A retrospect of 2020
For a lot of us, 2020 was a shitty year. My experience was no exception. Still, I found that 2020 brought a lot of silver-linings: Donald Trump lost the 2020 US presidential elections and his flurry of lawsuits were rejected by courts again and again, which is more generally a good omen to victims of vexatious litigation (such as the McStalking case). Also, people woke up to institutional racism and authoritarianism (despite COVID-19 seems to have become the new Al-Qaeda). And, to some extent, Total Rendition's development progressed reasonably well in general this year, in spite of this year's issues. I'm very hopeful, considering Total Rendition as a project proved itself able to withstand 2020, Total Rendition will flourish in 2021.
Total Rendition 0.1.1.1 has just become ready, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. However, since there isn't much new in the way of new content, that is opportunities to see the plot unfold, I have decided to hold off a new release until version 0.2.1.0, which will contain tons of new features as well. The iteration numbers will jump more often. Total Rendition is actually a lot closer to being feature complete in terms of gameplay mechanics than I had realised (or the revision numbers would suggest, for that matter). Furthermore, the amount of steps and alterations per revision are far greater than I had realised as well: Adding a new gameplay feature so far tends to involve tens of sub-mechanics, each of them worth a revision number of their own. Hence, the next step will not be 0.1.1.2 and much rather 0.1.2.7, which shall see the inventory system of Total Rendition fleshed out; until when, we didn't really need it, although with new inventory items to appear in 0.2.1.0, it is now becoming a necessity.
To be clear, version numbers do not indicate so much how much of Total Rendition in general is finished as much as its gameplay mechanics and features have been it in place; hence, the final version of Total Rendition will be 220.127.116.11, although the Steam Early Access version will start with 0.7.1.8 (which is done when it's done, although perhaps also due to arrive earlier than you might think!) and indeed, afterwards, Total Rendition is planned to be cut in around 3-to-5 episodes to be available on a seasons pass basis. These are then merged into one game with the final release of Total Rendition. With this in place, Total Rendition intends to avoid the Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco!
Version 0.2.1.0 will also pack a lot more meat in terms of UI, with the planned introductions of graphics options, keyboard rebindings and audio options, all of which are a must for the first early access release of Steam. So, consider the releases on itch.io thus far to be the earliest access release of Total Rendition! As I'm working towards 0.2.1.0 in terms of programming, I will be doing my utmost to obtain funding for Schizotypy Games so development will also be able to attract people who cannot be bothered taking extreme economic and legal risks as I do.
In broad lines, the plot of Total Rendition has already been written: For it to unfold in its true glory will take more abilities to compensate collaborators than our currently available resources allow us to do so. Most of Total Rendition's collaborators are currently "sleeping", waiting for the moment upon which this project will be funded, in order to be "reactivated".
Still, I have faith that, in spite of all the obstacles which I have had documented meticulously, from the yellow press to vexatious litigation to dodgy would-be collaborators, Total Rendition is eventually going to become the game that I intend it to be: The game you are looking forward to!