Obligatory introduction and mushy stuff...
Rise of the Mandalorians is nearing total completion! Let that sink in... Literally years of work, stress, joy, and patience are coming to a close. It's been a long journey. So long sometimes that some fans and followers have fallen away. However, the vast majority have stayed and in fact the mod has only grown in all that time. To those who have been with me since the beginning (and you know who you are), your years of support and genuine interest in my work have been impactful and more meaningful that you may realize. Modding has been a constant in my life for nearly a decade and the escape into my artwork and programming has seen me through good times as well as bad. All the while, this community was there and for that I owe you all a mountain of gratitude. THANK YOU.
What is the state of the mod?
With that, let's go over what has been done and what is still to come before the mod goes public and you all get to experience Rise of the Mandalorians for yourselves!
This year has seen tremendous progress and innovation for RotM. The mod went from a compilation of new units and some maps to a full-fledged re-invention of Forces of Corruption with new prop models, new shaders, custom voiceovers for new units and heroes, new ability types and so on. There is hardly a single scrap of the original game which hasn't been edited in some way. The mod folders are home to thousands of files, amounting to the better part of 10 GB of data (a little less, total).
What is complete is currently being bug tested, polished out, and finally locked in as ready for launch. That said, here is what is left before the mod has "gone gold" as they say:
- Remaining voiceovers are recorded but need to be mastered and exported for game use.
- Imperial Remnant space station needs to be coded into the game and properly rigged.
- Immobilizer Cruiser needs a proper death clone animation.
- A few hero abilities need to be Q/A tested and made usable by the AI.
- Base buildings and turrets for all factions need to be completed (including models, textures, death states).
- Some random remaining props need to be redone in RotM art style (urban buildings and a few speeders).
Once the above are done, the mod will have "gold" status and will be ready for upload to both Moddb and the Steam Workshop. The most time-consuming part left (by far) is the base buildings for each faction. However, the other items on the list are relatively easy to finish up and I expect that they won't take much time at all.
What is the plan for the future?
The initial release of the mod will be skirmish only. Land and space skirmish will be available for players to enjoy, learn the abilities of the new units and heroes and just get to know the mod. 2019 will be dedicated to the perfection of Galactic Conquest, the maps and mechanics that go with it, as well as fixing any bugs reported in the skirmish release and so on. I did not make this decision lightly. To be frank, since I work on the mod by myself and have never had a team of people working with me, I felt that dedicating a separate release to Galactic Conquest was the best approach.
GC mode is complex and can be difficult to modify when one wants to overhaul an entire faction and the way it works. Working solo, such an undertaking will require a good deal of time. This community has been abundantly patient as I plod along, doing the mod as fast as one man can do. Releasing skirmish mode as a standalone seemed like a good compromise. I got to release the units and heroes in their finished state (no half-done beta releases) for players to enjoy at last...but then I wasn't either making people wait even LONGER to play the mod or doing a sloppy job with GC in order to release sooner.
I want GC to be as perfect as I can make it. It needs undivided attention to do that...so 2019 will be for that. Once GC is done, RotM will be complete and I will close that chapter of my modding life. Because of that, this won't be version 5 of the mod. Too much has changed and been improved. Rather, this will be Rise of the Mandalorians: Definitive Edition.
Credit where credit is due
Before I sign off, I just wanted to take time to thank some folks who have helped me make it this far. While RotM has never had a dedicated team, these people have contributed their time, talents, and advice to help the mod be the best it could be.
Gen_Rys_Dallows from Expanding Fronts for Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. Gen has lent his vocal talents to the mod and filled in on some voice acting. He's done a tremendous job. Thank you!
The ENTIRE team at Yuuzhan Vong at War. These guys have been on the modding scene a long time...In fact, they and myself, plus a few others are what you might call the "haggard ancients" of the EaW modding community. Over the years, their collaboration, support, and friendship has been invaluable. The assets we share or have done for one another have been to the benefit of both our mods and the journey towards completion for each has been incredible.
Jeroen(imo) from Empire at War Remake is also an ancient in the community back from the good 'ol Filefront days. While we've collaborated on a smaller scale overall I have to give a shout out to you and Megabalta for particle effect insight and just general VFX badassery. I've benefited from your contributions and the conversations we've had about technique and innovation. I hope what I've given in return has helped you likewise!