In October 2000 Free Radical (previously known as Rare) released the PlayStation 2 launch title “TimeSplitters.” It was the first installment of a series spanning five years ending with "Future Perfect." Plans to create a fourth game emerged in 2007 and after five years of development, it was abandoned in April 2012 with the downfall and bankruptcy of Free Radical being attributed to the poor reception of the game “Haze.” Now called “Crytek” the future of the somewhat elusive, highly transitional company is uncertain.

Cinder

Since then a small team of developers known as Cinder formed an agreement with them to produce a non-profit, non-commercial, fan-made game titled “TimeSplitters #Rewind” in hope of satisfying those disappointed by the untimely end of what promised to be the epitome of this beloved franchise.

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Working around the clock and completely unfunded the developers at Cinder relentlessly battled against impatience from the community. They worked hard and also battled with study schedules and against Crytek themselves. The latter was the result of denied access to the original assets being withheld by Crytek in fear of original data being leaked into “the wrong hands.”

Crytek's hazy history

Despite these trials and tribulations Cinder continued production with polished maps such as Compound and Hotel being play-tested by themselves and selected members of the community. The games main theme was even released and I was lucky enough to see and document the production of the theme for Compound during a planned series that was to publicize the development of the game.

Shortly after, the team began talks on the viability of completing the project with concerns for Crytek’s hazy history and uncertain future.

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More and more developers such as Robert's game "Star Citizen" are moving away from Cryengine due to the paucity of documentation on assets such as movement prediction, cheat prevention and lag compensation. The final nail in the coffin however was the terms of the agreement with Crytek. They had agreed to make a non-commercial game with an engine that lacks essential tools such as Blender that are imperative to the creation of the game; tools that were suggested they purchase from third party sources amounting to a five-figure annual sum.

Cancelled

This final nail was hammered by the ominous and ever impending wall of bankruptcy that Crytek seem to once again be heading towards; a wall that would not only destroy Crytek but also their engine and simultaneously all those who have dedicated their time to using it. Simply changing the engine they use to create the game was made impossible by Crytek’s refusal to allow access to their IP if they migrated to a superior one such as Unreal.

The question to continue development on Rewind was posed, splitting the team in two with those defending the project and those deciding against it.

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Both sides however were in the best interest of the fans; those opposed to the cancelation were rooted with anticipation and fandom for "Timesplitters," those for the idea were overwhelmed with concern regarding the looming threat of the game being #Cancelled anyway with the fall of Crytek. If this were to happen the team would not only have wasted large sums of money but also their time and the time of the ever-waiting community. The hashtag #RIPRewind has been coined to commemorate the attempt as a reminder to Crytek of the sum of people who have been anticipating what is now but another memory in gaming history.