Mar 14, 2012

A message from Kris, our Developer & Co-Founder

Hey guys,

This is Kris, the dev for Word Fighter. I usually like to stay behind the scenes and let Gian shine in the spotlight as he does, but in light of recent events, I really felt like I needed to step up and personally let you guys in on what's been happening with the game. So as you know, we made a few promises to you and to ourselves to finally get this game released, but have failed to follow through on those promises. Probably worse is that we've not been keeping you guys in the loop. I'd like to shoulder much of the blame for this, especially for our no-show at GDC this past week. Just to give you a little background, Gian and I have a fairly exclusive share of responsibilities with respect to each other. We are the kings of our own lands you might say, and rely on keeping each other in the loop as to the state of our respective kingdoms. With that said, during the weeks leading up to GDC, we had been working REALLY hard and given the progress that we were making, I personally believed that we were going to be able to deliver a product. I communicated this to Gian, and he in turn communicated it you guys, which was basically the last time you heard from us.

As GDC crept up, and the closer we got to a finished product, the more and more unanticipated issues kept popping up to hinder progress. If you've ever experienced diarrhea while stuck in traffic, you can probably relate. You know for a fact that you're making progress towards the finish line, but at the same time it feels like it's getting further and further after every passing moment. And then I found the "showstopper", and it just hit the fan from there.

From that moment it became clear that it was an underlying architectural issue and that there was no quick-fix for that. In short, multiplayer game logic is easy to implement, difficult to perfect, and the hastened pace really did not help. I'll try to document the issues I ran into later for the devs that might be interested. On top of this, I had already taken a crap on the existing code base from a similarly fast-paced cycle to get a product out for our PAX10 debut. Bad_code + limited_time = timebomb.

And even knowing this going in, my stubborn/cocksure/reckless self still kept believing that it could be done and done "soon". Basically, day after day, I kept telling Gian this as he was at GDC prepping to debut the finished app. My "Give me a few hours" turned into "I'll have it by tonight" which turned into "Maybe tomorrow", until I finally realized that it just wasn't going to happen for GDC. Meanwhile, Gian with apparently unwavering faith in me, kept taking my word for it, which in turn put him in a bind. I was in denial that I had failed, and for this I apologize. Not for the failure, but for the miscommunication to Gian and to you guys. Although the failure was very disappointing, I know that we really tried our absolute best and I can take consolation in that.

Which brings us up to the present... Gian and I are still working really hard to get this game out. We did take a hit and had take a few steps back to address the architectural design issue, but I am now 99.99% confident that the right solution is in place. We still have some tweaking to do, and really one of the hardest things about pouring one's soul into a game like this is finding a place to stop. After putting in so much effort, and being so attached to it, the game can never have too many features or be too perfect. But in the end, we have to realize that it's a just game and what good is a game if it never gets a chance to be played.

Finally, I want to personally acknowledge all you guys that have been amazingly loyal and have been patiently anticipating this game. THANK YOU. You guys have really been one of the driving forces for me, and I'm sure Gian as well, to finish. Knowing that someone out there might still possibly want to play WordFighter even after all the delays helps put to sleep all those doubts as to whether all those sleepless nights, and pulled-out hair were worth it. I hope the sentiment doesn't change once you actually get your hands on the game. It might not be perfect at first, but we will surely be looking to you guys for feedback on ways to improve the game. Meanwhile we will keep you guys better updated on the progress...


TL;DR: I royally screwed up, apologize for keeping you guys in the dark, and promise that we are close and REALLY working hard to finish, really.