In the beginning, there was a bright idea. Simply jam as many awesome mods as you could into one giant conglomerate. It seemed to be easy enough. It was surely simple enough in concept. Back then, living in isolation and with a house that had, at best, a 56k internet connection, "online" wasn't even part of the picture. In fact, this would be a great mod - for one user.
Then evolution... the internet, the exchange of information at the speed of the human synapse. Suddenly, the mod could find an audience, and a wide community to embellish it. Success.
Then, the storm. Rocky personal life issues (the kind involving lawyers, but that's all I'll say). A time of doubt, trouble, and receding. The flourishing, nurturing waters of success began to dry up. A shriveled up dream lay baking in the sun.
As I sat outside, smoking what could be no less than my sixth cigarette of the day, I pondered, "Why haven't you gotten back to work on that groovy mod you had?" Then, the very same instant, the new title theme I wanted to use for the mod ("Black Rainbow", by Pitx of DigCCMixter) came to mind. Suddenly, shapes, colors, and the dream I once held so dearly came back. All at the same time.
Guns. Dozens and dozens of guns. Breath-taking visuals. Jaw-shattering, ear-crunching, "take cover now!" sounds. The only way I could ever play Clear Sky now.
I realized one thing; that through these trials, my own personal apocalypse, and many, many things that I have been sorting out in this time of silence, that you were still with me. You always were. Your comments, your feedback, your enthusiasm, they were always there for me.
And now, my friends, it is time for me to be there for you, again.
And now, the inevitable question - what's next?
Well, there was a dream of releasing this mod one day. Then it seemed nearly impossible as other things, life crisis, and other events tirelessly and relentlessly tore away at my free time. Needless to say, I don't have any more free time than I did then, but now things are somewhat different.
For me, this mod is no less than a fulfillment of a promise I made each of you to provide the core things that M.I.N.E. has always been about. To me, failing to give you this mod would be like disappointing a great many people. I realized in the short span of a seven-minute cigarette break at one in the morning that I couldn't do that.
No, I would pick up my rifle, I would scavenge for some ammunition, I would sell some junked guns to buy some antirads, and I would go where no mod has gone before - to the extremes of what the XRay engine can do - to demand a 4GB or more rig to play this mod on - to make no visual or audio sacrifice where one did not absolutely have to be made.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is our goal. We will provide you with a mod of superior quality, thoroughly tested, and with more extras than a pinata at a birthday party! We're going to give you guns. We're going to give you new suits. We're going to send you to fight new mutants, new threats, and we're going to include some changes to make this wonderful world of ours as new and as fresh as we can.
To all of our supporters, to those of you who never lost faith, I want to say "Thank you". Your patience will be rewarded, your faith will be vindicated, and your trust will be earned.
While I do not have a definite timeframe for release yet, I can say that work will continue, beginning with elimination of all of the known bugs, tweaks, and "to-dos" we still have from the last time we began work in earnest. Rest assured that we will work diligently to deliver the goods.
As a teaser, we may have located a capable 3D artist and animator, a good friend of mine. We've discussed his working for the project, so it remains to be seen if he will actually be able to help and contribute. Needless to say, you can imagine what we could do if we could get our hands on such a person.
In the coming weeks, we hope to be posting more screenshots, a video or two, and some additional content to keep everyone here reminded that this mod *is* active, and continues under active development.
It is sure to be a great ride, and we're certainly looking forward to having you along for it.
From the entire M.I.N.E. team, "Thank You"!
M.I.N.E. Project Lead