It’s taken me way too long to write this. In part, because it’s been hard to. Writing this feels like it makes it official. I’ve even had it written for a few months, just haven’t posted it. But, if anyone is still out there to read this, I guess better late than never.
This should come as no surprise to anyone, but Pleasantville by Night is no longer under active development, and hasn’t been for quite some time. I have no plans to shut the game down (I’m paying for web hosting anyway, so I might as well keep it running), and I will continue to fix game-breaking bugs if any are reported, but I also have no plans to work on it anymore.
I loved working on the game, and I deeply appreciate everyone who played it and enjoyed it (and even those who played it and didn’t enjoy it). If I had unlimited time, I’d love to continue working on it, but unfortunately I don’t.
The thing about these types of games is that they’re never “done.” In a regular, single-player RPG, it doesn’t really matter that much how many times people play through it. Your enjoyment isn’t based around what other people are doing at all. In Pleasantville by Night, though, a main feature of the game is based on interacting (directly or indirectly) with other players. Without other players, that whole part of the game is pointless. While I do take pride in the single-player missions and areas of the game (though maybe not the graphics!), there’s only so much there, and playing through the same thing over and over again does get boring, no matter how good it might be.
So to keep people interested, it becomes necessary to continuously add more to the game. Which isn’t necessarily a problem, but it does take up a lot of time. And I don’t have infinite time, but I have lots of things I want to make. I want to make other games, write other stories. If Pleasantville had a huge fanbase, it would be different, but people were already dropping off as it was. Combined with the fact that I was completely inept at marketing the game, it never really reached the population it needed to maintain player interest on its own, so I’ve decided to focus on other things instead.
I still love the world of Pleasantville, and I plan to revisit it some day (after all, In Pleasantville, the dead don’t stay dead for long), though it will probably be in a completely different form. I’ve also got a bunch of notes for planned features, areas, new societies and backstory that never made it into the game. I can clean those up and post them if anyone’s interested.
Anyway, if you actually made it through all this, thank you. If you played Pleasantville by Night, thank you. I hope you enjoyed the game as much as I enjoyed creating it. I raise a watery, tasteless, mass-produced beer to you, and shotgun it. Not because it’s what you deserve, but because it’s how Chad would want it.