IntroversionChris Delay of Introversion posted this a few days ago in reference to Subversion:
What on earth happened to Subversion?
Around June last year, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could and made a playable slice of the game, and demonstrated it publicly at the World Of Love conference in London. The demo went well, but was heavily scripted. Internally we had come to realise that somewhere along the 6 years of part-time development, we had lost our way. We couldn’t even remember what sort of game it was supposed to be anymore. We’d ended up with a game that looked and sounded brilliant, classic Introversion with its blue wireframe and sinister faceless characters. But there was a massive gaping hole where you would normally see a “core game”. We’d tried and tried to fill that hole with ambitious tech and experimental systems, but you couldn’t escape it.
In the end, after all that development and years of work, you still completed the bank heist by walking up to the first door, cracking it with a pin cracker tool, then walking into the vault and stealing the money. There was no other way to complete that level. And this would be the essential method by which you would complete every level after that. Technology 1, Gameplay 0 - we’ve made the fatal mistake of having more fun making the game than gamers would ever have playing it.
Around August last year, I took a couple of weeks off and went on holiday in California. It was a great chance to think clearly about something that had become very difficult. Daily work on Subversion seemed to be going well, with lots of regular technological progress, but whenever I considered the project from the high level view I wondered where the core game was ultimately going to come from.
...Subversion has not been cancelled, but I would certainly forget about it for now. We will be going back to that project eventually, but the first thing I plan to do is gut the thing from top to bottom of all the tech fluff that we forced in over the years. Without a core game it’s all a worthless distraction, and I will NEVER again spend so long making tech for a game without having a solid core game in place first. Subversion needs a total rethink from top to bottom, and some long standing sacred cows need slaughtering.
While I'm disappointed that Subversion has now receded into the distance, the news isn't all bad--in the same post, Delay mentioned that they have a new game that was recently submitted to the 2012 Independent Games Festival. And it's incredibly refreshing to have developers just be honest with us.
I'll buy whatever Introversion makes.