Becoming obsolete…

A few months ago I recieved an email from Marmalade detailing their intention to withdraw from the SDK market. Marmalade is the system I used to develop The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge in order to facilitate the cross platform nature of it. Using Marmalade gave me the ability to target iOS, OSX, Android, Windows, Windows Phone, Kindle, and Blackberry.

A month or so later, Marmalade confirmed that the SDK had been sold to another company, and that further support may become available from them.

That process has now taken place. I still have a month of my Marmalade licence left, and they have not turned off the Licence server to I can still build and continue to work. However no future support will come from them. The new company are offering a 12 month bridging licence at $100 more than my previous licence fees, but this also comes with no support. I’m also not convinced that they intend to be around for the long term. The main reason they appeared to by the Marmalade system was for internal development.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Google. Doomdark’s Revenge was now in breach of one of their policies and needed to be resubmitted or removed from the store. A quick recompile and the problem was solved.

Lats week I received an email from Apple. The Lords of Midnight was due to be removed from the store in 30 days. This is due to them culling old apps that were not being updated and/or were not 64 bit. In theory, a recompile would solved the problem, and as I had slowly added some new functionality, this should gain me a stayt of execution for possibly another 5 years.

The problem is, I can no longer build the App for iOS. I just cannot get the system to consitently build the app in 64bit mode.

So, unless I can resolve this issue within the next couple of weeks, it will mean that The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge will be dropping out of the stores – as no doubt, Google will soon require 64bit support. And as much as I would like to, it makes no sense for me to use time to port the games to another system in order to get them released. I also couldn’t do it in the timeframe that would stop the app leaving the store.

For me, worse than this is the affect it has on ill fated education game Timbles. This is something that I have slowly been working in for longer than I can remember. My own ineptness has stopped be getting the final push to get the game released. I’ve found myself tinkering with it to help with things like the UI and game flow, but have never fully let it go… well, without 64 bit support, it won’t see the light of day.

Again, it just makes no sense for me to spend time porting it to another system…

And with that, I feel that I am once more, stepping away from game development. I’m not sure my heart is in it. I’m not sure my heart has been in it for a long time now, and I just don’t have it within myself to do what is required to bring these three titles back from the bring.


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6 Replies to “Becoming obsolete…”

  1. Chris, this is a sorry state of affairs, your efforts are far from obsolete it’s the big machine that doesn’t get them.

    On the other hand you can go on safe in the knowledge that you did yourself and Mike proud.

    Having dipped myself back in the land of Midnight after so many years away I can only thank you.

  2. Surely the core of the games is platform independent, right?
    I mean, the game logic doesn’t probably depend on Marmalade and you could use a different framework that is either fully open (so that that you don’t trip twice over the same stone), or at least fully supported (if you want to assume the risk, because their support is so convenient).
    It’s not something you can do during the lunch break, but you would be salvaging years of work instead of letting them fall into oblivion.
    If you could port LOM and DDR from the Spectrum to the PC, you surely can switch framework withing the same language.

    1. It’s more a matter of time. The engine is written in c++ so I just need to take it to a new framework that I can build the c++ in. For example cocos2dx. But there is still a large process involved in getitng the graphics side working under a new framework that will take longer than the deadline I have.
      Maybe in the long run I will find time to do it, and give the game a new lease of life.
      I might have to go through this process rather than give up on my unreleased title… we’ll see..
      I have started to make the engine available as open source.

      1. What happens if you miss the deadline? The game goes out of the store, but… does it keep you from submitting it again?
        What happens with the people that bought the game?
        They get their game deleted, and their ownership removed?

        1. The game will dissapear from the App store for new users. Existing users will still be able to play and redownload it – as I understand.

          I would be able to resubmit in the future I believe.

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