Thanks for the support folks. It does cheer me up. And thanks to Shenzi for the offer, I very much hope you strike Oil, or something similar...perhaps you can work in a bank, I hear they give big bonuses?!!
I have another mate who's ex-OL, and is hoping to win big at the poker so he can invest too!
From memory, Ubisoft were the only ones interested in publishing The Ship 2, although I now suspect they didn't give a damn about the game, just sapping Outerlights ideas (& will to live!), or avoiding being sued for breach of copyright over Assassins Creed multiplayer. We did pitch to some other publishers but none went for it...publishers don't like taking risks now that games are so expensive to make.
To those that suggested we talk(ed) to Valve. Well, as it was suggested elsewhere, I have recently asked Valve to fund another game idea OL have (called The Undead Olympics), but they will probably not go for it (they traditionally don't fund other developers). I can't really blame Valve for not wanting to risk their money, but it would have been nice of them to go for it. I think their creative guys might have liked it, but I don't know if they even heard about the proposal. It was worth a shot anyway.
Regarding The Ship, Valve didn't fund that, OL raised private investment, and having failed to get any publishers interested, Valve offered a distribution deal through Steam, which allowed OL to use the investment money to make The Ship. It's one of those random twists of fate that at the time the exhange rates were terrible, so we didn't recoup as much as we should have from The Ship.
Honestly, I can't think of any publisher I'd like to work with, I have never heard of one that a developer likes. It's a bit grim, but that's the truth. I guess there must be a good publisher out there, I just haven't heard of them.
Regarding the contract with Ubisoft, it was awful to begin with, and then it just got worse & worse. The only way we could sue them would be if we had any money, and we don't. I think they are well aware of that fact. I may be wrong, but I think their contract is the typical type of publisher contract (i.e. developer pays the costs out of their smaller share).
Thanks again for the support, and I hope to get a chance to bring you all a new game at some point in the future.
I have started a facebook page to get fans of The Undead Olympics idea to sign up, it usually gets a positive response, and perhaps if we get enough fans a publisher or investor will be prepared to take the leap of faith required to make something which is not a sequel or a license. Sign up now if you like it!
Then again, I may have offended all publishers with this piece of whistleblowing!
I doubt it will be Ubisoft that publishes it, well, I know it won't, we pitched it to them and they said "hmm, we are Christians, we don't do Undead". So, they do have some morals, just none I agree with!