03 October, 2014

Voicing my anxiety

I have written about this before but I cannot help it. As time goes by I start worrying about the chances of a real ProPinball revival. Let us see the facts. 

More than a year ago  the Timeshock was successfully funded (more than 60000 euros were pledged).
On the same kickstarter page the delivery date was estimated at December 2013. To tell the truth I did not believe this overly optimistic estimate but now I have the feeling that things are taking a bad turn.

In February, after people started vociferously complaining, Adrian Barritt promised that there would be a weekly update on the advancement of Timeshock. This promise was perfectly kept … but, we are now in October, closing in on the the first anniversary of the estimated delivery, and where do we stand.

An Alpha version of Timeshock was proposed to testers. The graphics were partly unfinished but the gameplay was rather OK. Mind you it was using the old physics engine. A second Alpha version came more recently, practically finished graphically, and it was a definite disappointment. Even powerful machines were chocking on the graphics and the constant stuttering made the game unpleasant. I hear you saying: “it’s an Alpha, stupid”. Still, I was expecting the second alpha to be an improvement over the first one. And to cap it all, the physics engine is the same old one. No word has transpired concerning work on the new engine. In the meantime work is going on for the iOS version of the game but every week we get a progress report and nothing materialises.

Assuming that the kickstarter treasure has been spread evenly over the past year, this makes 5000 euros available every month for 12 months. What can you do with this money? Let us throw caution to the wind and posit that you can pay two developers with this sum. Even if this were true the 60 k€ must have evaporated by now. Admittedly, the ProPinball team is now part of Barnstorm Games, an enterprise hopefully capable to weather the Timeshock production. 

So, my guess is that one day we’ll see Timeshock on our machines. But when? My friend Marco has chimed in saying that it is better to wait for a top quality product than to have another of these thow-away pinballs that pollute the iTunes store. What is worrying me are the dynamics of the ProPinball team. If the Timeshock project is taking so long to materialise, are they going to have the stamina to tackle the revival of Big Race USA and of Fantastic Journey, to say nothing of The Web? 

I guess we’ll have to just cross our fingers and wait. But I cannot help feeling anxious about the whole project.

1 comment:

  1. If you put it like this it does sound worrying. Still, I have hope it does come through.