This project has always come along in stops and starts. Major problems have been migration from reliance on the original XCom
Migration from this reliance has been the highest priority for me since the very beginning (and not everyone liked this idea). Can't say that it was a major problem though, but it definitely took some time.
- which is now available almost exclusively through steam (and has, as such, been taken down from various hosting sites)
And this is a nice thing. Having a possibility to obtain a legal copy of the original XCom game surely helps.
- we've always been working on a mix of the archaic mid-90s code of the original game
We have never seen the source code of the original game. By the way, there was a discussion regarding the xcom from steam and the current xcom owners do not have the sources too. If i remember correctly, somebody told kind of detective story that the only copy of the sources was on someone's laptop and it got lost or stolen.
The thing that we used was a text description of xcom data file formats, reverse engineered by somebody (probably by the developer of xcomutil, but don't remember now).
and the current mid-late 00s code of the product.
ufo2000 project has been registered on sourceforge.net in the beginning 2001. Actually it was not the beginning of the development and more like the end of it
The original author stopped working on it and released the sources of the game under GPL license. Previously it was a freeware game with closed sources.
Plus the coders are very fluid - I'm not even sure the original UFO2k programmers are still about.
I started hacking ufo2000 in mid-2002 and I'm still around in the forum
Though I stopped active development in mid-2006. Also between 2002 and 2006 there was also a period of about 1.5 year when I was away from the project.
Plus there's always the open-source problem, as developers come and go as they please. The codebase is hugely complicated as it's been in development for roughly a decade.
Codebase complexity is not directly related to the time it was being in development.
However, somewhat amazingly, it's kept going, on and off, for this long. So I don't think it'll die out just yet. Just have patience.
With the sources available, it just waits for someone capable and enthusiastic to take over the development