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    Time is a strange constant in the universe, our perception of time may causes it to slump past only to suddenly rush into the folds of history. But the better we equipped we are to understand time, to leaf through the pages of history and read its tales, the better we are equipped to understand ourselves and the multifaceted collage of which we are constructed. This message may read like the final page of a book, long in the process of writing, or it may simply be the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. In any case it is necessary to review the story thus far, for those who may have missed parts of the saga. Ten years ago, with the Creative Assembly in the process of creating Rome: Total War, a small band of gamers, concerned with the level of historical accuracy which was being portrayed in Rome, put together a body of data which they presented to the Creative Assembly. They hoped that by giving this research to the Creative Assembly it might soften some of the more glaring historical inaccuracies which were then being added to Rome: Total War. Nevertheless, the Creative Assembly politely turned down the offer of this information. Rather than abandon their efforts to advise on the historical accuracy of Rome Total War the original team set about creating a little known modification which they hoped would provide Total War fans with the most historically accurate representation of the years 272BC-AD14 possible. They called it Europa Barbarorum.

    Since the initial release of Europa Barbarorum in 2005, numerous editions have been released, accruing popular support and critical acclaim along the way. Having exhausted the technical capabilities of Rome: Total War, the Europa Barbarorum team set about modifying Rome’s sequel, Medieval II: Total War. What followed was seven arduous years of development, which profound changes to the composition of the Europa Barbarorum team as real life took its toll and unexpected problems arose. On at least one occasion Europa Barbarorum II nearly died, and indeed several forum frequenters appeared more than happy to announce the premature death of Europa Barbarorum II. Nevertheless, like a phalanx in the fray, fans stepped forward to fill the gaps which were left by team members who couldn’t carry on. Some of the new team members proved to be exceptional, driving forward Europa Barbarorum II like never before. Old members likewise returned, bringing with them much needed experience, skills and vision. In the face of technical problems, issues of staffing and opposition from those who seemed to take some delight in dismissing the Europa Barbarorum team, on 25th August 2014 an initial version of Europa Barbarorum II was released.

    Complaints were raised by a few, those who declaimed Europa Barbarorum II for being incomplete, or questioning why content was missing following such a protracted gestation. But such snipes were drowned beneath the majority who exclaimed their appreciation for Europa Barbarorum II and offered their understanding concerning missing content. For those of us among the team the final release it a day of pride, fulfilment and, in the case of at least one Celtic specialist, enough beer to kill what few brain cells may already have been present.

    Our hope was that the release would generate the sort of recruitment of team members needed in order to transform this initial release into the sort of game which we think, if not know, Europa Barbarorum II is capable of being. Unfortunately this has not been the case. Despite an initial influx of recruits, all but a few have vanished after a short period of time. We are thankful to those who have remained, but it is a tiny number compared to what we had hoped. In addition to this, real life circumstances, ranging from new jobs, new children or a need to return to work, have meant that some of our best team members have been called away by more pressing issues. To make matters worse the recent lack of progress has caused the enthusiasm of other members to give way, resulting in some leaving the team, although we live in hope that they will return one day. Our numbers are dwindling. There are a few of us who will continue until the bitter end, until such point when there is no reason to carry on, but we don’t want to shrink into a team which takes years to release minor updates.

    For those of us who remain we have only one thing to say: We don’t wish to see this be the end of Europa Barbarorum. There is still so much potential to be had from the Medieval II engine. From scripted events, to new reforms, the addition of new factions there is a depth of detail to be added to the campaign. For battles we have room for almost another 300 units, ranging from Spartan hoplites, to Hellenic cataphracts, to the famed cavalry of the hardy Cantabrians and distant Yeuzhi, not forgetting regional Italian troops such as the ferocious Lugurians or warriors of Cisalpine Gaul. Already so much has been achieved. Our 3D and 2D modellers have created a game which, graphically, has taken the Medieval II engine to its limits. Our historians have inoculated historical data into Europa Barbarorum II to the point that, in many respects, the original Europa Barbarorum is now historically inaccurate by comparison. From Gallic mercenaries serving the great Hellenistic kings of the east, to the flux and collapse of the Mauryan Empire and Arche Seleukia, to the great migrations and conquests of the steppe peoples and of course the mortal struggle between Carthage and Rome, we think this is one of the most fascinating periods in human history. We want to present the fans of Europa Barbarorum with the most immersive, historically accurate and enjoyable game possible, and we are a long way from doing this.

    We thank each and every one of you who has supported us. From those who have provided faction descriptions, to those who follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or share your thoughts on the fan forums, thank you, you are the people who make our work worthwhile. However, we cannot survive on goodwill alone. We have said it before, many times, but in this instance we are more desperate than ever. We need volunteers. We need volunteers who can design and skin units. We need volunteers who can script and program. We need volunteers who can draw 2D artwork or upload files to an SVN server. In an ideal world we would happily train any willing person; however our numbers are such now that we cannot afford to do this.

    We will keep going, we will keep working towards the next release of Europa Barbarorum II, but without skilled volunteers who share our passion we can only do so much, and right now that is very little.

    Please help and we hope you have a Happy Christmas.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: THE EUROPA BARBARORUM II CHRISTMAS APPEAL started by Brennus View original post
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