OK, this is a loose end that should have been cleaned up a long time ago, so I'll just go ahead and regrettably announce that this project is canned. It has been unofficially for at least a year at this point. Really sorry, folks, but it is what it is! Nobody is more disappointed by this than me, though. I really, really wanted to see The Machine come to light, but I know for sure it won't - at least not on this engine.
This whole idea began as just a "let's take a break from EXU2 with a quick single-level thing that's totally different" concept between UArchitect and I one summer a couple years ago. It then ballooned almost out of control into something much, much more interesting and ambitious, and we started to make major progress quite quickly. But things stalled, and we resumed work on EXU2 until UA started having to focus more on real life concerns than game development. As of now, I haven't heard from him at all since early May this year, and before that, he'd been AWOL for about six months with only limited contact every few weeks at best. He hasn't been able to work on EXU2 since June 2011, and that's always been the primary project for us both. I had to make the very difficult decision a few months ago to restructure EXU2, and have been operating under the assumption he won't be back.
If he does return, he'll be welcomed with all the usual fanfare, but I can't just fly solo for a year and a half with next to no contact and still assume he's going to be back eventually. I've got places I've gotta be myself, and don't see myself still doing this kind of stuff for a really long time. So I'll be completing EXU2 myself and with the help of volunteers for specific tasks (more info about that when Open Beta launches, which I am very excited about), but The Machine is way too much for me to tackle myself, especially after EXU2.
However, the ideas in this project are well worth preserving, so I'm not gonna go into too much detail about what the game would have been like. But if my game development career actually goes anywhere, then who knows - maybe this project will be reborn as a brand new full game some time down the road if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
Anyway, sorry everyone; I know a lot of people were excited about this due to the cryptic nature of my postings (which I'm quite proud of; the promo material turned out so well!). The map I was working on never got too far, though, so not much will be wasted, and there's not even enough to show WIP shots of what I had. Plus, you know, I wanna keep some of the designs secret and all, so I won't be releasing any of the content we made that isn't already public, at least for now. Well, I can upload the font I made if anyone wants it!
Again, I really hate to do this, but I think it's better than just letting this thing stagnate forever and have everyone wonder what happened. I don't want to pretend it's going to get completed one day if, realistically, I know it won't. So I'm unloading what's left and will continue to focus solely on EXU2, which, on the positive side, is actually thriving more than ever these days.
Thanks for the support folks! I'm glad that at least the concept was so enthusiastically-received.