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A Journey

Monday, August 20, 2007 11:58am
jeff
Lead Developer
Creating Antilia has been a long, wandering journey. Antilia is a big undertaking. And I'll be honest here, there are plenty of problems Shane or I have run into that neither of us have dealt with before. It takes a lot of skilled and experienced people to build a game like this and get it right... and for amatures, our best hope is in being persistent.

For people just learning about Antilia, you may be surprised to discover the project has a rather long (and probably boring) history. Large, poorly managed development teams, outrageous design plans, publicly playable alpha tests (72% complete), and hundreds of thousands of lines of code have been written and re-written in connection to this project. In late 2005, the antilia-game.com website was reduced to a single image while we tried to solve our issues with complexity by creating a whole new rendering engine. A year later we had a fairly nice engine, but somehow writing 300,000 lines of new code to support and frequently compile didn't solve anything.

It is our belief however, that time spent learning is never time wasted, and in the case of our engine, we learned a lot. Of course we became better at programming, but we also learned project management, documentation, when you can avoid complexity, and when you just have to grin and bear it. Most importantly, we discovered that both Shane and I can be... brutally perfectionist (and with our 'powers' combined...). Too many times we have produced things that are dang cool... but somehow not quite good enough for public consumption in our heads.

In that regard, I realize that in our eagerness to produce the best possible product for our community we, in actuality, completely alienated ourselves from it. Ultimately, we produced nothing, because nobody ever saw it. Not the best way to prepare for what would become a community oriented game. That is something I regret.

Antilia is definitely not a short trip though, I never expected it to be. It is a full blown journey, with a lot of small goals and side tasks to complete in route. Up to this point, the journey has involved only a few people. With the lessons learned in the past year, however, Shane and I have both set out to personally connect with and involve those of you that are interested in Antilia. We are now lining ourselves up for another run developing Antilia, and this time, we hope to involve as many people as possible. Together, we have a much better chance reaching our destination.
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