Yesterday Brett Seyler of GarageGames posted a blog announcing the release of version 1.0 of Torque 3D, which is a $1000 updated version of Torque, with new rendering, tools, art pipeline, COLLADA support, etc. It looks awesome, and I know their world-wide team worked incredibly hard on the product. I congratulate them on this release, and wish them great commercial success.
However, buried in a single sentence of the blog was the following statement:
“No matter what the results, there will be other changes to the Torque product line up as well. Biggest of all, as of November 1st, 2009, past versions of Torque (TGEA, TGE) will no longer be available for purchase.”
People thought we were crazy, but with the semi-serious motto of “world domination through collaboration“, we absolutely believed in our mission of standing up for Indie game developers. As an aside, people did not use the word Indie for independent game developers back then. Mostly, they were called Shareware developers because that was the business model they used to monetize their efforts. We identified “Indies” as a market, and went after something most people did not think existed. I would always say, “Do more kids want to be rock stars or game developers? I think game developers. This is a huge market. We just need to hang in there, keep making our stuff better and easier to use.” Hang in there we did, and our sales of TGE steadily rose. None of us made much money, but everybody that came to GarageGames came out of the community, and were willing to work for less than normal to further the vision. It was an incredibly challenging, fun, creative environment and mission.
One constant in this world is change. Game engines get old, companies sell, and people move around. There are hundreds of engines available for all sorts of platforms. Indie game makers are a huge news makers. And, after an incredibly long 10 year life span, TGE is going to the big bit bucket in the sky.
On a brighter note, on Twitter I speculated that it would be very cool if TGE was Open Sourced. Not five minutes after I tweeted, Brett Seyler responded with:
“relyes @jefftunn I think that’s a very likely outcome in 2010.”
That would be awesome! Let’s hope that a little bit of game development history gets to live on forever.