In today's update, the conclusion of this project.
As you can guess from the title, this will be the final update and an official end to this project. I will give some backstory on this, which will hopefully shed some light on the situation.
Note: if you don't like reading about drama stories involving cancer and death in the family, you can basicly skip this update. My apologies if I bothered you with this update then.
Near the end of 2014 my father got the news he had colon cancer. Due to his stubbornness he went to the doctor way too late, so it was no surprise when treatment failed to make any result in the next couple of months. The decision was made to remove the part of the colon where the tumour was. The operation was successful, even tho he nearly died from blood loss during the operation. Recovery took a long time, as was adjusting to the fact he basicly lost the last part of his colon. We didn't care, we were just happy the tumour was gone.
During one of the regular scans in end 2015 some bad spots were discovered on his lungs. While not threatening, it obviously meant the cancer did had time to spread out. This time around it was during the beginning stages, so treatment was still a viable option. Another good thing was that the spots weren't spreading, nor causing any problems for my father.
Cue 2016. Unknown to us, my father kept having headaches which were increasing in intensity over time. His mood was also changing; while always being a bit rough in his responses, he became increasingly aggressive and short-tempered. Additionally, slowly but surely he kept getting more trouble keeping his balance. Another visit to the doctor revealed the thing you really, REALLY don't want to hear: brain tumour. Back of the head, near where your movement and balance are controlled. Looking back it's easy to see the symptoms, but who knew back then? Doctors assured us that if a colon tumour spreads, it's to the lungs, not to the brain.
So yeah. Brain tumour. What can you do against that thing? A tumour in one of the, if not THE most important part of your body. And of course it was in a place where there was little chance of removing it with regular treatment. The medication he received in the meantime pepped him up, but also increased his aggressiveness and short-temperedness. So in the end there was one option: surgery. I don't recall the details, but afaik it took 8 hours to perform the entire surgery. But, it was a success! It was still... scary / frightening (I can't find the proper English term) when I saw him after he just got out of the operation chamber, all groggy from the narcotics, and the fact they just cut a hole in his skull and removed something from his brain.
As you can imagine, recovering from that surgery took even longer. He also wasn't the same as before, which was something the doctors had warned us about. But as said, he still lived, the tumour was successfully removed, and nothing else was found in his brain. The bad spots on his lungs hadn't changed either, so that was good news as well.
Of course, the story doesn't end here. My father must have apparently done some really bad things in his life that would eclipse the deeds of your average dictator, because guess what? The bad temper got back, the headaches returned, and his movement got all weird again. It's then funny that even you know the symptoms by then, you don't want to see the truth. It was all just side-effects from the operation we said. No way that a tumour could have regrown in the same place so quickly again. Yeah, about that...
Guess what was back. And brought a friend along. Now my father had two tumours in his brain. And due to the fact he already recently got operated in the same spot, they couldn't do that again. The news boiled down to "enjoy your remaining life, which we reckon is half a year, maybe three quarters of a year max".
The remainder of the time pretty much went by in a blur. He got the same medications that pepped him up so he had less trouble with walking and the headaches, with the same side-effects. Starting in 2017, his movement troubles got bad enough that he could barely walk on his own, lest he fall over. The last weeks went really fast; he went from being able to do his own thing to a bed-ridden zombie who could barely eat, drink or respond to anything. To see this happen to a man that was known for his strength and posture (and the fact he was my father) was soul-crushing. Strange as it sounds, we were glad for him when he passed away in his sleep in the morning of the 21st of March, 2017.
The last couple of months during all of this took up pretty much all my free time. As I was living with my parents, I saw everything from up-close. Having a fulltime job with quite a commute, what little free time I had was taken up by assisting my parents where necessary, or trying to distract myself (and failing often). As you can imagine, progress for this project was non-existing.
To focus more on this project then on my dramatic rambling, I picked up this project again a couple of months later, to have something to distract me. I was able to make some decent progress for a while, but it just wasn't the same thing. Generals has a nice engine, but some of the things I wanted that earlier C&C games could do, were hard or impossible to do in this game. I also had zero focus on what to do. One time I tweaked some stuff here, next I started working on a new model. Overall no progress was made.
Eventually, I decided to focus on creating a single mission, and all the assets / coding that is necessary for that. This worked okay for a while, and I eventually I had a nicely scripted map with various new assets I introduced. But still... All things combined, I was getting rather worn down by it all. In the end I was doing a whole bunch of nitpicking changes I saw someplace else, but had very little actual use. Sure, train car props that are actually armoured and have decent physics are nice assets, but they don't add jack shit to the mod at the current stage.
I then had the best idea you could have at this stage: switch engines! To the OpenRA engine to be precise. Who try to emulate the feeling of oldskool 2.5D RTS engines in a 3D engine when you have an open-sourced engine that does that available? Well, besides the fact you have to learn a new style of coding, redo all your assets, be over ambitious and redo the terrain from scratch. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice learning process, but in the end it was doomed to fail. My interests had been shifting to other places over time, and I just couldn't be bothered with RTS in general.
So rather than letting it stagnate, it's better to just officially declare the project ended. I may reuse the world I designed behind the scenes for other projects, but I won't give people false hope that this project will one day see daylight.
I may be talking against a (digital) wall here with this whole story, but after all this time of not telling anyone in the modding community about this whole situation and my resulting absence, I found it high time to fix that situation. Now I can hopefully close this chapter (the project that is), and move on to the next.
In case you're still interested in what I have done in the meantime, you can check my YT channel here