500 newsletters. Five f’n hundred. HUNDRED.
Wow. I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for about the last hour pretty much frozen and not knowing at all what I was going to write today. I honestly have mixed feelings about this milestone. Some would say it’s an accomplishment. Keeping a promise to update PWX fans for 500 weeks without fail is something I don’t think many other people can claim.
And then there’s the other way to look at this. SHIT we’re at 500 newsletters and we STILL haven’t shipped our first game. Super mega fail sauce.
Of course, you don’t get to 500 by being an insecure negative douche worried about what the rest of the world thinks about you. Hell yeah I’m gonna celebrate 500! The monumental task I set out to finish so long ago requires a lot of things. Many of which I didn’t possess when I started. Things like oh I don’t know, experience, knowledge, and wisdom. But I had tenacity and still do. 500 proves it. Aaaaaand enough with the self high five.
So for those of you who care enough about our PWX development drama to read this (thank you!) and especially for those of you who have been caring since the early days (THANK YOU!)
So what can I give you guys in return on this auspicious occasion. How about a little secret? This revelation will make other developers nod in agreement when I at least partially use it to explain our lengthy development time. It will probably make them all want to smack me, too.
Anyway, this is what I’ve been keeping close to my chest for the last few years: we haven’t been just making PWX. We’ve been building an entirely new game engine from scratch since January of last year. It was a big bold move but I felt it had to be done.
Back then I had just lost our lead programmer and the best programmer available was an engine programmer. He made the case that by building our own PC/Xbox game engine we would have far greater control over the power and features of PWX Uprising and all future PWX installments. We had run into to many obstacles using other engines in the past (Torque, Unity, even Unreal) that I knew our dreams of the Ultimate PWX game was going to be technological and licensing nightmare if we wanted to make more than one game.
At first I was worried. I went from a nearly finished game to starting over. Again. But the engine we built the nearly finished game with was so limited that we could never build a second game or expand on it. Better to start over then than waste time finishing a game that would be dead weight anyway.
It was the smart move to make for the long term health of PWX even if we had to sacrifice the short term excitement of releasing our first game earlier. Think of it this way, we aren’t making something like an Unreal mod anymore. We’re making Unreal itself AND we’re making the Unreal engine to power it all. With your help and support we now own 100% of the only PC game engine developed exclusively for making wrestling games. Cool huh?
So how is all of this coming? Great! In fact, when I’m done posting this newsletter I’m going to upload a new video clip to show you all our progress so you can see for yourself how real our progress is, how close we are, and how right we were to build our own engine.
(Update: here’s the vid:)
And as I close out this 500th newsletter I want to sincerely thank all of you yet again for sticking around and supporting us. We will do this because of you. I also want to thank two very special people who have been here since day one. Eric, our web guy, Twitter guy, and all around good guy. He’s been with us since the very beginning. Through good times, bad times, rich times, and all-too-common poor times, Eric has been a rock. It’s the kind of dedication and friendship that is rare to find in this world. His recent Facebook stunt on the PWX page is proof of that!
And I also want to thank our old/new lead engine and game play programmer, Pickles. He was with us in the prototype days and then came back to save me from myself to finish Uprising on one condition, that he could throw all of our mistakes out the window and build us our own PC pro wrestling game engine from scratch. He, too, has had my back regardless of money and is doing this for the love of following a dream and being a part of something special. Both of these guys deserve all of our gratitude and respect for they’ve proven their commitment through the worst of times with me.
So let’s celebrate newsletter 500 for what it really is, a promise kept that proves another promise will be kept as well. If it takes another 500 before that happens then so be it. But I hope to release PWX Uprising on February 28, 2012, so wish me luck!
In the meantime and in between time, that’s it, another edition of Wrestling Gamers United.