I was hoping to release this version to the public at large. It worked well and looked good on my computers. But to be on the safe side, I decided to release it to the community of players of the current game first. Just in case some minor issues needed tweaking before a public release.
Thanks to the diligent research of several Endless Forest players, a flood of bug reports rolled in, making it abundantly clear that this build, even for a beta release, is by no means ready for the public at large.
Many issues, sadly, seem to be related to performance. Apparently the 2005 engine of the old game runs better on many computers than that latest Unreal Engine 5. That’s a disappointment!
I know I’m getting older and might be slightly jaded after half a life time working with computers, but technology seems to evolve in a direction away from what we used to call the “personal computer”. Creative software seems to be geared more and more towards large commercial corporations and big budget projects. I like using Unreal Editor but, especially for an mmo-type game like The Endless Forest, it’s an unwieldy monster. To simply make a build of the game takes a week because of all the steps the process entails, and the massive amount of data generated. Even in the end, the compiled game which is exactly the same as the old one, is a ZIP file of 270 MB and requires a bunch of runtime prerequisites. While the old game is slightly over 50 MB. No need to say that this slows development iteration down. Especially in a one-man operation. I’m sure big companies have all this stuff streamlined and distributed over several departments. But for single creators making anything other than a drawing, a piece of music, a video or a 3D model, has become extremely challenging.
The Endless Forest, however, is beautiful. And I believe it deserves to exist. More and more so, even now. So I’m grateful for the effort that many players have put in. Pray for me that I can figure out how to fix all these issues.