One of my minor criticisms of "Dark Hope" is that it didn't feel very accessible to a new viewer. It took me a little bit to figure out exactly what was going on and who these people were, what their relationships were to each other. I think maybe that had something to do with the structure of the film more so than the story itself, but whether you decide to do another Encarta sequel or something completely fresh it would be neat to have some time dedicated to easing the viewer into the world you're creating.
That was one of my own gripes with the film. I knew it would be difficult for a new audience to come strolling into E4, which is why we spent so much of the movie in flashback sequences. Personally, I hate flashbacks. It was really hard for me to include them in the movie, to me, as a film-maker I believe it only cheapens the story. I was convinced by my co-writer at the time that it was absolutely necessary, especially because our intent was to have such a massive change for the Encarta series, both in technology (sets, effects, etc) and in the sense of the film's overall pace and scale. EIII, to E4 was really like flipping a light switch in terms of how much has changed both behind the scenes and what played out on camera. E4 was also the hardest film for us as a group, the bts staff actually did commit mutiny during the production and shut it down. We've got a behind the scenes documentary of the film up on YouTube that explains all the crazy shenanigans that occurred. The events that unfolded behind the scenes really left a bad taste in my mouth.