I'm starting to get a little worried.
Like a number of people here, I have been a gamer since before there was internet, which, I believe, has an effect on my gaming consumption today.
Today, I feel at home with independent productions, not only because I enjoy a niche product, but I like sitting in the niche; I do not feel at home on Blizzard.com forums, while I feel much more comfortable on smaller "niche" forums such as these. You may know what I mean. Part of what I am trying to say is that the "culture" of gaming and gaming purchasing includes factors surrounding more than the product itself, and hence that the "communication culture" surrounding a product may have a non-trivial effect on the type and quantity of those products I am willing to purchase.
One aspect of this "communication culture" includes some form of interaction with some or all of those directly responsible for producing the product itself. In the case of games I truly love, and -- not uncoincidentally -- the online cultures those games have produced, that is usually in the form of regular postings on boards such as these, usually by one or two people of the development team. In the case of some of my favorites (e.g. Dominions and COE: Illwinter games), that is 2 people at the most; or in the case of DW, it is one person: Code Force might as well consist in Elliot alone.
For whatever reasons -- and "normally", I would assume that these reasons would be somehow communicated to the "community", if this were a "normal situation -- Elliot has made only 2 posts so far in 2012, both on the 12th of March. In other words, he all but stopped interacting with the community around the release of DW-L 1.7.06 (coincidentally the time I joined this community). This is not to say he has stopped working on DW, believing in DW, loving DW, etc. -- obviously this is not the case, as we have seen numerous Beta updates, and have received news (through a third party) of an upcoming expansion in the works.
But I am worried, because my feeling of culture and communication is off cue. On the one hand, this is reflected in my desire to have what appears to me to be only very few, but somewhat crucial, changes implemented in the current build to make DW-L very enjoyable. My desire is partly unreflected egoistic consumerism, and partly based on the (unjust? ill-informed? utopian?) belief that it is precisely a game such as DW and its surrounding "culture" which gets reasonable updates, in close-knit interaction with the developer, according to reasonable claims / bug reports / support requests expressed in the community. On the other hand, this is also reflected in my desire to witness some form of interaction with the developer, as I attempted to explain above. In other words: On the other hand, I'm starting to feel like I'm a bit out alone on the heath. Not entirely alone, of course, since I feel well enough with you, my fellow game-players, a very very few vitriolic exceptions notwithstanding. But I miss the shepard feeling I have come to associate with purchasing a niche product: being a member of a community which thrives and whose product thrives on the interaction with the developer.
Has something happened? And if so, what? I suppose all I want to say is: Speak with me. I miss you. I am feeling, surely wrongly, as if I am in an entirely different boat than the one I had imagined myself to be. But I need you to tell me that. I am only partly interested in obtaining my egoistic consumer-based product-oriented materialistic wishes; I am mostly interested in having the illusion that my words are being considered. It is, as we Germans say, our "word in God's ear" that makes many of us consistent believers in independent games. Please help me in my illusion. Elliot, I miss you, I hope you are well, please do be in touch soon.