So, I think it's pretty clear that we won't be getting a KOTOR 3 anytime soon. Given that it has been ten years since its last installment, I personally would be extremely surprised if it ever happens.
That bitter pill out of the way, with a fan base so large and present on the web, why is it not reasonable to think KOTOR 3 could be a fan made project? Before the devil's advocate and his nay saying buddied pick me to pieces; I think with good management, a clear vision, and s##t ton of work, it would be very doable. I'm not just talking, I would put in the work and be willing to take the lead on many aspects of the project. LET'S DO IT!
I welcome any and all constructive feedback. Thanks for looking.
The fan-base may be large, but the modding community is not. Even the community of those who use mods (besides TSLRCM) is pretty small. Those of us who are left modding these games are, by and large, focussed on our own projects, which we're releasing to our own schedules, because real life takes priority.
This reply will probably be a little curt. I'm sorry about that, but we've been getting blasé, yes-we-can posts of this sort since... probably about the middle of 2004, at a guess. And I do see an implicit rebuke to the modding community in this that we're somehow not pulling our weight, and that you know better than we do. Again, we've had quite a few of these posts in the past. We've even had a fair number of K3 projects - there seemed to be about one a month in 2007-8. Suffice to say that almost all of them petered out within a matter of about two months, at most.
You say you're willing to put in the work; again, sorry to be that guy, but we've heard this before. Are you really willing to be the one who's up at 3:30am on a week night, looking for the reason a script function isn't firing? Or moving placeables two inches to the left, and recompiling the module agan to realise they're still out of place? Are you willing to be doing that two years in, and then messaging the rest of your team, most of whom are asleep, or at work? Are you willing to still be doing this a year and a half into the project and still be implementing the prologue, having lost half your team to boredom? Are you willing to put in 98% of the effort on a plot you may not like or agree with? Are you willing, in short, to face a long, uphill, depressing struggle, for which the actual, appreciable gain at the end of it, is five minutes of mediocre entertainment? Because if you have any doubt about that, I wouldn't even start.
Whether you use KotOR/KotOR II as a base or not, it will take you a good while to even master the basics of doing this; I'd guess that really getting to grips with KotOR modding takes somewhere in the region of a year for most people. I wouldn't hazard a guess for how long it would take using a fresh engine and code-base. If you do it by modding KotOR, you have effectively no ability to affect gameplay features and no proper dev-kit, and a tiny pool of people who would be capable of helping you. If you do it with a fresh engine, you have no base collection of professionally-made resources to draw on, and you have to completely (re)construct features like the combat engine from scratch.
This is before we get onto the business of plot, dialogue, and so on. Suffice to say most mods do not come close in this area to even the cheesiest of major titles. In many ways this would be the toughest part of all, since it is based in the least well understood and most variable criteria.
If you want to have a go at modding, you're welcome to, and it's always good to see new faces. But trying to jump in with a total conversion immediately isn't going to do you much good - without experience, you're going to find the struggle that much harder, and no-one is going to believe you can pull it off.
That's not to say it's impossible, but the probability of it happening is very, very low. We've seen innumerable sweepingly ambitious, top-down-planned projects come and go. To date, maybe four have actually been completed. And some of those were after a fair number of false starts. Sorry, but caution would be the pragmatic response were this the first time this idea was being suggested. At this point, pessimism about the idea is the most sensible recourse.