Developers leave FusionFall Universe Project: An interview with Brendan Przywara

BY John Carter JR

Major developers from the FusionFall Universe team recently announced they would be leaving the project. Developers Devan, Dogan, and Womayhem all decided they would be leaving. 

“Moving forward, active development of content updates for FusionFall Retro will be suspended indefinitely as a result of key members of the team no longer being able to provide the necessary resources,”  Devans said. “While we will no longer be updating the game with new content, we will do everything in our power to ensure that the FusionFall Retro servers stay online for as long as possible.” 

Fans across the FusionFall Forums community had various reactions to the news, with many not knowing the status of the project and whether or not it would continue. In a recent interview with developer Brendan Przywara, known as Przzyfied by the community, we get a clearer view of the situation. 

John Carter JR (JCJ)- What are your fondest memories of the developers who are leaving and how do you feel concerning their departure?

Brendan Przywara (BP)- My fondest memory is definitely meeting them for the first time. Back in 2015 I was just a kid making YouTube videos for fun, and Devan and Dogon (and the rest of the team) reached out to me and eventually I was added to the team myself. I will never forget that, I made so many lifelong friends because of these guys. While it is really sad that they are leaving, coming from the perspective of a very close friend, this is the best thing for them. They’ve had a lot of struggles in their real lives that many wouldn’t assume based on face value, and being under constant scrutiny and judgment for over five years isn’t good for anyone’s mental health. I’m incredibly proud of the decision and I completely support and understand it, because I want my friends to be happy at the end of the day. We all remain great friends and I can’t wait to meet them in person one day 🙂  

JCJ- How will you and the team plan to move forward after the departure of major leaders in the community?

BP- Well, as the announcement said, Retro update development is at a standstill. Devan was the one who knew how to add custom assets to the game — which is way, way, way, WAY more complicated than you would assume. It’s not at all like editing a game made in Unity nowadays — so it will take a pretty good amount of time for some of us other developers to learn all of the specifics before we can offer updates again. That said, Retro updates are not dead, they are just delayed for an unknown amount of time. I personally do have a lot of interest in learning how to update the game, so don’t count it out, we just ask to please give us time to figure everything out. 

As for what you guys know as FusionFall Legacy, a lot of development is underway. I just took a look at the game a few days ago, and the amount of progress the gameplay has gone through is incredible. The three [developers] stepping away were a lot less involved in Legacy compared to myself, Zenpock, Funske, and some others, so this honestly gave us even more motivation to continue working and give you guys something to hopefully get people excited again. We are also looking at hiring some new faces, so expect some developer applications to open up soon.

JCJ- Will the remaining, and potentially growing, development team still have access to models and assets previously shown off (Otto and Buck Tuddrussell from Time Squad, Jackie Khones and Boomer models, etc.)?

BP- Yes, we still have access to all the assets that were made, and Devan/Dogon have expressed interest in mentoring/teaching the rest of us their skills without having a main role in the game’s development.

JCJ- As fans and community members are concerned with Devan’s indefinite suspension of updates comment, many have taken this as a “never again” or “it’s over”, what do you have to say about this?

BP- The game is not dead. We always considered these updates and new content we were making for Retro “bonuses”. When we launched the game, we literally had no plans to update the game at all because we thought it was impossible. Our original goal was, and always will be, to preserve FusionFall so people can experience it again, or for the first time. Because of this, we have absolutely no plans to shut down the game unless it’s completely out of our hands.

JCJ- Is there any way fans and community members can be more involved?

BP- There are many ways fans can get involved. Spreading the word about the game, creating content like videos/streams/art, making communities through Discord, being helpful and welcoming to new community members, brushing up on their game development skills and applying for the team, and the list goes on. There are definitely a lot of people out there who would *love* this game if they knew about it, we just all have to do our best to reach them.

JCJ- Long-running fans may be more familiar with the developers working on the FusionFall projects, for those who are newer to the community losing Dogan and Devan may feel like losing everyone. While that isn’t true, how do you and your fellow developers try to become more known to your community? Or Who are the developers and how do community members become familiar?

BP- While this will most likely happen closer to the announcement of what we’re working on, we do plan on showing off exactly who is working on the projects, because we do have a lot of developers that I think the general public doesn’t necessarily know about. But just as a quick answer to this question, Funske has been a superstar programmer since the original team (before I was even hired), Virt and his art team (Bamboo, Kem, Grumpy and Vee) are still drawing incredible concepts and art, Zenpock is slowly turning into Devan 2.0, and I have been working with Dogon for so long I definitely feel comfortable taking over where he left off. And that’s not even the entire team.

JCJ- Are you hopeful for the coming future of the FusionFall Universe Community and Games?

BP- I am extremely hopeful. Having seen what I’ve seen, I’m confident in my team, my friends, and the community to keep FusionFall going strong as long as possible. We do have a lot of really cool work to show off, it just needs more time to get to a level of quality that you all deserve from us. I will always be on team FusionFall 🙂

Thank you so much to Brendan Przywara for the interview, you can find his social media links and below.

You can play FusionFall Retro here.

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