Hello all LBA and Prequel fans.
The time has come to reveal everything and end everything.
As you know, for the last few years we have been working on the LBA Prequel demo, to show you a glimpse of what the full game could become.
The demo is now finished! You can download it from the Download page. This is the good news.
The bad news is that the project is now officially cancelled. Yes, the Prequel will not be made. Before you start hating us, please read below about why it has to be this way.
The idea of a fan-made LBA game has been conceived by me and Alexfont about 8 years ago, in 2005. The plan was to use the original engine (+LBAWin), original character models (plus some more created by us), and most of the original map elements (bricks). Then we decided that more people are needed, so we have gathered the Team, and it has started its life. We were discussing the story elements and Double-J wrote a wonderful script, Jesse made some great pieces of music, Lewi-G and Bot13 made some awesome concept sketches, and we were working on the tools. Later more people came that have put their work and ideas to the game. Everyone was doing their job, and everything was fine.
At some point we got ideas for improvements of the game. The ideas were quite good – completely new engine, new models, new environment graphics, everything made from scratch – a completely new quality (but with aim to save the LBA 1 mood). The ideas were noble and we were charmed with the vision of the eternal glory if we succeed this. OGRE has been chosen for the engine, and someone even made a test program with it (map rendering), that looked very promising. But then everything stopped – no more news, no more new work was being shown. The engine guy disappeared, and no one knew anything. Most people of the team were busy with their jobs, schools, and lives. I was working on the LBArchitect and some other supporting software, hoping that the lack of tools is what holds the development still. I worked on the software for over a year, and in that time nothing else was moving. After I finished it I realised that something was wrong there. No one had any time any more (for me too it was really hard to find some), we had some great content already made, but not connected and with important pieces missing. The Prequel was almost dead.
Then the concept artists had an idea to make a comic book out of its story. I was strongly against it, because I still believed it could be made. I then decided (encouraged by a former member of the team) that we should forget about different engines and come down to Earth (or rather Twinsun) and return to the first concepts we had, that is using LBAWin and keeping some (much) of the original content. I struggled very hard to find time to work on the LBArchitect, because it still lacked some features that were absolutely necessary. They took me another year. After I made them, I started trying to gather the team again to revive the project, but without luck. Still no one else (besides alexfont) had time for this. Then I made probably the most important decision in the Prequel’s history. I decided to make the demo and close the project. I decided to make it even if no one can help me. Having watched the Prequel history through the recent years, this was the best solution that had a chance of success.
Why haven’t I cancelled it without making the demo? There are few reasons for that. First, I didn’t want the project to vanish, and all the great work to be for nothing. I wanted to make at least something useful. Maybe the guys were right when they proposed to make the comic book. I don’t know. It’s too late now. They will probably not have time for this any more. Second, I really hate to disappoint people, especially by giving up promises I made. We have promised you the game and we failed. I wanted to give you the demo as a consolation. It is not the (full) game, but it is as close to it as it can be. We cannot make the full game. This fact is more depressing for me than it is for you, believe me.
So why not the full game? Most simply: because it will not work. It took us 8 years to make the demo only! And it’s like 1/20 of the full game. None of us really wants to be bound to this for the next 20 years, sorry guys. Even if we had a dedicated team, it’s a tremendous amount of work. It could be possible if we had a team of dedicated people working 8 hours per day on this project, but that will never happen.
For these reasons I decided to give you the best experience you can get for the short story like this. The demo has got over 20 maps (grids), most of the maps have at least one NPC. There are two music tunes composed especially for the Prequel. There is a good amount of hidden features, jokes, and easter-eggs that I’m sure will be much fun to discover. One of them is a special thing. There is a credits list sequence that I took special care for. The list credits all the people who contributed to the demo, regardless whether or not they were in the team (I hope I did not forget anyone). It is not like anything you have seen in LBA 1 or 2, and absolutely worth seeing. But to make it even more fun – it is very well hidden. If you find it, please don’t tell others (at least for some time) – they should have the fun of discovering it by themselves.
I want to thank you all for being here for all these years and supporting us. We know that it is not what you were expecting, and be sure that it is also not what we were expecting, until recent time. This was a great and (little) big adventure, and we have learned very much through it.
Enjoy the Demo and keep the good memories.
Kazimierz Król (Zink)
P.S. I wanted to sign this post “This Prequel Team”, but I realised that I cannot do that. Although this would be better in context of the demo, which summarizes the work of all the people, but in this article I summarized mostly my own thoughts, which the rest of the Team may or may not agree with.
P.P.S. We have not decided yet what we will do with the concept art and other content we have made for the Prequel. I would like to publish it somehow, because it is a great piece of art, but I cannot speak for the whole team in this area. We will discuss this and let you know.