I could write an entire book entitled What the Fuck Happened to The Council of Crows. In that book, I would be the idiot protagonist making all the wrong choices. You’d have a certain degree of sympathy, because those choices all came from trying to do the right thing at the time, but overall I’d still look pretty silly.
For that, I can only apologize. There are no excuses for taking so long. And I can’t even properly explain. But here’s an attempt.
In 2019, I said I was almost done. I was. 85% or so of the game was done (depending on how you count it it could also be more). Only the final section remained, plus a handful of extra graphics for additions that happened during development, when the game got bigger than expected.
And now? Now I’m in exactly the same place. Because 2019 got destroyed by another project.
You know how I do freelance game writing? My main thing now is Croteam, but I occasionally also do projects for other companies, outside my main work time. But that’s the same space reserved for The Council of Crows. In 2019, that got completely obliterated by a project that, for reasons I can’t go into here, took about 10x the amount of time and energy I had expected.
It’s ridiculous to tell you I did it for the fans, but I did. I wanted to do my best on that project, and put an insane amount of work into it. To the degree where the overwork and stress gave me severe health problems. It was… not good. I was working something like two or two and a half full-time jobs and it was killing me. But I wanted to deliver what I’d promised.
Yeah, I see the irony.
In the end, when I had gotten everything done, I quit. I quit because I cannot physically work like that anymore, the way I could when I was 20. And I quit because I need to spend my non-Croteam time on projects like The Council of Crows.
I spent January recovering, but we’re now back in proper development, and I aim to be finishing the game this year. I don’t care about the commercial aspect anymore, as indie games are basically dead – but I care about the Lands of Dream as a whole, and have also been working on planning future games and updating the old ones, especially where they intersect with The Council of Crows.
So, that’s it. It’s been an absurd journey but I’ve put aside all the distractions and I’m finishing it. It’s going to have some flaws that I struggled with more than you can imagine in my attempts to make it “fresh” but I recently replayed it all with the benefit of distance and I’m happy to say it’s still pretty good.