Gosh, it's been quite a while: time flies when you're locked down, as they say. I could say that we've had bigger fish to fry than Soul Harvest during Covid, and indeed we have, but the truth is we've been losing momentum for some years now. It is brought home to me that all projects have an invisible deadline, even pet projects, because one's motivation is not a limitless resource: even if a project is your "baby", your interest in it will gradually fade and new babies will be born, sometimes literal ones. After a few years people will want to work on something new and will have more and more trouble staying motivated, especially if they aren't being paid (as was the case for us).
For the record Matthieu and I started working on the game "in the before-time", back in 2014. It looked looked like this after about a month's work:
It was great to see results so quickly but, as they say, "there's the first 90% of the work... and then there's the other 90%". True enough it took us about another year of prototyping to truly "find the fun", and by then the local multiplayer wave we'd hoped to surf on was starting to peter out. My mental health wasn't doing so well either, as evidenced by my defeatist tone of voice when I presented the game at JOIN:
In spite of doubt and disappointment though we were able to put forward a build and a trailer and to get the game through Steam Greenlight - one of my prouder achievements!
We're extremely grateful to those who supported the game during development, but the sad fact is that we only ever sold a few hundred copies in total. We've never made enough money from Soul Harvest for any of us to even consider quitting our day jobs, and these day jobs (and our lives) have gotten in the way of the project at various times since 2014. It has been a stupidly long development cycle, and I think we all badly need some closure. As such, after much deliberation, we have decided to put the project out as-is for free on Itch and Steam (if Valve will allow it), as a sort of Halloween present to the world. It's pretty clear we're never going to break even, so we might focus on just getting the game played by as many people as possible!
For this final build then we've done a last few tweaks, fixes and optimisations, and have gotten the Bitterness campaign missions up and running, bringing us to a total of 12 solo missions. However the other two campaigns aren't finished yet, nor are the faction editor, the additional game modes or the Celestial faction. We might do the odd update post-release, but I don't want to commit to finishing any of these features: we really do need to move on. I hope those of you who bought into the EA understand where we're coming from, and don't feel too betrayed.
I would mention that the game is playable online these days using Parsec and similar tools, so maybe we can have a match some time, wherever you are. Till then, remember-
Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe!
William 'wilbefast' Dyce
Get Soul Harvest
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.