New year + Issues

14/02/2013 by Damon

The Thruster – Time Trial Winner’s edition

Hello everyone, welcome to 2013. Hopefully your new year is going well! The TT competition went fairly well. We certainly could’ve had more people participating, but the important thing is that you guys all got to try out the game in it’s current state, so now you can tell us what you liked and didn’t like about it, what needs to be changed, etc. Congratulations to JFthebestJan, Ace3000, and clojo733 on 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively 🙂

Today we wanted to talk about two things. The first of these is monetary issues. As you know, we are making a free game in our spare time with no budget. As you can imagine, this provides some challenges to the project. We don’t want you guys to have to spend money to make it happen; that’s the same net result as selling the game. But there are some situations where we don’t really have a choice.

The main example is Unity 3D. The Christmas TT release you played was compiled with a trial version of Unity Pro, and this allowed us to do several things we otherwise could not, including image effects, bloom, water shading and the animated Blocky screen at the start line. The trouble is that Unity Pro is $1500 all up, and realistically we need the program in order to make a game with those features. $1500 is too much for us to make up just by ourselves, but right now we have a couple of other options. The first option is to open a donations page and hopefully accrue enough money from that. Some other options are crowdfunding such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but realistically we would probably struggle to complete a kickstarter drive. We think the best option is donations for a number of reasons, but please leave your comments and suggestions if you have them, we want your input!

The second problem we have is more immidiately threatening, and it’s something that we never really could avoid: legal issues.
Despite the fact that SL have been shut down, the trademarks to Wipeout are still owned by Sony, and even though all our work is original and we’ve tried our best not to aggravate the situation, those trademarks may extend to the very core of our game; things like the concept of a barrel roll game mechanic or the concept of race classes could be under fire.

To try and help the situation we’ve removed any names on this website, which you may have noticed, and we are currently working with Ami Nakajima, Sony’s community liason, to figure the situation out. Right now we are not sure where we stand or what our options are, but we just wanted to share the situation with you guys and maybe get an outsider’s opinion on things, because we are probably very baised (but hopefully understandably so). Currently we are contemplating sending a heartfelt letter to Sony’s team, but it’s very hit and miss and could just as likely lead to a C&D, which is obviously not at option. The fact is we can change some small things like speed class names but essentially have no choice but to continue with crossed fingers.

Also, congratulations to Ricardo, Cameron, Damon, Shun Yi and Damian who all had birthdays this month. Congratulations 😉

So that’s what our last month was like. Please leave comments if you have them, we value your input. See you next time!

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