Well, what can you say? The once great modeler trueSpace has been killed. Some may remember it as being acquired by Microsoft, and then in what seemed to be too good to be true, was offered as a freeware not long ago. Not entirely unexpected I must say. There was nothing much being done so to say, but TS did have a sizable community who is now understandably disappointed. My first experience with TS was a long time ago, when I was taking baby steps towards learning 3D and 3D modeling. I confess I am not a 3D artist, but I work with 3D tool-chains a lot and I had to switched over to Blender rather quickly since TS back then wasn’t free. When the application was released as a freeware, I did try my hand at some of the tutorials that accompanied the installation and was pretty successful at doing things, mostly because my experience with Blender could be carried over to trueSpace in some way. True it’s interface is a bit wired, but that’s something that could have been worked on. It may not have had all the bells and whistles of the truly top modelers, but it wasn’t all that bad. It’s unfortunate that it got terminated the way it did.
There is something to think about here. Had trueSpace been open source, it would have been forked and the project would have continued to live via enthusiasts and developers, maybe even via contributions from existing developers. The unfortunate thing is — it isn’t and therefore it’s fate is sealed. It’s really sad to see such a product go down and the anguish of the community members that have helped the product grow, is justifiable. Believe me, it’s not easy to see software that you have worked with for years go down like that. 3D software, especially 3D modelers take a considerable amount of time to learn, and it takes even more time to become truly productive with them. My guess it there are going to be a lot of 3D artists that would really pissed off right now.
Now that I think back, it’s a good thing we decided to use Blender as our primary content creation tool. Not that we were going to use TS in the first place. However, had we used some closed source software like TS, we would have burned down with it if it would ever had gone TS’ way. Most of the content pipelines would have been lost, a lot of code would have to be re-engineered for another application. This has been precisely my argument from the very beginning. However popular an application may be, it could very well end up being put down to protect corporate bottom-lines of large corporations. With closed source applications, one can never discount such occurrences.
Then again, could we see a resurrection of TS in some way? I sure hope so. Maybe there will be a release of it in a new incarnation — a integrated game creation tool for XBox/PC? — OR — Are we going to see a new tool to rival Sketchup from existing codebase? Maybe there will be a community buyout? Or is Microsoft going to release TS as OSS? That would be interesting indeed! No, I am not keeping my fingers crossed.