I greatly apologize for the lack of communication since shortly after initial launch of HereAfter about 1 and 1/2 years ago. A bit of a catastrophe occurred and at first I didn't want to say anything until I knew for sure what was going to happen. By the time I knew, it had been many months later and traffic concerning HereAfter had essentially stopped, as well no-one had asked about why the game had stalled, so I decided not to say anything until I had some concrete decisions and content to share. [BOD] Lotus_Bear did then reach out to us by making a discussion post and approximately 1 year after initial launch I began posting updates about what had been going on there, but still chose not to post an official announcement. Now that I finally have some concrete decisions and content however, it is time.
Let me first assure to everyone whom it may concern that we have not forgotten about HereAfter and still intend to finish the game. That being said there is indeed a significant reason for why further communication and updates had been stalled for so long.
Directly after the initial launch we were all very enthusiastic about the game and wanted to continue developing it as quickly as possible. About 2 months after the initial launch containing the first 3 levels we had nearly completed the 4th level and were in the final stages of fine-tuning before releasing it to the public on Early Access. Then one day, just as we were about to make a long overdue back-up of the game files to a flash-drive, the computer on which we had been creating the game suddenly crashed. The hard-drive had become unreadable, everything was gone, and we couldn't get the computer to turn back on. The furthest along back-up that we had made of the unity game files at that point was all the way back at the very beginning of making the 4th level; having just the basic background and a couple enemy prototypes. This was a devastating blow to our enthusiasm. Thanks to a computer repair friend and some research online, we were able to recover many of the assets that had been lost for the 4th level. However, most of the scripts were corrupted and would have to be rewritten and everything coding/placement wise for the 4th level would have to be rebuilt essentially from the start. We had lost 2 months of very hard work.
Well, all this caused the programmer/coder of the group especially to feel very depressed and instead of trying to get everything put back together right away, he and the visual artist decided it would be best to take a break from developing the game as the thought of redoing all that work caused them to feel very exhausted and depressed.
It was at this point where I was unsure of what to say because I wasn't sure if they were even going to continue making the game. It was a very uncertain time. After about 1 month of this prolonged break I encouraged them to work on the game again as I really wanted to play more of it and was certain that it wouldn't take them as long to put the pieces back together again as it had to first make the pieces and then put them together; since they kind-of still had the pieces intact but needed to replace and re-code everything. However, despite my encouragement, they still felt very depressed about the whole thing and instead of trying to remake what they had lost they decided that to cure their depression it would be better to begin working on a new, much more simple, much easier to create, game idea that they had thought of during this break. I can't blame them too much as it does feel much better to work on something new rather than redo a lot that you had already done and lost. They assured me that once this new game was completed they would then feel better and continue working on HereAfter, though again I was unsure. By the time I was sure, it seemed unnecessary to make an announcement until something concrete had occurred.
Well, something concrete has finally occurred. We've been more careful about keeping back-ups of unity game files and while their new game idea ended up taking quite a bit longer to develop than they had first intended, it is now finished and posted as coming soon on Steam. Now our second attempt at making a video game, but our first fully complete release. It's called "Forest Of Evil" if anyone wants to check it out.
We've especially had trouble with trying to get Steam Achievements to work which caused us to take about a month longer to release to Steam than we otherwise would have needed to. We still haven't managed to get Steam Achievements to work so if anyone who sees this post knows how it would be very much appreciated if we could get some help with this. Regardless however we are tired of waiting to release it and tired of waiting to resume focus on HereAfter so the new game has been posted and they have assured me that work on HereAfter will finally once again resume.
That being said, it still won't be any time soon that HereAfter will be completed as both the visual artist and programmer have learned a lot through developing "Forest Of Evil" and have come to see that there is much they could improve upon in developing HereAfter. They both say now that they wish they had made the less ambitious game of "Forest Of Evil" first before making "HereAfter" as it would have helped them make HereAfter a much better game. Due to this, they have both decided that they will first upgrade their equipment and then that it would be best to remake HereAfter from the ground up so that they can make a more solid and polished game. While this means that it will take even longer to complete, the end result should be a much better experience.
Another important thing to note is that due to this they have also rethought their decision to make the game free. Currently, the new plan is to leave HereAfter as free until the game is remade up through to the 5th level. After that, the first 4 levels will be used as a free to play demo and the main game will become purchasable for an extreme discount up until full release after which it will become more expensive.
This doesn't mean that those of you who have been waiting this whole time will need to wait further for more HereAfter content however! I discovered a stable save of a game build of HereAfter that we had made and placed onto another computer for testing which has almost the entire 4th level completed! It certainly is not a completed 4th level as you will notice that the further you go the less polished it is and the more things are missing, but it is a playable state of the 4th level and so it has been decided that this build will be uploaded to Steam and remain free so that those of you who have been waiting will be able to see the general direction in which the game is headed until they have remade the game up through the 5th level.
Again I greatly apologize for how things have been and hope that this announcement post provides an adequate explanation for our actions.