Chapter Master Update: Interstellar Army Simulator 2015 seeks a new Champion as Duke Retires from his works.

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,

To say I wasn't expecting would be a lie but after the announcement of Interstellar Army Simulator 2015 I wasn't expecting it to come so soon. Duke has decided to retire from his work on Chapter Master/ Interstellar Army Simulator 2015 after 2 years, in his wake he has left us all the source code to his works as a base to continue them.

Here is the final message from the man himself explaining his reasons.

Greetings mortals,
This post will explain the future of Chapter Master, and how it will be returning to its roots.  First, context.
Making games has always been an avid hobby of mine.  Since the age of eight, or nine, I'd been press-ganging other students into testing games I had made.  The first one I can recall was back in elementary school, where the idea was to draw a not-Pokemon on a sheet of paper and then assign HEALTH and DAMAGE attributes.  You would then totally battle these two sheets of paper back-and-forth with the power of imagination.  There was tons of arguing involved.  Over the years I've homebrewed slightly more complex games, ranging from one of a thousand pen-and-paper RPG's to my more recent programming projects.
Three years back I'd been plugging away at a BroQuest demo- first a shoddy, primitive one, and then later a slightly more functional one that the original developers asked me not to post online.  I wanted something big to tackle to keep myself engaged.  Making things is one of my ways to keep sane, and since that turned out a dead end, I figured 'Why not Chapter Master?'.
Around this point I was still not a very good programmer (something I still believe), but had all the time in the world.  Right off the bat I loaded up the design document of the former Chapter Master project (a big old thing like 50 pages long), and began to take notes on what I would want to include from that.  Cue about ten months of piddling away at the keyboard and the alpha was more or less ready.  Releasing it was a blast- hundreds upon hundreds of posts of nothing but screams, panic, and stroking my ego.  Overall it was very amusing.  To this day, when I am bored, I will still go re-read old threads.  This same amusement is what kept me working on the project, and putting out updates, for many months.  Each major content patch I released would offer a new surge of activity, which would then continue to amuse me.  Hearing other's thoughts and suggestions also excited me, since many of them were way better than anything I could ever come up with myself.
To this day I've spent a little over two years working on the game.  Development was much faster at first, make no mistake- I was excited about releasing it, fueled by the amusement of others, and had few responsibilities.  As time went on my own enthusiasm waned, which meant less major updates, and then less people talking about or playing the game.  No longer was I gaining any amusement out of the project, or at least very little.  Getting donations for all of my games helped, but not too long after that development felt more like a chore than something awesome to waste my time on.  School and my part-time work hasn't helped at all.
Twice now I've taken a break from development, for several weeks at a time.  This was necessary to cool off and get a breather before resuming the trudge once more.  The final nail in the coffin, that killed any enjoyment I had left, was the recent scare.  I won't go into details on that, but I'd already been very burned out and needing a third break when it occurred.  This lead to me crunching on Chapter Master for two weeks straight, forgoing any contact outside of work or school to keep the game going- without it I'd have had to stop school, again, and focus on my other work.  That would not have been fun.
So here we are today.  I am going to be taking a moderate risk, but it's for the sake of my sanity.  Starting October I will no longer be developing Chapter Master.  In return, I will be open sourcing the project- all X lines of spaghetti code.  I only ask that you be aware that my programming skills have improved over time, and much of the abomination that is the games code is not an indication of my current ability (with GMS, at least).  I have enough funds saved up to go to school for a while, including financial aid, so I will continue perusing my dream of working on social/domestic robots.
It's worth mentioning I still enjoy making games way too much.  Chapter Master is not the last one you will see.  About half a year back I assembled a team of similar minded people to begin construction on Towergirls the vidya.  In a short while we should have a demo ready, and then we will begin accepting community writing for dialogue and plot.  This is a very, very nice change of pace and I hopefully won't get sued over it.
That sums up about everything.  Here are some links.
Interstellar Army Simulator 2015: Source Code
Chapter Master 0.6555: Source Code
Original Design Document (former project)
Original Original (I accidentally changed the permissions on the below link, it's not owned by me, I thought it was)
Features That Were Planned
It's been two monotonous but fun years that I wouldn't trade for anything.  The hopes and dreams for Chapter Master can live on in the community, where it started, and where it belongs.  With the source code any of you can continue development, or begin to pick it apart and move worthy bits on over to an actual programming language.  I hope this is the case- I'd love to see the game become the abomination that everyone wanted.
I will still be lurking and you should expect to see me when Towergirls the Demo goes live.
Until then, remember- you are all special snowflakes on the Emperor's front steps.


While some of you may feel disappointed I honestly think that Dukes reasons are fair and he has helped keep the spark alive of this project and its been somewhat inspirational, now we wait for another to take up the sword and who knows it could be any of you reading this now.  

Already others are moving, claims of those hiring programmers have appeared cleaning up the code and to someday add new features. Perhaps rather than a single Chapter Master a flurry of small projects will appear some succeeding, some failing, others combining together each taking us closer to the game we desire.

To play my own part I'm hosting backups of Dukes links and files which you can obtain below:

Interstellar Army Simulator 2015: Source Code: Link
Chapter Master 0.6555: Source Code: Link
Original Design Document (former project): Link
Features That Were Planned: Link

Don't know What Chapter Master is? The original review is here.
Just want to play the game? Then Interstellar Army Simulator and the mod and be downloaded here.


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