In Theory… Game Over

Dear friends and fans. It is with the heaviest hearts we have to inform you that we’re officially suspending the development of Reset indefinitely and closing down shop. The tl;dr reason for this is simply that we are utterly and totally spent. Mentally, physically and financially.

For the past few years we have been doing outsourcing jobs to try to buy the time to finish what we set out to do but this approach has been really exhausting and not really a viable development solution. Our goal for Reset was to build something unique from our hearts and minds without being driven by some third party economic forces and to a point we were well on our way, thanks to you backers. Even though we knew we set out on an enormously ambitious path we were confident we could make the journey.

“- But we need at least a budget of a gazillion bucks and ten truckloads of devs to pull this off, we don’t have that kind of money.

– Yeah true, that is a major drag. But hey, I know, I have a great idea. What if we just ignore all that? – Hey that’s an excellent idea!”

This is a discussion quote between Mikko and me from one of our posts in the very beginning, a flat decade ago.

From all this you might guess that this decision does not come lightly. And you are right. The fact is that with the current velocity we would still need at least two years and with our depleted resources this just is not possible. Our failure is to blame on our own short comings in project management combined with our ridiculously high goal but also on our refusal to play by the rules of greed. We have been shoe stringing this whole time but at some point even the string runs out. Especially for me this project is a character defining dream project and I refuse to say that we have given up.

But.

We have to let it go.

Almost ironically this is the main theme in the story of Reset. Or rather what might happen if one is incapable of letting go of a majorly important but tragically heavy thing. Often that person is slowly but surely incapacitated and sucked dry of life under the weight or killed by a huge white whale.

Despite the endless struggles, the past decade has been the most gratifying and fulfilling for us since we have been working to build for you something we feel meaningful and important. Creating a virtual world in which to experience a story through game play and immersion. We’ve all grown up amid different stories, fictional and real life which have shaped and expanded our world view. Our mission was to contribute to this cycle to the best of our abilities.

Our own story turned out to be different than we expected but that is exactly how life works and where life emerges from. Even though we didn’t get to finish our fictional story, we did produce a story. To some it might be a red flag to not try do anything because you will get burned and to some it might be just the opposite. And therein lies the beauty of stories. Best stories make you think.

We wish that we could refund all you backers but like said, we are spent. There really are no good words to describe the humble and enormous gratitude we feel towards you and at the same time we understand that those words are hollow and meaningless when there is no game and no refund. If we simply could transform into the game or the refund cash, we would.

One has to go to the edge of man, to know where the edge lies. We have no regrets but from the bottom of our hearts we are truly sorry for not being able to deliver what we promised.

We thank all our friends and colleagues at other companies and members of the press for contributing to our story and helping us along the way but mostly we thank you our dear backers. The most painful splinter and eternal gratitude will stay in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

For inquires, business and venting, contact us at contact@theoryinteractive.net

This is Mikko and Alpo from Theory Interactive, signing off.

This is a letter we wrote some time ago. We we’re ready to call it. Through, done, kaput. Mentally we totally let go of the project. But something kept us from sending it the letter.

As the acute grip of a slowly accumulated total burnout has let go we’ve had some time to breathe. After the initial shock and depression, a calmness and clarity emerges.

The edge. You are naked when the edge really comes. After a while different paths become visible, some new some old. And there it was. Something very important had gotten lost along the way. Our voice, our artform. Doing this project is and has been speaking our voice. Our language. Our way of communicating. Speaking our own voice has given us strength to be us as individuals and as a group. It is and has been character defining.

This edge has revealed the true options of action. Buckle under the expectations of society regarding success and the “correct” way to do stuff and abandon something that manifests our values and interests, or have the strength to stand for what we believe in. This company and project stands for our believe that for a person to be the best they can be is to have the freedom to learn, grow, explore and express on their own pace. A person who respects their own endeavors is ready to respect others.

So despite the raunchy post title and the original letter standing true, we’re still not done yet, but the future of the project is unclear.

Now having had some time to shed some (a lot) unwanted and heavy excess mental baggage, it is time to regroup, put the kettle on, re-balance our jaded work/life and see how the winds will turn.

Sincerely,

Alpo & Mikko

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  • Comments (24)
    • LTorrecilla
    • February 25th, 2022 12:16pm

    I am trully sorry for hearing this, been waiting for years that sometimes I even forgot about it, still I hope we can get one day at least a playable demo of this beautifull game, maybe a sountrack release or even better you get in contact with a bigger developer to bring us this gem in the future.

    Whish you guys the best and hope you can continue working on what you like and pursuit your dreams.

    • Fenris
    • February 25th, 2022 2:13pm

    I’m sorry to hear that, was kinda expecting developement to move forward, at it’s own pace, after you got a bit a calm in your daily lives.

    I really hope you can somehow relaunch another kickstarter to bring more manpower into this project, especially considering all the work already done ; it would be a shame to let it rot somewhere instead of making your vision a reality (even at the cost of some of your original expectations, I guess compromises will have to be done).

    Consider myself always onboard of this wonderful project, while keeping hope for the future (we need this after all the shit in the world).

    Anyway, peace and love to all of you and thanks for this explanation. 😉

    • poune
    • February 25th, 2022 2:57pm

    very sad news .
    was expecting the game sins i saw the trailer , it was amazing
    and then the more you develop it’s come more and more interesting game and world you create , i cant wait to see this game.
    but there was silence and the news about the project was less and less.
    and then i start assume that some one notice your little team and creation and hire you for a grate job .

    very sad that the game will not see the light but thanks for all what you done so far and prove to all that even small independent team of two can do something extraordinary in the game world.

    thanks and have the best luck in the up coming new way

    • creaothceann
    • February 25th, 2022 6:16pm

    Even if the development comes to a close, you could publish all (?) project files as Open Source and let others continue it…

    • changemymindpls1
    • February 25th, 2022 9:07pm

    If development is closing up, perhaps you can open-source the project or at least some of the tech and allow people who believed in your vision to continue.

    The graphics technology of Reset was and I’d still consider being spectacular, you could perhaps also share the source code regarding it and how you achieved it. There is a lot of educational value there.

      • changemymindpls1
      • February 26th, 2022 12:08am

      Just as a note, read the post several times, and the last bit of the post actually sunk in. Made this above comment too early, but it’s good to take a step back and reassess. Life is more important, but I’m also surprised especially at this point you guys are still now thinking of still pursuing even in light of the weight of the project.

      Given that you guys mentioned that even with work the project will at least still be two years away I think you really really really need to consider getting in outside help. I have no doubt you guys have been approached by many to help out on the project even if for free but consider starting a server or a forum where you can gather helpers for the project whenever you feel like getting back to take another stab at the project.

      Maybe please release some of the soundtracks? 😛

    • pilotk
    • February 25th, 2022 10:20pm

    Wow, this is unexpected post. I thought never to “hear” from you again.

    I don’t know if I misunderstood the post or the people commenting before me.

    That was the letter you wanted to send some time ago. You wanted to let it go. But you didn’t.
    Now you are trying to say you haven’t decided yet. That the future is unclear. It might continue?

    I have come to terms to never see the product finished. At least I got a really good T-shirt. The quality was superb. It cost €70, but that’s fine. 😀

    I agree that you at least release a soundtrack, or that demo I couldn’t play on AMD card. I have Nvidia card now. 😀
    I can’t find that demo anywhere.

    Whatever happens in the future, I’ll leave this coms channel open. 😉

      • changemymindpls1
      • February 25th, 2022 10:33pm

      I have the demo if you wish to try it, I was doing a research project over these guys a couple of months ago and through some really thorough digging I tracked down a still active download link of the Greenlight Demo.

        • timothy
        • March 16th, 2022 6:01pm

        If you are willing to share the demo I have always wanted to try it. I didn’t back the game due to not having very much money, but I’ve been following the development since very early days, long before the crowdfunding, and it hold a special place in my heart. If I can even play a tiny slice of the game, I will be happy.

        • Testing to see if it allows me to send the link.

            • changemymindpls1
            • March 16th, 2022 9:24pm

            Yep it works, click my underlined username in the comment and it will take you to the download.

    • Nikke
    • March 10th, 2022 12:21am

    May I suggest that you guys release a bunch of assets (screen shots, music, documents of the story / ideas / backlog, videos you may have taken) eg. on a web folder so that supporters can just browse and see and have something to remember this journey by?

    And now, Imagine that IndieGoGo is just a resource allocation AI. There aren’t actually 2000 people who contributed the money but an AI doing a human psychology study. It gave you roughly 1 year salary. You kept working on digital assets and code for 10 years. You had a massive emotional journey based on spanking yourselves because you believed you have a responsibility towards the supporters. You fueled your own purgatory in the form of feeling responsibility to a thought construct. In the end, the are bytes on your hard drives, 10 years spent in this way and very little actually exchanged between you and the “AI”.

    It’s interesting to think about how we mentally construct and bound our lives and what directs our actions. The world / the AI cares little about some tens of euros paid 10 years ago. It has myriads of its own daily narratives to care about in the multiple localities of the experiencing consciousnesses co-operatively weaving the story of life.

    The “AI” is endlessly interested of how much the belief in there actually being 2000 supporters affected your life for 10 full years. And how epic emotional journey that caused you to put yourselves through. Whereas you could have also spent that time with anything else that doesn’t produce a tangible product. You could have spent it back packing around the world or just chilling through a 10 year holiday. The end result to the world would have been similar. Your journey would have been very different. This is the path you chose. I hope it ends up bringing forward good fruit and somehow is what you needed in order to grow.

    • Samout
    • March 16th, 2022 2:37pm

    You really should release some assets for public use for supporters and everyone to enjoy.

    • timothy
    • March 16th, 2022 6:12pm

    Many years ago you were only a couple of days from releasing and delayed it. You spoke of finalizing the game, but then a few blog posts later and here we are. I don’t mind, I can literally wait forever, I am very patient, I am just very confused how you said the game was pretty much finished and you were just finalizing it, but now it sounds like it’s barely finished and there is a lot of missing content. I’m just very confused and I hope you can explain that story. I wish you only good luck and fortune, and may Reset still see the light of day.

    • Pappaslask
    • April 1st, 2022 12:33am

    INB4 the Hindi Escort spam bots…

    Sorry to hear this. I’ve waited for a decade. Good luck to both of you in the future. Your cloud shader will still be the best I’ve ever saw in a real-time render. Cheers!

  1. Communication 101: write your point first, explanations after.

    I’m pretty sure every single person reading that blog post missed your “ps, we’re not stopping” part.

    • roundGoat
    • April 9th, 2022 11:14am

    I’m genuinely hopeful. It’s very gratifying to hear that you aren’t done yet, even if the path forward isn’t clear; we’ll keep watching and waiting for whatever comes next.

    <3

    • MrJim
    • May 13th, 2022 7:20pm

    Muh heart muh soul

    Deep down those of us who have been following the project knew. It still hurts, but I guess bad news is better than no news at all. I hope the website is left up. I like to come back and read through it periodically to remember. An official link to the demo would be nice as well.

    • Weird
    • June 10th, 2022 3:42pm

    If routine can do it, so can you!. (pref within another 10 years?)

    • mattyogo@yahoo.com
    • June 15th, 2022 4:11pm

    I have to say that I am happy to have heard from you. After rereading your letter quite a few times I see a sparkle of hope that maybe something will happen. I feel that I would also be happy to help in any way I can.

    Whatever the outcome of your deliberations, please tell us as others before me have put it: ‘Bad news is better than no news’.

  2. Wow, what a surprise! I figured I’d never “hear” from you again after we broke up.

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