16 April, 2016

An alarming situation

Well, to be fair, what I am going to write about are not news. It is something I knew all along but somehow I preferred to forget.

While visiting the ProPinball forum I stumbled upon a discussion where some member was asking if anyone had an estimate on the possible release date of the remaining ProPinballs: BRUSA, Fantastic Journey and The Web. The answer by another member was really disheartening: "unless there are some huge advances in rendering technology, they are several years away". The discussion attracted more members who voiced their doubts as to whether the rendering was the real source of the delays. 

Talking about delays, I wonder whether we are on track for beating a new record. Timeshock was supposed to be released in December 2013 (yes, that's not a typo: December 2013 was indeed what was announced in the Kickstarter project). Two and a half years later the release is still a beta-esque one, rendering still goes on and promised features (like the new physics engine) are still AWOL.

I wrote about the Timeshock delays already in this postBy now I am practically convinced that while the ProPinball project is not dead it has been put on the back-burner. The developers at Barnstorm Games (I wonder how many) most probably work on this when they find time while tending other, probably more lucrative, projects. When the initial ProPinballs were produced they covered just a four year span from 1995 to 1999. Admittedly at that time one had to develop for just the Mac and Wintel machines while now one has to plan for iDevices and Android based portable devices as well. Moreover the number of different screen configurations increases the number of necessary renderings. Still I find three years a disproportionally long time interval for the development of a single game. If this goes on, I do not think that we will ever see the revival of the remaining ProPinballs.

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