So, after, like, 4 years since the game came out I was sitting on my PC, writing a new game in Game Maker 8. And then it came: "Hey! Let's recompile the code in Game Maker 8 (Metal Venture was created in Game Maker 7) and see what happens! Plus, I always wanted to fix this error or that, so let's upload a new version as well!"
Long story short, porting the game code to GM8 was a bitch. A fickle, booby-trapped, mind-boggling, keyboard-bashing, time dilation bitch. And that was the soft way to describe it.
It didn't take *that* much of a time. It was just that I encountered the most retarded and non-obvious incompatibilities and function rewrites.
And the result? Well, Gm8 is faster, although modern machines (modern=up to 5 years old) will notice no difference.
It's been 4 years since I released this game. Now that I look back (and I literally had to look back at that mess of a code I've written), I realize that I've learned much since.
But perhaps the most important thing that I've learned is how hard it is to create a self-sustained community around a game with level editing capabilities.
4 years, thousands of downloads all over the internets (I google the game from time to time to see where else it has been uploaded/reviewed and sum up download counts - it has to be well over 10, 000 from various web sites so far), but that was it. Only one custom map, and that doesn't even count, because it was made by a friend of mine.
I created a game forum where people would post their creations and rant about whatever they want, but, well, it died pretty quickly. Which also ties in with a general conclusion I've drawn about the decline in forum activity the past few years. Seems like NSA smokescreens like Facebook etc have drawn the life out of forums, but this is a discussion probably suited for another article...