I must have sat down to write this post a thousand times …

So the project had a number of failings.

We had limited resources, driving the project took up a lot of that. There was a lot of stuff in the background that just wasn’t implemented or managed properly. Updates were rushed, manual and error prone because we had no tests or continuous integration and there were some game design issues.

More bad luck, we had a publisher lined up but it fell through (Brexit,) our devs found other projects, some arguments with ex-teammates spilled into public and bad reviews started to bury the game because hands up, we forgot to actually make it fun!

Even more bad luck. A large bunch of keys appeared on a certain grey market site and sales dried up overnight. Business drove into the ground hard; personally - I was burnt-out and broke, and I had to heal quickly and then go and get a job.

I couldn’t heal while trying to explain to a bunch of people why I failed. I stepped back for the sake of my mental health.

I had to close Steam, block it from my life for a while and I apologise for that, after four long years I was burnt out …

Why couldn’t I just tell you all of that later on?

Well it's hard to stand up in front of the 15-25K people who were good enough to support you and tell them you had failed to put together the game you always dreamt of. But it was harder still to come back to it and pick at the remains.

What have I been doing all these years? Becoming better at what I do, learning how to do software development properly (and lurking on Steam of course.)

I finally got over myself and found Shallow Space still here, frozen in time.

So why am I telling you this now?

Because i'm going to finish Shallow Space.

The team is coming back together.

We know what went wrong, we know not to do it again and we’ve spend the last 4 years writing software for other people and have learnt a thing or two. We still have all the source code - 3 iterations of that engine, we still have the knowledge from that.

We’ve been heavily inspired by Hello games with No Mans Sky. They launched with such appalling reception and they just kept going and going - making that game right.

We need to do that here.

We’ve been working on Shallow Space for a month or so now. But it’s all backend mechanics, written neatly learning from all the lessons since the project began. Right now it’s just a load of lines of text running down a screen but progress is swift and the project is robust.

That backend is going to take a while to develop, and after that we need to make the client. But we have most of the artwork ready for that, with a well-formed plan we can put it together in a reasonable time.

Is it wise to try and reignite this old flame?

This is about finishing what we’ve started. If a handful of the 25K people who bought this game already say to us ‘I enjoyed that’ then it will be worth it.

Looking at Steam there’s still not much around for open-world style fleet management games and we have some cool ideas and some legacy to resolve. I have to hope that if we do manage to deliver to the good folk that supported us, we might still be able to make something from this yet.