I'm pretty sad to see the game go belly up. Yet, I'm very happy that the source is available for all now. I hope Tales of Games knows what this game meant to their fanbase. The original was such a huge source of inspiration for me, along with Funky Chicken by Steelwav (which I can't find anywhere anymore, not even internet archive!)
I'll elaborate a little, since I've said lots about this game elsewhere, but here is where I imagine I'll most likely have my thoughts on the game noticed by the original creators, if I'm lucky.
Barkley taught me all kinds of things, growing up as a young game dev. It held a Joie De Vivre for Game Design that's sorely lacking in the current vidcon universe. With a distinctive style of humour and script that was difficult if not impossible to replicate. The in-jokes were thick and layered with polish and perfection. It had built it's own canon of lingo and terminology. It also made me laugh. Very hard and very often. And for a cold, heartless bastard like myself, that's such a rarity to find. It's a shining gem in the trash heap of shovelware that comes out on a (literal) daily basis.
It taught me that games are meant to be enjoyed. With Barkley RPG, I never wanted to skip dialogue. I wanted to relish every bite of text. It taught me to think outside the box. Status ailments named after real life diseases, currency named Neo Shekels! Lol! Gods. Did I love this game. I loved Barkley like a cherished friend. It brought me light in the darkness. It brought me cheer in depression. If I could just play 9 more games like this for the rest of the year, I wouldn't be so depressed.
Furthermore, Cyberpunk was such a fresh, trending subject back then. Similiar to Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Tales of Games took Cyberpunk and made a loving parody of it that also stood on it's own as a serious piece of work. I'll never forget the dating simulator in the first game between Cyberdwarf and Juanita the big black woman who looked like her portrait was taken straight out of google search. It's combination of taking itself jokingly, while simultaneously taking itself deadpan seriously, might never be seen again in vidcons in my lifetime. I pray for the return of the team. I pray this is not the last we've heard of them as I feel they had so much to offer the world with their videogames.
I've taken a copy of the source code and I'll protect it with my life. I feel that, given the blessings of the original team, with a copy of the games script, others can pick up the mantle and finish the game one day, as a labour of love. But I'm not sure how the original developers feel about such a thing. And I wish to respect their wishes as well.
For years now Barkley RPG has been among the top shelf of videogames I'll recommend to everyone and anyone. I seriously can't recommend it highly enough.
I'll be honest when I say I don't even know how to proceed from here on in my life without it. It was one of the big things I wanted to hold on through infinite pain and misery in my life for. The source code is, as others have put it, worth a lot of money. It is an invaluable chest full of treasure and jewels. To have it for free relieves much uncertainty and despair. Still, though, I'll never give up hope on one day seeing the finished product, to see what could have been and to read more of the extremely unique storyline of the Barkley RPG series.
Long live Tales of games. Long live Barkley RPG.
Words fail me now. I only hope I've communicated clearly enough what this game meant to me. And to many others. Thank you so much for all the time, energy and effort that was put into this dream project. It will never be a failure in my eyes. I will always be impressed by this. I will always love this dearly in my heart. Thank you again. Now, all that's left is to figure out where we go from here in life?
I'm developing my own cyberpunk game as well, I should mention. If it should ever see the light of day... I want the creators of Barkley RPG to know what a huge influence their game had on me. It inspired the entire direction of my life. But I ramble. Godspeed, fellas.