It's all in your head, part 2

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Chris
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It's all in your head, part 2

Postby Chris » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:48 pm

To fully understand the history of Subversion we have to look back at the history of our company. A few months after Uplink’s release, work had just been completed on the 1.2 “Nakatomi” patch and fans rejoiced at the newly explorable LAN dungeons we’d created. Feeling we’d done enough to support Uplink for the time being, we pushed on and began work on our next game. The date was the 29th of July 2002, and the project codename was Subversion.

I worked every hour on Subversion for many months, absolutely convinced this would be Introversion’s big hit second game. By the end of 2002 I had a basic working prototype, screenshots of which can be seen in my previous blog entry. Unfortunately I had also begun work on another game in partnership with a co-worker from my old day job named Andy Bainbridge. That project’s codename was FutureWar. Both games were in development side by side for a while, until Mark and Tom found out and quite rightly made me pick one and shelve the other. There are only so many hours in the day after all.

What’s really hilarious is that it seemed like such an obvious decision at the time. Subversion was shaping up to be a really big project, still years away from completion. Future War on the other hand appeared to be much closer. A couple of meetings were held, expletives we’re thrown (that used to happen a lot), and the decision was made to finish Future War quickly to pay for the longer development of Subversion. Future War would eventually be renamed to Darwinia, and would take nearly three more years to finish, during which time Introversion went completely bankrupt (both financially and spiritually). Several of the directors were forced to sign on for social benefits in order to pay the bills. Nevertheless by March 2005 it was over, and by the end of it we’d found something we honestly didn’t realise we had, and Darwinia was released to much acclaim.

With our difficult second game finished and released, and Introversion back on its feet thanks to some prudent business manoeuvrings by Mark and Tom, discussions of our Third game began. Again there were two choices – resurrect Subversion and begin what would clearly be several years of work, or opt for a quicker solution: a multiplayer nuclear wargame which I’d prototyped in a week during Darwinia’s extended development. Once again Subversion was pushed back onto the shelf while Defcon was finished and released. Defcon enjoyed a much more controlled development process than Darwinia, and work was completed in a little under a year.

All of which brings us around to the here and now. This time there is only one choice for our next game, and it’s a choice we are very happy to make. This game has been bubbling away in the backs of our minds for years, and has been an ongoing late night topic for us ever since we pushed it aside in 2003. In that time it has changed and grown and solidified and matured into something quite beautiful, and we’re finally in a position to be able to do it justice. It’s going to take us a couple of years, but as a company we’re getting bored of keeping everything secret for so long, and the decision has been made to open the process up to the world. Our next game will be developed in the full glare of the general gaming public, and we hope you enjoy the process as much as we do.
Last edited by Chris on Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby mibias » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:55 pm

so... What you are saying here, is that we get to know everything?

Thats great! :D
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Postby DueAccident » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:56 pm

Very interesting insight into IV yet again. Do you have anything in mind at all after SubVersion, like you did with Defcon? Or are you dedicating yourselves to Subversion and letting it take it's own course afterwards?
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Postby xander » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:01 pm

So, if I understand this correctly, the sequence goes like this:
Uplink
<the forth game> (now known as Subversion, but which will be released as Updefwinia: Forever -- Super XTreem 3D!!!
<the next game> (FutureWars / Darwinia)
Defcon (what is the nifty codename in pointy braces for Defcon? <the third game>? <the next next game>? Come on, people! Let's come to a decision here!)

It is interesting to see how ideas at IV move around, and the reasons that things often get put on the back burner. You say that Subversion was originally shelved because it was thought that FutureWars would be much faster to develop. It turned out that Darwinia was a bit harder than expected. When you shelved Subversion again to work on Defcon, was there any concern that Defcon might turn into another Darwinia, i.e. that it would take longer than expected to release? As it is, it took several extra months because of the network code, no?

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Postby Montyphy » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:04 pm

xander wrote:Defcon (what is the nifty codename in pointy braces for Defcon? <the third game>? <the next next game>? Come on, people! Let's come to a decision here!)


I vote <the next next game>
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Latest Uplink patch is v1.55.
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Postby prophile » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:20 pm

Image
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Xocrates
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Postby Xocrates » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:21 pm

This is the basic reading of this blog entry:

Chris wrote:Blah, blah blah. It’s going to take us a couple of years [to launch subversion] blah blah blah.


And... The waiting begins :(

But can't wait to know more :)


Oh, and I vote for <the next next game>.
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Postby xander » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:50 pm

prophile! You finally found a red one!

xander
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Postby prophile » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:51 pm

The end is nigh! AWK.
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Postby Darksun » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:46 pm

Actually, Subversion is <the next next game>. Based on the first newspost where the terms <the next game> and <the next next game> were first encounted, Darwinia was <the next game> and the other major project (we now know as subversion) was <the next next game>. Defcon was mentioned as something Chris whipped up in a week, and was originally going to be a bonus B-Side for Darwinia.

I'll link to the post if I can find it

Edit: Found it!

- Chris got a massive flash of inspiration, coded solidly for around 18 hours a day, and produced a complete game in 7 days, single player and multiplayer, by stealing copious amounts of code from <the next game> and <the next next game>. This will probably show up as a B-side on <the next game>.

- In May this year Introversion hired an old friend called Andy Bainbridge to work on <the next game> with Chris. Andy is sufficiently different to Chris to ensure that <the next game> will not be anything like what you are expecting. We believe this is a good thing.


http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... .php?t=314
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Postby Xocrates » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:59 pm

So that means Defcon is <the game formely known as a B-side on <the next game>>
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Postby xander » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:04 pm

Xocrates wrote:So that means Defcon is <the game formely known as a B-side on <the next game>>

No, it is <the next next game>.

In summary:
Uplink = Uplink
Darwinia = <the next game>
Defcon = <the next next game>
Subversion = <the forth game> [sic]
Updefwinia = ???

xander
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Postby prophile » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Fourth. You fail. ;)
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Postby Xocrates » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:11 pm

xander wrote:
Xocrates wrote:So that means Defcon is <the game formely known as a B-side on <the next game>>

No, it is <the next next game>.

xander


But If to that, we join this:

- Chris got a massive flash of inspiration, coded solidly for around 18 hours a day, and produced a complete game in 7 days, single player and multiplayer, by stealing copious amounts of code from <the next game> and <the next next game>.


and

Chris wrote:a multiplayer nuclear wargame which I’d prototyped in a week during Darwinia’s extended development.


We get that Defcon was made by copying code from Defcon, creating a infinity loop meaning that part of Defcon's code was writen by itself (unless, of course, IV has another unnanounced multiplayer nuclear wargame still under development).

Which would be cool, since games made that way would be released much faster.
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Postby jelco » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:20 pm

Chris, you do realise that you should probably whip up another game in a couple of weeks during the development of Subversion? Else you won't have anything to start with after Subversion, and now you can just say to the community that Subversion took a few weeks longer to develop...

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