Project Wish has been a lot of things over the years: First and foremost, it has been a gathering place for those who knew and liked the game Wish. Those few that do remember are a dying breed. The Project also served as a training ground for those interested in the insane task of creating one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived by a group of hobbyist game developers. The Project and its design/goals were never diluted because of lack of funds. We made it a point to include everything that we would want in the ideal game, the game we were making. In fact, we prided ourselves on the fact that we were crazy enough to attempt such an endeavor. I served as the leader and fugleman for the "crusade" that we have been waging for the last 4 years.
Where is Project Wish now? We have been consistently progressing since 2005. Sometimes this progress came after a step backwards, or a redesign, but we never stopped. People came and people went. Over the course of the Project, we have had over 95 actual contributors to the project. Each person contributed in their own way. There were countless others who joined in via the forums, email or IRC. We would like to thank each and every one of them for helping to make Project Wish one of the longest lasting projects of its kind ever.
Despite all this, the outward goals of the project did not always reflect the true goals. While this project was meant to create an MMORPG in the absence of the game Wish, there have been some developments in recent months that have changed some of the way the Project has progressed. Firstly, there are now a number of commercial MMO’s that now contain most, if not all, of the design goals the Project itself had. For those seeking such games, a couple of them are: Darkfall Online and Mortal Online. There are others, but the point is, the market is not the same as it was over 3 years ago when we began. We still have quite a number of unannounced features that we feel could still change the MMO genre, but the time is no longer at hand. There are other factors for this as well.
One of my own personal goals for the project was to create a project that people could go right into game companies from. We have had one former member work on a commercial MMO, and another was recently offered a job at a game studio. This offer did not work out, and in fact, was so terrible that I have to wonder about the state of the industry. With so many dev houses closing down recently, there must be a surplus of developers. This could be a factor in why the company, who makes AAA titles, made him an offer that was less than half of his current salary, and 40% under the industry average for starting people in that position. This individual happens to be the most talented individual on the project, and if he gets an offer that low, what are the chances that someone else is going to do better? They are probably not very good. The fact of the matter is that Project Wish would need to be recognized by game development companies as something more than just a “mod.” In order for that to happen, we would have to actually release something amazing. I know we are fully capable of that, but the time it will take is more than most are willing to wait, myself included.
For me, this is another reason to start making my own opportunities. One of my own selfish goals is to make games for a company that I help run. For me, as a fairly-well-compensated individual with a family and a mortgage, there is no possible way for me to take an entry-level position. If I was to make the jump into the industry, either a company would have to take a massive risk and hire me above what they normally would (assuming that I am a newbie with no “real” experience), or I need to make my own opportunity by starting my own company. This whole part is selfish on my part, but after over 3 and a half years of being selfless, now is the time for me to start thinking about me. In so doing, the Project will have to be put on an “indefinite state of suspension” because there is no one currently around who I feel will pick it up and take it where it needs to go. This could just be my selfish view of things, but that is how I truly feel.
The next logical question is: What now? Well, one of the many things I think Project Wish can still do is to help others in their quest. We are still a group of individuals with much more experience than the average hobbyist, and even some Indies. My vision is to turn the website into a repository for information about hobbyist game development. With all the contacts and friends we as a project have gained over the years, we should also be able to gather articles about running projects from those who have done it successfully, including some of us. I would like to turn the forum into a place where projects can discuss ways in which they can improve and progress. This is not going to become a design theory forum, but a place where questions and advice can be archived for use. I also want to open up the Project Wish wiki to the public, in read-only form, and would also like to release our code under a BSD license.
So, what does this mean? Well, the website will be changed, the wiki will be opened, the code will be released and IRC will remain online. All the forums will be archived, and be opened to the public, with new forums opened for development discussions for anyone. Essentially, not much will change, except that those of us who have been dedicated to the goals of the project will now move onto other things. I cannot say what those are at this time, but you can definitely expect to hear about us when we are ready to reveal our new secrets. We are even debating hosting forums for projects that are looking for hosting. This would be done free of charge, and would be something we do because we believe in the talent that is out there waiting to be found.
Tell us what you think. Is there interest in any of our code out there? Is there interest in free forums for game development projects? Are there any suggestions? Does someone want to take over the project and revive it? Let us know!
Thanks for the fantastic ride and expect to hear from us again!
If you were to start your own company, how would you feel with the Project being one of your company's development?
Just a question here. :-)
I dont check up on PW much, but every 6 months or so it pops back into my head so i look on the website for updates!
I guess this means its being canceled, which is a shame but to be honest i believe it was a task too big for just voluteneer work. You guys did an amazing job getting this far and you've proberly gained a ton of experience to put into a CV for a proper games company (as you said in your post).
I remeber the Wish BETA and all the fun it had (too be honest i was confused a lot throughout it but still it was fun )!.
Goodjob guys, thanks a lot ! Please send an email out to people on the mailing list if you change the domain name or anything so i can still check in to what everyone is doing now and again.
Hello to everyone. This is my first post here, and I'd like to tell you I'm sorry you took this decision, but I, as a dreamer pursuing the same dream you did, understand the pain of a project of this magnitude and the reasons Jerky spoke of.
I followed this project almost three years and got really excited every time I saw some unusual movement, a long announcement, a new download or anything, as I took it as a sign of progress. I picked up some really nice ideas here, and lurked without joining because I felt I had little to add by then. Eventually, that would change, of course...
I myself have being designing and prototyping a MORPG (won't it 'massive', as I'm a dreamer, not a fool) the last 2-3 years and I have nothing worth showing or announcing, and I received this news with a bit of mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel sad and depressed, because if a big comunity was unable to deliver a finished game, I feel that working alone I have an even smaller chance of success. On the other, I see an oportuity, as a phoenix reborn yet again in a different form: a place where dreamers like me, the rest of the staff of Project Wish and hundreds of indie developers, artists, writers and gamers can gather to share the experiences, ideas, concepts, stories and everything they want to keep the flame of a non-professional MMOG alive.
Being a well known project in the medium, you have a big chance of success in that, if you wish to give it a shot. I would enjoy such a place, and I'm sure I'm not alone there...
I don't know if I'll ever finish my game, because I know is a quite ambitious project. But maybe if I fail I can find a place to tell everyone what I did wrong and how to avoid that kind of mistake and be heard, helping others to stay on the tracks and eventually reaching the grand goal.
It has been done a few times (Eternal Lands comes to my mind), and we might see it again, soon. Is just a matter of time, but a common place to meet would surely help a lot.
I would like to apologize for the length of my (dubiously touching) speech, and for any error I could have made. (English is not my native language) Sorry, really!
@Hankellin: Yes and no. To make PW what it would need to be would require a lot time, money, etc. Right now, I wouldn't see that being my first project, if I had a company. In fact, I'm working on another game (or multiple, depending how you look at it), and they are nothing like PW. PW will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always love to make it see the light of day. I think we had/have enough fresh ideas that it could still be great. That being said, it was time for me (and everyone else) to work on something else.
@Apredox: Thanks. I will be keeping the site active and will modify its look and purpose in the future. I can't say when that will be. I will also be zipping up our source code and putting it as a download.
@Lord LoriK: Thank you for expressing your desire for such a place. I offered it in hopes that someone could benefit from it. I plan on taking this site down that route, and hope it gets used. We can definitely help those looking for help and advice, and even provide hosting and a forum for those who cannot do that otherwise. That being said, we will be choosy as to what projects we let be hosted here.
I'd love to hear more thoughts and suggestions.
Jerky, I have sent you a private message. Could you please try to respond to my message asap? I'm really interested in knowing more about Project Wish.
I'm back from a log RL busy time, so I'm not fully informed about all but what I read in first lines worried me a bit mainly the statement "I will also be zipping up our source code and putting it as a download."
I'm slow to read english (I learned it alone) but usually this kind of statements mean that the project will not be followed as before.
I hope to be wrong, I followed jumping around this project for a lot of time (don't look my registration date or post count, is not representative) and I was so happy to see that it was take up again.
I will continue to follow the site if you will maintain it up, we're not so much but this is a good community.
I've been following this cool project for a long while with great interest.
It's sad, but it's also understandable, that a huge project like this runs dry.
4 years is a long time.
Maybe it's just the journey?
Walking the walk?
We also lost OpenFrag fairly recently.
The team burned out.
Sad because I've grown to really like those cool projects. And would like them to continue to be.
About the code:
Of course, the Ogre community will be mighty interested in code!
I don't want to come off as a graverobber, though.
All the best
Jacob 'jacmoe' Moen