It's been a rough time for Tangiers, the surreal stealth game that was successfully Kickstarted in 2013 but ran into trouble late last year when expected funding from two investment sources, needed to cover unforeseen expenses in the late stages of development, fell through. Development lead Alex Harvey said at the time that the team had “just enough to scrape by through to release,” but he also made it clear that the situation was unquestionably grim. In a new update—the first since that bad news—he revealed that things haven't really improved, but he's continuing to push to get the game finished, and hopes to be able to resume full production very soon.
“By the end of the weekend, we'll have hit the point we had intended to quickly reach after the last update,” Harvey wrote. “In most respects, the game is fully and robustly functional, and we've got a good quantity and cross section of content to demonstrate. I've got a number of funding and publisher opportunities arranged that I will be pursuing over the next three weeks. If our work pays off, then these will give us the means to go back into full production and quickly begin to deliver concrete results.”
If those efforts don't work out, Harvey said the next step will be to take a month or so off to raise enough funds through external work to get the game to Steam Early Access. At that point, “we'll have low enough remaining overheads that even a tiny quantity of sales will be enough to keep the lights on and see the game through to completion,” he wrote.
But that will also force a reduction in the scope of the game. “I would focus our work, stripping things down to the most effective elements while maintaining the gist of what we wish to do with Tangiers,” he continued. “If we do have to take this route, I'd make sure that we do so with as much backer-consent as possible. If that is the case, then I will make sure that the first possible chance to update contains a discussion of proposed component removals with room for backer feedback.”
Harvey also apologized for the long delay in updates, saying that the “strain and stress of working very long hours on the project daily without any real income or stability” has caused a number of disruptive health problems. “It's been a challenge to keep myself together over the past few months, and while this isn't an acceptable excuse by any means it's the best I can tangibly offer,” he wrote. “I'm deeply, deeply sorry for the consistent let downs here, but we have got some breathing room now so from here on I'm putting extra priority to forward facing work.”
I really hope he's able to pull it off: This teaser is as incomprehensible now as it was two years ago, but I still think it's stunning. This is a game I very much want to play.