What is going to happen now? What happened with R.E.A.R.M. and how can I even dare to think it's going to go anywhere with the R.E.A.R.M.'s development being so stagnant for the last years? These all sound like tough questions, but the answer for them is in fact rather simple:
Focus and a fresh start. These two are perhaps more powerful factors then you might realize.
R.E.A.R.M. was an amazing project, I really loved it and I'm truly proud of it, but it had a very major flaw in the way it was developped. When I started modding, everything was new, everything was exciting, everything had to be tried and implemented. Often features that required an 'enourmous' effort were just thrown in to see how they'll stick. To just name a few (feel free to skip this part):
- For instance the factions, I sorted ships of both races into three groups based on the three weapon categories they fit into. Of course, me being me I had to have different colored hangar for each of the faction. It was a nice little feature, but under the hood it was anything but little and hidiously far from nice. It meant that every single production ship in R.E.A.R.M. had its own vanilla version and three other copies. It meant that a new and complex faction ship family system in the lua files had to be created. And each of the array of production ships had to implement a complicated system of build restrictions.
Has anyone ever even played it?
- Explosion damage. Very cool script that made dying capital ships to deal damage to nearby ships. It was determined by 4 or 5 range radii with damage values. ...Every single capital ship and all their faction clones had to be included in large charts, every damage value had to be carefully tuned.
The script had to check for damage every second which didn't help the performance and AI of course had no clue how to prevent his own ships from gloriously blowing up one by one in a massive chain reaction. Not to mention the micro it took to retreat your strike wing right before the enemy ship's destruction.
- Ally races, Kadeshi race... Well I asked for permission to use a new race. Cool, amazing. Now the 'only' thing that had to be done was to retouch all the textures, tweak some of the geometry and make sure all the mess left after the original author is gone and yeah, create collectivelly about 40 LOD meshes for that said race.
- Ship naming. I loved that one, I still do and it might make the transition. What it meant in reality though, was to create 899 individual letter subsystems, each named differently and there were never more than 3 or 4 sharing the same texture. And of course you have to make hardpoints for these in your ships and list every single subsytem you want to build there in your ship file...
Just think about it, let it sink in. That's the lenght I went to to implement a new feature.
...And that's gonna stop now. REARM V2 is a no nonsense mod.
There's going to be a focus, a goal and no more time for ridiculously expensive experiments. R.E.A.R.M. was my beautiful sandbox to play with, but it's time to grow up now.
Sadly for some, focus doesn't only mean dropping uneecessary features that make mod development bordeline paralyzing, it also means cleaning up the build list. A mod ship truly has to earn its place now. So good bye Command Frigate, good bye Tripple Laser Corvette.
But ask yourself, do you really miss them?
On the other hand, focus means more time, more resources. Which directly translates into more Battlecruisers, more of the good stuff. The 'real' stuff. Not the features, not the gimmicks, but the ships. And we want ships. Right at the beginning it's all going to be pretty much exclusivelly about ships.
And even the name itself is highly suggestive. R.E.A.R.M. will continue as REARM V2. Dropping the dots mirrors leaving out the unnecessary features. That's the "focus" part. V2 is a new version, the mod with the same principles, the same goals, but with that new "fresh start".
It's already being worked on and it's going to be awesome.