John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Farewell, Code Monkey

Code Monkey Publishing appears to be, for all intents and purposes, dead. Their E-Tools followup product, RPG Foundry, was hit by a bug that forced them to scrap something like 80% of the existing code -- and WotC's yanking of their E-Tools license took away their main source of income.

On March 5, the remaining CMP stalwarts (i.e., the two guys who started the whole thing), posted this:

This has been a difficult posting to write. There's so much details on things we could give, but in the end, a lot of things just come out sounding like excuses and 'woe be unto us' lines... So, to keep it to a minimum (as it's still going to sound that way no matter what), here's the bare facts;

CMP IS hurting right now, it is on life support.

CMP is NOT folding up, closing shop, going away or dying off a slow and agonizing death.

RPGF is NOT going to be released 1st quarter this year or 2nd quarter either (without a serous miracle).

So here's slightly more details;

CMP hurting: WotC deciding not to renew our license, for whatever their reasons, has put a serious serious hurting on things here. Most of you know from your own purchases that WotC products were most of our sales, and without them, a lot of earnings for paying people and paying for things went right out the window.

CMP used to have 7 employees and anywhere from 3-20 cntractors (data monkeys mostly) at any given moment, now there's just Merton Monk and myself.

CMP NOT closing shop: This was considered, very briefly. Had to be, it was a legitimate business option. And we probably should, if you were to go strictly from a business perspective, not looking at the desire of Merton and Myself or at the customer aspect.

For good or bad, Merton and I are in this for the long haul, and we plan on 'for the good'.

RPGF not being released yet: 2 issues here; money revenue drying up (see above) and critical design flaw discovered in testing mechanics.

Without money, can't pay people to code or do data, pretty simple there.

Critical design flaw came up when testing some things, 80% of the code we have needed to be scrapped. Problem is resolved, but that much coding going away is problematic to say the least.

The design flaw is fixed from a 'on paper' standpoint and there's very specific tests that can be performed very early on in coding to make sure theory matches reality.

With Merton and I the only ones coding (mostly Merton), this is going to take longer than we want(ed) to get RPGF out the door, but in the end is going to make it far more stable/versatile/user friendly.

We realize that's not what people want(ed) to hear, but we've never stinted on giving you all the facts (when we've been able to or it's been appropriate), so there it is.

No we are not going to give a hard 'drop dead' date for RPGF release, but we do expect, even with only Merton and I working on things to be a year or less (depends on a couple of factors coding wise).

We are not dropping crossplatform support or multi-game system support - The revamped design will actually make both far easier to implement (pending the early testing of course). If in the early testing either prove to be too problematic, then we will drop either/both if need be in the initial release aiming for windows & OGL (3.0, 3.5, modern) at the initial release, then following up with mac/linux & other game systems to follow as quickly as possible.

RPGF has all of our focus, see 'Other Projects' section below.

We understand that this isn't going to sit well with many, if anyone, but all we can do is apologize for yet again another delay.

Anyone wishing a refund on their pre-order of RPGF will be granted it.

Other projects
e-Tools - There is no further development in any capacity on e-Tools, code or data.

Help Files - These have been WAY sidelined with everything else, as I get time, I will work on these, but no promises or guarantee's on timeline.

PCGen - Barak has agreed to do bug fixes for us as he has time. I will work on data files as I have time. There are a mess of bug fixes already in our repository, and I will get a release together for later this month (after I talk to Barak some more).

It is highly doubtful, to almost outright 'not gonna happen' that our data sets will advance to the next stable production version of PCGen when it's released if there are any serious changes to the data structure of the program itself.

New data sets may come out as I have time to work on them, but my first priority when I have time to work on PCGen data sets will be to complete standardization.

IA's - For now, dead. We'll revisit these way down the road.

Fantasy Grounds - For now, dead. We'll revisit these way down the road.

Writing - For now, dead. We'll revisit these way down the road.

GenCon - Most likely not going to happen.

Website - Maintenance will be done once a month (cleaning up the forums), FU's will mostly consist of "Not Much", "Some", "Got a Lot"... and pointing to a 'developers journal' type postings by Merton and/or myself... which we'll start doing on a regular basis (might be once a week, every 2 weeks or once a month - depends on how much there is to relate)... what info would be in each 'dev journ' hard to say at this point.

I'll be handling all the customer service emails, web questions, and the like with Lone Jedi leaving us.

I'll be wandering about the forums, but probably won't post too much, like I've said, Merton and My focus is on RPGF, so every bit of energy we have will be directed at that.

So I'll apologize for both of us now for that, apologize for the constant delays in RPGF, and apologize for everything else.

W. Robert Reed - Mynex
Bryan McRoberts - Merton Monk

Since then, however, their site was hit by a worm and apparently wiped out. All that's up there now is a note expressing how frustrated they are. My personal read on this is that Code Monkey is probably gone for good at this stage.

So, thanks for all the hard work, Code Monkey, and best of luck in your future endeavors to everyone involved. I don't regret a single penny I sent you guys. :)

-The Gneech
Tags: dungeons & dragons, gaming
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