Thanks for sharing your thoughts but I think that I will disappoint you a little bit with my answer. But well ....
Xesf: I see your project as a living Sandbox and a place you can try and learn new things.
I won't deny Sandbox part was always important for me. This is my playground where I do stuff however I want. They are not always working, sometimes I do mistake but hey I still learning and funniest part is that with all this years it becoming more and more entertaining for me do it :D
Xesf: I believe after this 9 years, LBA is not the real driver anymore or if you will ever to release a LBA game on it. Don't get me wrong, I love what you've been doing.
Instead, I see that the driver is the constant learning experience, the understanding that things need to evolve and learn with your own mistakes.
A lot of things happened in this past 9 years.
Whole project sprout from this idea of making engine. But because I wanted to have something to test it with I decided to recreate Little Big Adventure in full 3D. There was no epic goal there: take a original story and replace the graphics with 3D models.
In the end this was great learning experience I needed to learn how to make animations how to do models and how to make all of that work inside one game. There was also whole tooling which was pretty new experience for me.
This was going nice but I knew that I can do better. Tech matured and I could do a lot more, and I wanted to do more. So without to much thinking I thrown away old graphics and recreated it with new. This was around the time of "L.B.A. Remake: Preview 9" video.
I think that around this time I was already switching to Deffered Rendering. This was really big thing for me at that time. It allow me to do more visually appealing stuff and there was so much more modern rendering techniques that I could use. So I spend time learn them.
So you are right. This was a lot about the tech but ... (Apparently this small word "but" negating all the stuff I told before it :D)
At that point of time a lot changed: Unity and Unreal became publicly available for indie. This mean that I could easily throw away my code and use one of them for development. This was tempting option but because I was already working in the game industry at that point I knew that my own code allow me do grow even faster as developer. So I decided to still use Custom Tech. Believe me that this was not easy decision. It is really hard to return home after 8 hours of coding and still do some stuff on your own.
I like to describe code base I work on as : My Little Monster. It is far from size of professional engines code bases but in the same time it enormous amount of code for lonely developer (as in 3/23/2019: 1773 files with 302 344 lines of code without comments ). This was great experience for me to learn how to work with large amount of code and not be lost in all of it.
Time flays by and we getting to the time before "L.B.A. Remake: Preview 14" video. I finally had then occasion to play Uncharted series (1,2,3) and some reflection came to my mind. That even the fist game in the series looked a lot better than what I was creating for L.B.A. Remake. This bothered me a lot so I decided to restart project to do some more epic environment for the game :D
This was great experience for me regards level design. It was first time where I allow myself to stray from original game and have more freedom with locations. I see this as first step into what happened next ...
... reflection: I'm tired. I worked on this whole damn thing for 8 years and I still have nothing. This was rather depressing thought but it was real. In the end I felt that it would be stupid to gave up on the project after so long time so I decided to do one more push ... with a twist.
The twist is that I removed all the artificial limitation I put around myself over this whole years. This may sound like a lie but I always tried to be really close to original game in terms of look, feel and story. This time was end and I decided to go wild :]
This is what happens right now I play around with tech and play around with the game I also play around with the story. All of this resulted that in the last year I had a lot more fun from working on the remake then I had ever before I feel that finally it becoming what I want it to be believe me this is great feeling.
Truth is that I don't know if this will be what you guys want it to be but hey this is not my problem in the end. I believe that even if you will be skeptic at the beginning when you finally play it and see what I done with it you will love it too. It won't be L.B.A. that you know but my variation of L.B.A. that I want you to meet. With this thoughts I continue developing of the tech and the game because they are not separate for me they are just pieces of the same puzzle I working on.
Xesf: The truth is that you are building an amazing piece of tech that could take off like Unity did and you should seriously think about it.
I don't plan to do it :] I'm part of the Unity Technologies (I work with them for more than 2 years right now) and I'm really grateful that they allow me to do my own stuff in free time. For me this is my tech, I want to have freedom with changing it however I want so I could use it to create my own games.
In the end you may not believe me but for me Little Big Adventure Remake is as important as tech I working on. In the end my only concern right now is not if I can finish this remake but thought that Frédérick Raynal may one day decide to put hold to my effort in recreating the masterpiece his team created.