Retiring Aetherverse.

It is with some small regret that I must announce that I am retiring further development on Aetherverse 2nd Edition. There are a number of reasons for this decision, some of which I’ll cover and some that I won’t, but as of now (well, honestly as of a month or two ago) I am ceasing work on the game. What is currently available may be used by others for the design basis of their own work if they wish, but all restrictions laid out in the Creative Commons License must be followed for any derivative work.

The primary reasons for the decision:

  • Design choices. There were a few design decisions that I made early in the process of creating the second edition. These decisions formed the basis for the design work going forward from that point, as the system was built around those early revised concepts. Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten to a later point, those choices have turned out to cause extreme issues and have placed insurmountable roadblocks to keeping the game’s complexity level within my desired bounds. Fixing the problems created by these would require rewriting a number of core concepts (and thus pretty much the entire game). I have no desire to go through that process again.
  • Boredom. The game is finished other than plugging holes as listed above and except for some work required to fill out the site’s content. In the process of doing that work, I’ve discovered that working with the design system just isn’t very fun. I can’t imagine that it’s any more interesting for possible players to work through, even when they’re just making one army list (rather than the dozen-plus that I’ve created and plan to add). Between that and the general lack of interest I have in writing marketing materials (I’m a designer and playtester by nature, not a salesperson), it has become extremely hard to work up any desire to continue working on the site and the game, especially considering the next reason.
  • Low community support. From the beginning I have stressed that the success of the 2nd Edition would require word of mouth from those who wish to see it spread. As a largely non-commercial project, I have neither the time nor resources required to advertise and to spread word of the game outside the communities that I am already a part of. I’ve watched the site’s visitors statistics remain flat for the duration (outside of occasional jumps), indicating that either word isn’t being spread or that those that come to check it out aren’t particularly willing to participate. Without additional feedback from people that have tried the system, there isn’t much reason for enthusiasm on my part. When a large percentage of the feedback that I do get is argumentative, repetitive and not constructive, that simply makes it even harder on my part.
  • No local support. The playing community at both of my local stores has expressed no interest whatsoever in the game, choosing to remain stuck with 40K. This has basically kept me from being able to do any actual playtesting on the game other than playing solo, which can only go so far.
  • “Real-World Stuff”. I’m starting a new job shortly, and will have far less time to put into the project.

Going forward I will possibly continue using the site to post modeling work, but that’s just for my own edification and to have a central place to upload photos. Beyond that, I plan to shut down the Aetherverse portions of the site some time after the new year.

Thank you for your time and, from those of you who have provided it, your support.

2 Responses to Retiring Aetherverse.

  1. While I understand and appreciate your rationale, might I humbly suggest not deleting the Aetherverse 2 content. Since it’s an open license, it doesn’t really need you – other folks can carry the torch and improve on your work.

    Now, all that said, I do tend to agree that Aetherverse is a very complex ruleset with lots of fiddly bits – just how complex became evident to me as I was working on the software. So, I’m not going to be the one to pick up and modify the rules – I want a set of rules designed for modern to SF, so I’m going to dust off my old rules drafts and work on them.

    Good luck on your new job. I know how difficult it an be.

    Oh, and I’m totally ripping off your initiative system. It’s brilliant.

  2. Seems I came late to this party. Sorry to hear that you’re dropping the project, but I can entirely understand your position.
    As someone who is interested in the potential for carrying on the project, I would be very interested in your thoughts about the key concepts that you feel are most problematic.
    I have, on a hunch that the project was for the chop, been working on an adaption which originally sought to address some issues I found with the TEK mechanic. It has evolved somewhat since from that aim and it’s now quite a departure from your core mechanics, and probably quite a different game to play, but I offer it here for your interest: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55893635/OPENmini%20Alpha%20NOV%202013.pdf
    Thank you for releasing your work under a CC license, and I hope I have all the accreditation correct in the above. I wish you luck in your new job.

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