Throughout November, we’ve been covering The Repopulation’s troubles with Idea Fabrik, the company that runs Hero Engine, on which The Repopulation was built. Idea Fabrik admitted to its community that its funding was at issue and that it was expecting service blackouts as a result. Above and Beyond halted The Repopulation’s updates while it worked with Hero Engine to keep the game’s hosting up, saying it was in a “holding pattern” but “still [had] outs” in the event of catastrophe.
Might one of those “outs” be a new engine? New comments from A&B’s J.C. Smith lean against it. On the game’s official forums, he wrote,
“We’d prefer to get Repop out, finish up things (15.10.1 and 15.10.2 are huge updates in terms of stability and features) and ship the game rather than starting completely fresh in a new engine (though you can never say never). Because if we went to a new engine we’d basically be rebuilding the game from scratch code wise, though some things would convert over (art, data). There are options if they fold or if they do not fold but hosting is no longer viable. Neither is particularly attractive, and the latter would require us to seek outside investment or partnerships. But there are quite a few different possibilities depending on how things play out.”
Over the weekend, he clarified the engine situation, told players the downtime risk is “very real,” and spoke of progress on a contingency plan:
“Unfortunately at the time when we started out here the only viable options were Hero, Bigworld, or Torque 3D, with the first of those two having restrictive license agreements, and the third being a good renderering engine that lacked in MMO specific features. We weren’t ever to fully be able to get out of the agreement.
“The risk of downtime is very real at this point, though there is still also some reason for hope that this will resolve itself in a positive way. We have already begun some early work on the most likely contingency plan, so that we aren’t just sitting idly. But we are limited still in what we can do as a result of being in money preservation mode while this plays out, so currently it’s mostly prep work and experimentation.”