much in contact, but I haven't asked them to assist with any of the work yet. I owe it to them just as much as the players to prove Shattered Isles is a worthy time investment. As I mentioned before, we have a decade's worth of feedback at our disposal that has helped us determine what has worked and what needs to be left on the design room floor. There are integral parts of the game that have developed into core features we want to promote going forward, many of which have been shaped by the players.
With that said, I have put together a plan and selected a date for when we will be relaunching Shattered Isles in a final release state. I've called the state of the game many things over the years in an attempt to sound professional and I suppose there's a lot of different things I could call this as well, but to me it's purely a relaunch. When I say a final release, I mean a stable version of the game that does not depend on future updates to be complete. Things that are currently in development will either be completed before the release, removed to be revisited in a future update, or removed entirely with no plans of being re-implemented. Future expansion will include things like the addition of new regions, races, and classes. There will always be an effort to improve the game by addressing bugs and adding new content, but fuller updates will come down in bigger installments going forward.
10+ years of data. Hard to believe. We have been working through all the hunting areas and cities recently and it has been a blast to revisit areas that were designed so long ago. In the beginning, we would measure success by the number of minutes a player would last before quitting. It's truly remarkable how far we have come. I've been holding back on some moves that I've felt can only be made once we have a finished product to share and I can't even begin to express how excited I am to put it all into motion. I know there will be questions and I will schedule some Q&A meetings to discuss that as well as provide future posts explaining the different projects we are undertaking. For now, know that there is an end in sight, and we've never been more excited about the future!