19 months have passed since the last devlog. Time sure does fly. I’m here to dust off the old websites and mailing lists, and see if it all still works. So, *clears throat*, hi there. Welcome to the exciting new post about what happened (nothing really), what was I doing (a lot!), and what’s gonna happen in the near future (more of the same), and in the far future (exciting stuff).
Where did we go?
That’s right. No work has been done on Fantasy Sphere. If that makes you sad, imagine how I must feel (very sad). Why? Because I find joy in working on Fantasy Sphere, it’s a goal in my life and… Oh, you mean why was no work done? Right, sorry.
I suppose it comes down to the dream of being an independent game developer. With practically zero marketing skill. Barely any skill apart from programming, actually. I simply had to focus on projects that could sustain me (in the literal sense – bringing food to the table). I focused on simplistic open world multiplayer web games. Overengineering everything because while the games might be small, the dreams are big. I could write a few posts about all that on my blog, if I ever find the time. But we are talking about Fantasy Sphere here.
Short story shorter, I took over a year to create NextRealm Bubbles for my (very empty as of now) multiplayer web games portal Next Realm. Being more of tech demo than a good game (I hinted at this in the last devlog), I had to start working for other people instead of myself. While it is an experience in itself, it’s mostly boring and time wasting, and I’m anxious to get back to working on Next Realm, so I can get back to working on Fantasy Sphere.
Too many steps, you say? Alas, yes. Gotta fund the development somehow.
Pondering The Orb
So what’s the plan? Easy. Freelance to fund Next Realm. Get it off grounds, and use that to fund Fantasy Sphere. Then just work on Fantasy Sphere for the rest of my life.
What’s that? I should get real? Who said that? I demand you get in here, stand up and explain to the audience what you meant by that. It’s called Fantasy Sphere, after all.
In all seriousness. I don’t know when I will be working on Imagination Ball again. I do hope it will be sometimes later next year, i.e. 2022.
Short-term, it currently looks quite likely that I will be able to return to work on Next Realm shortly. But I don’t know what opportunities might come knocking, so it’s not a guarantee.
I estimate about a year of focused work on that until it starts bringing in enough funds, so that I can dedicate proper time to Fantasy Sphere again. I would love to do it sooner though, if I manage.
I have been thinking of how to make all this a bit more tangible. And I found a way. What was described as the Town Of Dotfal in our website’s about page, could be expanded into something cozy, fun, slightly exciting, and mainly playable.
The idea is to finish the core minimum, walking around an empty town kind of thing. I would port to Phaser 4, integrate my multiplayer framework, and release it. Then keep working on it. Adding little features whenever I find the time. Evolving the engine. Hopefully with growing community (well, once there something worth playing, anyway).
What features might those be? NPCs going on about their day. Some fetch-quest story line. Interactive things like playing fetch with a dog (hey, we can already do that!). Multiplayer things like chat integration, account system, trading/crafting, playing football. Not entirely sure to be honest. The main goal would be to slowly grow it into a casual toy-like game, with features that are going to be useful for other games from Fantasy Sphere universe, or my Next Realm multiplayer games. Synergy.
There is really no timeline for this. But doing small features with the game being public should provide some extra motivation to find the odd hour here and there.
Thanks for reading, I wish you all nice holidays and a great new year. Until next time. :)