A message from Batwick
by Batwick on 08/07/2013
Greetings Carmites from Batwick, the one true hairy one, custodian of the beer gut of doom, Stainless co-flounder and lead code copy-and-pasterer on Carma 1 and 2.
Despite now being engorged with nearly 90 lovely juicy staff at Stainless, I'm also still trying to keep my binaries-a-bubbling, and code on Carma: Reincarnation when I can - which is as much as possible. I'll always rather be up to my elbows in physics code than attending a management meeting or discussing the colour of replacement stair carpets for the office (admittedly because I destroyed the old ones by throwing Nobby’s 42" plasma telly down the stairs one Christmas party...).
What this dual role does do however (if I can attempt to be serious for half a sentence), is to give me a clear perspective on the balance between the needs of running a business and the creative forces behind the best games. Which, are to be honest, one and the same in the end, as you can't create great games without being able to pay your staff to do so!
What I am increasingly aware of with Reincarnation though is how little we have been able to show you in the way of visible progress on the game up ‘til now.
This is resulting in people being understandably frustrated (and in a few cases ANGRY!!!!). Whereas within Stainless we understand the reasons why, and that it's for the good of everybody including all of you out there, we've been too busy getting on with writing the game to appreciate the paucity of communications with you all. So I'm going to make an attempt at setting the record straight here.
So, firstly, why the delay? Why have we not got off of our fat arses and released the game yet?
This is due to two reasons, one a lot bigger than the other (in which respect, and this respect only, they are reminiscent of some men’s testicles).
The little reason is that we needed to get Carma classic for mobile things out to all of our fans. And with over two million downloads and counting across iOS and Android, it’s proved to be a great success and an excellent way to re-establish the Carma Brand.
But the big reason is that the whole scope of the project expanded a great deal. From our original plan of using Kickstarter to fund a game that would get Carmageddon back on the map, in a fun but ‘indy’ way, the project has grown into a ‘proper’ game, that will blow everybody’s socks, underpants, and peep-hole bras off.
This was due to the budget increasing considerably. Why did the budget increase? Well it was a side-effect of the support we received from Kickstarter. Because this showed that you, the lovely juicy giblet-filled public still loved the game, our shareholder and ex-Bullfrog meister Les Edgar became willing to put serious additional funds into the project, as was Stainless itself. We have ploughed almost all of our profits into Carma: Reincarnation. Which means that I’ve still got a mortgage the size of an elephant’s arse. But it’ll be worth it. Les has put his money where his mouth is, and so have I.
So we now have the sort of funding to do something that is fitting to the brand. Something REALLY REALLY COOL. But, these things do take time. Reincarnation is no longer the short project that it was originally meant to be, because we can now afford to make it not so.
Which all means a BETTER GAME for all of you! Why am I SHOUTING? SHUT UP!!! Sorry.
It also means a better game for us. Which is good, as we can’t wait to play it either. No really, we actually can’t wait. We were still playing Carma 2 networked in the Stainless offices for years after its release. We want another one, but unfortunately we have to write the damned thing first. How inconvenient.
By the way, I’d like to allay any fears brewing out there that any console versions of Carma: Reincarnation are in any way impacting the schedule of our PC (and subsequent Mac and Linux) releases. They are not – there is nothing but BIGGERness and BETTERness of the desktop version behind the prolongification of the schedule.
Really – I cannot stress this enough: we are aiming much higher than we’d originally planned for, due to having the money to do it. We are going to make this game vibrate with tasty goodness. Get nailing your socks onto your ankles, as they’re gonna blow. As are your pants, but that might just be due to “old lady problems”, which let’s face it, are entirely your concern, not ours.
But, we just don’t want to show the game to anyone, until we feel it is good enough to survive scrutiny. And ironically enough, it’s our fans and (especially) Backers who we feel the most sensitive about showing something to prematurely.
This has then been exacerbated by the additional budget. How come? Well because the bigger scope has allowed us to be considerably more ambitious with many targets within the game spec – including the visuals. We aren’t using any graphics or physics middleware - we explored the options extensively, and concluded that it would be better to continue developing our own. But this has meant an enormous rewrite of our engine tech. Which in turns means that right now, the game looks untextured and well, a bit shit to be honest, surprisingly far into the project (on the surface – but it’s all in the schedule). Eventually though, everything will come together and then it will blossom into the knife-wielding butterfly that we are all longing for.
So, thank you all SO MUCH for your patience. It will be worth it in the end, we promise. And we also promise to start showing you STUFF just as soon as it meets our quality thresholds. Frustrating though this may be, if we didn’t have such high standards, the eventual game wouldn’t be so amazing either. No, each splattered piece of granny liver must be hand-crafted with care, attention and diligence before we are prepared to fling it against your monitors.
Yes, I’m making a Big Fat Hairy Batwick Promise to repay your confidence in us... Whilst revolting your mother/wife/lover/sister/etc. as they stand there watching over your shoulder, the cup of tea they’d been bringing up to you smashing to the floor in sync with their lower jaw as the screams of the innocent are cut short by the circular saw mounted on the front of your car, severing both legs and flinging them so hard into the awaiting flank of a nearby cow that it is knocked straight into the path of an oncoming train.
Killing things has never before been so much fun! Isn’t that great? We think so! We’re performing a service to humanity, but to be deeply offensive in such a technically accomplished manner takes time.