Some of you may be painfully aware that there hasn’t been an EpicDuel update in awhile. “Why is that?” you ask. “Surely, with BioBeasts released, the EpicDuel team can return to EpicDuel in earnest, resuming the grueling work of restoring it to the glory of [insert development phase here].” Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is not quite so simple.
This week, the EpicDuel team met and discussed, at length, the future of EpicDuel. We’re currently in a very difficult situation: Flash is losing market share by the day, with a now defined termination date, fewer players playing browser games means finding new players becomes an ever-growing struggle, and BioBeasts, though well-received, still needs some key features to help it succeed.
We weighed the option of putting BioBeasts aside and working on EpicDuel full-time for about a month. That would probably go over well with the EpicDuel community in the short term, but it would probably kill BioBeasts’ chances of ever being anything more than a footnote in AE’s mobile release archive. Also, the existential threat of Flash’s imminent demise could not be ignored. We could spend months grinding away at perfecting EpicDuel, only to see it get wiped away if another security flaw forces browsers to unexpectedly drop Flash. Another option discussed was EpicDuel 2. This would energize the community, but would probably be at least a 2 year project to do properly. Also, it would guarantee minimal updates to BioBeasts AND EpicDuel in the intervening time.
Ultimately, the option we liked the best for the short to midterm was to finish the key features remaining for BioBeasts: challenges, endless mode, leaderboards, and platform integration. Too many mobile projects get stranded after release, and we don’t want that to happen to BioBeasts. This finite list of tasks would take us about 40 days to complete (give or take). For perspective, we worked on EpicDuel for nearly six months after it was live before we even added anything to buy! In the meantime, there WILL be updates in EpicDuel to add content. The wars will continue as intended and seasonal content will return on schedule with power-weekend peppered throughout.
When BioBeasts is “feature complete,” which should happen early in April, we will return to EpicDuel to provide some much needed fixes and improvements. Keenly aware of the dwindling lifespan of Flash, we will also investigate options such as a downloadable client to make EpicDuel future-proof. With all the traction AQ3D is getting on Steam, we could possibly find a home for EpicDuel there as well.
We don’t know with 100% certainty that we can actually do this. If a client-based solution is feasible in a reasonable amount of time, we will pursue it vigorously. If not, our other options are HTML5, a mobile port, and even, if all other options are deemed impractical, a massive release or series of releases to make EpicDuel, technically speaking, “feature complete” before undertaking the next project.
None of the considered solutions are ideal. Every option demands pulling focus away from another project. We hate the fact that EpicDuel hasn’t had the updates you want or deserve. We know you’re angry. We know you hate to see EpicDuel neglected. If it didn’t mean anything to you, you would just leave. However, we also don’t want to walk away from a fresh project that still needs attention.
While extremely educational and energizing, this development process has also been painful and exhausting. Working on two projects simultaneously has been draining for all of us, and the Guest Team has delivered an extraordinary effort in helping us keep up with content releases. We want both projects to succeed, and we will do everything in our power to make sure they both have bright futures!