I had an interesting meeting today, where I got some insight on the current state of the industry and market of video games. We were lucky enough to develop Steel Storm and release it in 2011.
Things have changed greatly. On our part, we have raised the bar high with Steel Storm 2 and are planning on keeping it to the standard set at the beginning of the development process. Building our engine on top of Doom 3 BFG is a quite an undertaking and it will take some time to accomplish. Fortunately it will be quite robust and a modern engine aimed at high performance gaming, potentially with support for Oculus Rift, Steamworks, etc. Not only it will allow us to accomplish Steel Storm 2's design, but also would serve (hopefully) as a solid foundation for aspiring indie game developers and the FOSS community.
We took some wrong turns business-wise after Steel Storm 1 was completed and polished. If I could predict the future, I wouldn't be writing this post ;) Fortunately Steel Storm 1's potential has not been exhausted and there have been several things unraveling behind the curtains.
A new DLC has been in development for Steel Storm. It's a map (or a few maps) including somewhat different gameplay mechanics accompanied by a new music track. I am building it from scratch, not reusing existing pieces and trying to keep it modular as I would like to release a set of prefabs so that aspiring modders could build new levels, not just missions.
We have revived the MOBA mod (if you remember we released a prototype in the fall of 2011) and have a playable alpha with victory conditions and an additional mission, which has been in development in the dungeons of a small indie team titled Zeolite Studios (Zeolite Studios is co-founded by our old community manager, zratchet). The alpha and follow-up alpha builds will be released either before DLC#2 or along with it. The Weapon Pack DLC will be required to play it. This mod will eventually (and hopefully) spin out into a standalone game, which will be given for free to Steel Storm 1 owners.
Another mark on my agenda is Steel Storm Special Edition, which will include quite some different gameplay compared to Steel Storm 1. Since we were not able to introduce community to the story of the original game, I would really like to utilize this opportunity and connect Steel Storm and Steel Storm 2. I imagine it being a sort of adventure game, with gameplay mechanics similar to the original, but with ammo pickups, save games (or check point saves), maybe quests and bloody monsters with gibs! :D Top-down Doom/Quake if you will, with a bit more of a story, which should flow nicely into the lore and storyline of Steel Storm 2.
While all this is going on, which will mostly require artistic attentions, Steel Storm 2's team can work on Storm Engine v1, fix it, incorporate features that are urgently needed for Steel Storm 2 and once we have solid tech to work with, we will resume fully fledged development on it. Currently we have put base AI together (we still use good ol' idTech 4 for development) and I shall unveil WiP videos of AI in action in a week or two.
That's sort of a road map for the nearest future, something I have been thinking on for a while, and today's meeting served as a catalyst for me to reveal my thoughts to the community. We want to revive Steel Storm brand, which lost its steam due to me being ignorant in PR and community management, and to do that we shall provide more entertainment for those who enjoyed the original game.