Total Decay has been in solo development since 16th July 2012, and it wasn't until 20th March 2013 that I actually had a few team members join the team. There were some bumps along the way, but things were generally looking good. Our Kickstarter launched in April 2013, but was an overwhelming failure (largely part to our trailer, which had to be made hastily in order to make the deadline), only reaching 10% of our total goal. This meant that we could not hire programmers to actually script the game, even though everything else was done (music, art, GUI, sound, models, etc). Eventually, we did meet two Vietnamese programmers who were gracious enough to work for free, however they are software programmers and unable to tackle the challenges of programming a game, since the differences are vast. Because of this, we missed our May Alpha, June Beta, and eventually 15th July 2013 final release. The game is now largely un-programmed, with only around 30% of the programming completed. Because of the slow progress, and likely low quality due to the programmer's lack of game development experience, Total Decay will likely be cancelled within the next week.
Apart from that, we have started early concepts for a new game, and we are planning on being a lot more organised this time around. Stay tuned for details.
To be honest I don't think you should give up just yet. Let me take some time to explain why.
You guys are indie developers, right? Being an indie developer means you have scarce time and human resources. That means you don't necessarily need such a strict schedule either. Quite frankly, having only one year to develop a game like yours that isn't a pixel style jump and run (which usually isn't too much work) is way, WAY too short.
I have been also developing my game for almost a year, and I am still not completely over the prototyping phase. I also started out with very basic programming knowledge in Java, however my skills grew as more and more challenges were to overcome, and as my skills slowly grew, the game did as well. This means alot of trial and error, which also happens to take ALOT of time - but this is a journey your game is going to survive only if you are PERSISTENT and persuaded that your game concept will be a success. It doesn't matter how much progress there is, just as long it's there should keep you going. (And I may give some general life advice here: don't focus on the obstacles too much - focus on your aims. Focusing on obstacles will only make them worse)
Or let's take another example: Markus Persson (aka Notch) started out as one-man army as well, later on managed to assemble a little team and eventually became VERY successful - Wanna know why? Because he just kept going and doing what he loved, despite of having no job and all other problems he had. Think about it.
What you could also do is, of course, to try your newly acquired skills in a new project. You could also come back to this game someday in the future and continue developing it, once you have gathered more experience with other projects.
The problem is that so many developers get hung over games that will never be made, and I would rather cancel the game now before it becomes an obsession. I thank you for your advice and input, but I don't want to spend 3 or 4 years obsessing over a game that might be a flop. I am in the process of upgrading the models for the game with normal and specular maps, which will make the graphics quality ten times better, and then file it away for when we have enough money to hire programmers. Finding programmers that are willing to work for free is, unfortunately, nearly impossible.
Apart from that, I am personally doing work for indie developers, mostly free, as well as creating free intros for YouTube channels, in an effort to build a portfolio so I can actually go to university and study Game Art.
There is always a risk of a game becoming a flop... that applies to all businesses and branches, actually. And not unless you are 100% determined and sure that the game you work on is going to be successful then your time and energy is spent better on other projects.
An obsession with making a game can be something very productive. If the concept seems fun and something others would enjoy, chances are good that the game is going to be more or less successful, making this obsession very handy. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, many projects will never be finished because of concepts that cannot be realized using the given resources, or by failing to keep up with work organization and planning, and so on. It's a tough job to keep up indeed, so joining an existing team is better (as you probably already figured out)
I wish you best of luck with creating your portfolio and applying for university, and I hope to maybe see some of your games on here in the future.
Ideas never die.Hope to see this game some day.