I received the following e-mail from Subsoap on March 24th, 2013:
FS2 Update Future of Subsoap
This is a long letter.
A year has passed since we made it possible to pre-purchase Faerie Solitaire 2, and we still continue to work on the project. It is not the only project we have in progress, but it is dear to my heart, and I work on it every day. We intend to release it this year, but we are also perfectionists, which means we want only the best out of our work. We have needed money many times, but to keep our independence, we refused to sign an unfavorable contract with a larger company or sell off anything we have already made, so we strove to great lengths to gain more capital to allow us to continue. We released our first major game, Faerie Solitaire, on more platforms such as Android and iOS and also released another game Faerie Alchemy on those platforms. Our income had not been substantial, but we have made enough to keep going. Nearly all of the money we get from sales goes back into the company and pays for things we need, such as hardware, software licenses, and to pay the people who work with us on our team. Nothing is ideal. We do fight to continue, but we also continue relentlessly. We will not give up or give in. Have trust in us because this is our dream and our passion. This is what we live for: to create things which give you wonder and delight.
I want to talk with you a little about our history, how our projects are going, and our future.
Subsoap began as an idea on January 9th, 2003 (we turned 10 this year!) Before then, I made many (very bad) games on my own and released them online freely for years, made many card games, and boards games which were fun but were no more than scraps of paper played with friends until the fun of them was had. I always wanted to make games since I was first exposed to them after I played old shareware games on an ancient computer, but I had many other interests too (which I still have - I love everything,) and was not sure what I really wanted to do. In 2003, I decided to seriously make games, and I tried to make games I felt were worth selling commercially. I was 14 at the time, and I was devoted to the idea that it was possible to do.
Over the years, I learned a great deal from several projects, but they all ended in failure. Before Faerie Solitaire, there were many more games. A platforming game where the player explored an open fantasy world with collection elements, an action puzzle game where the player matched figures in the sky, an open-world RPG with ship combat, trading, and monsters to train, and an adventure game with social commentary that touched on many difficult themes. There were more, but those were the games I invested most of my time in between the start of Subsoap and near the time when Faerie Solitaire was made. All this time, I was also finishing High School and an Associate of the Arts degree in college, and working at a retail job. I learned many hard lessons and improved in many ways, but I was also fed up with struggling so much and ultimately failing.
All of the projects felt like failures to me, but I also knew I had learned much from each. I learned lessons which I could only learn as I lived through them and made mistakes. Still, the adventure game was the biggest failure, and after pouring so much time into it and pushing myself to complete it, one day I stopped. I had enough. The game was awful, the art was awful, and the story was awful. I had progressed so much during the project that I looked at everything and wanted to start over, but I did not have time or money, and I could not even emotionally handle the thought of starting over. So I quit the project. It was difficult to find work where I lived at the time, and I still live there now. I did not want to work at a retail job again - though I'm grateful of the experience. Those years drained me, and it was the second worst period of my life. It seemed so futile and meaningless. I was not doing something. Even if I could find a job like that again, I felt like I was wasting my life. I applied to every video game company everywhere and showed them my volume of half-finished projects and work, but no one would even answer my applications. It was the worst part of the recession, no one was hiring, and I did not have enough qualifications on paper or work experience to work somewhere else. Honestly, it was a dark time, and I did not have a lot of hope. I was really ready to give up on life and let go.
Then I met someone. She made me want to keep trying, and it was because of her that Faerie Solitaire was made. Love can make people do things which seem supernatural. Work on FS happened in a haze of 9 months. I coaxed a developer friend Andy (who now has his own company Jigxor and is working on his own first commercial game Dungeon Dashers) to work with me, and we made the game with the help of a few other talented people – who are all in the credits. Faerie Solitaire was made because of love, and that same love fueled Faerie Solitaire 2. Second-product syndrome also was a case with the project. I worked on it constantly. It was started and restarted several times because I did not believe what was there was good enough. You may remember the different previews we released on it and the different possible names it would have been called. The entire game changed many times, and I devoted most of my waking hours and every spare moment to get it right.
In June of 2011, my heart broke. The person who was the reason Faerie Solitaire was made was gone forever. It took an entire year for me to feel like a person again and get over the darker emotions inside of me. I struggled, and there are months of time I genuinely have a difficult time remembering. My commitment to my team and my commitment to deliver Faerie Solitaire 2 to you was what kept me going. I could not let go and I could not let anyone down, so I kept going. I have always heard that time heals, and it has proven true. Since the Subsoap saga began, I have changed and grown as a person. I have made many mistakes, learned many lessons, and now I am a much stronger, capable person because of it all.
Over these last few years, we have had a few smaller projects. Many experiments. Some good and bad ideas. The only project in addition to Faerie Solitaire that we have released is Faerie Alchemy. This game is still in development and will see a final, full release in the future. I cannot wait to show you what else we have been working on.
Faerie Solitaire 2 is a mountain of work. It now has content enough for 12 full games the size of Faerie Solitaire. I am mostly sure about how to release it, but not everything is set in stone. It will likely be released as 12 separate games. If you own the Faerie Solitaire 2 Collection already, then you will get all 12 games. There are parts of it which are not complete, and a lot of polish is still left to get right in the details. The main game engine is more or less complete but also needs polish, and it may need more real time invested into it to improve it. We have released an in-development build in the past and plan to release another one once we get our Play site up - an event that has to wait for now, but know that the INDEV builds are more for engine testing so that we can get everything right. I have a date in mind for either the release of all 12 parts or only the first (and then release the rest over a schedule), but I will not say it publicly, and I cannot guarantee that anything will be released on any date. It will be released when it is done. For a long time, I said "soon" but many things have changed the time tables - team members became ill or had family problems and life problems, or development changed. More mistakes, more lessons to learn, but ultimately still, things are better for it. At least now I can say that much more is solid, and I am much more able to have good reason to be confident.
Thanks to the efforts of these years, I am a much better artist now and a much better leader. Though small and always working on a limited budget, our Subsoap team is strong, and we are incredibly capable. I do everything I can, but I am not alone. We will grow over time as it is possible. We will make many great things. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us. I have a vision, and in it, our future as a company is as bright as ever. We have a great deal of opportunity, and we will seize it.
We could not do this without you. What we do is for you, and we thank you for making it all possible.
Many months in 2013 have already flown by, but there is still time remaining. We are extremely excited about how our projects progress and have a lot of hope in what we can do. Here is to us releasing many new things while 2013 is still with us! We have many surprises in store and still many secrets yet to reveal.