really though it's been YEARS and all you guys ever do is release minor text fixes and minor interface updates. I was hoping for new content every month or two.
What you REALLY need is a construction/dev kit: give users the ability to create their own scenarios. Look at Skyrim: users creates 1000s of hours of content, for free, all the devs had to do was release the construction kit. This would truly empower DMs and help Conclave live up to its tabletop roots.
Can't be that hard to let people write the scenes, create maps and put in a few monsters. Love the game. So so sad it died. Huge fan. Kickstarter backer too. Sorry if this comes off as a bit angry but eh I guess I sorta am.
Don't really blame you for being disappointed, zulfiqar. We're disappointed too: we've been trying for years now to achieve our original vision for Conclave, which was quite ambitious and included things like a construction kit. Let me share a few thoughts on what's held things up.
- All development and design for the game is done by two people. A third person helped us out for a while in the early days, and we've benefited greatly from occasional contributions -- art and music, primarily -- from contractors. But the day-in, day-out labor is just the two of us working on nights and weekends. As for why we don't hire more help ...
- Conclave has never sold enough to be profitable. For about six months after our Kickstarter, it more or less broke even if we squinted hard enough, and more recently it's been close to that again, as our recent changes have reduced our business/hosting costs and improved sales a bit. But the rest of the time, we've had to kick in money from our savings or other sources of income. This is why we've held day jobs the past few years and one of the reasons why development has been so slow.
- The past couple of years have also been rough for other reasons, mainly significant health issues in both our families. Don't want to get into those, but they're part of why we haven't been able to work on the game as much as we would have liked.
- A lot more goes into building a construction kit than you might think, especially since Conclave is an online game. It's not sufficient for us to just open up the tools we use: those are enough for us because we know how the internals of the game work, but for anyone else they'd need more work. In addition, those tools have to address questions like who hosts new content (and pays for that hosting), how to prevent exploits and security holes, and how to prevent legal issues around copyright (e.g. what happens if someone uses another person's art for a quest). That's without getting into the huge design question of how much of the game engine should (and can safely) be moddable by creators.
With just two people and an extremely limited budget, there's no way for us to take all that on, and publishers seem reluctant to fund efforts like ours. (And even if they weren't, we'd be very wary about who we partnered with.) Instead, we've tried to carve out a slow but sustainable path with the resources we have.
This isn't a topic we like to talk about -- we're both pretty introverted, and we try to spend our limited time working on the game rather than posting -- but I wanted to shed a little more light on the question since it's come up multiple times.