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Development: Cornerstones

Monday, January 21, 2008 12:16pm
jeff
Lead Developer
This week was a bit unusual in that I found a lot of time to work on Antilia. Snowy weather, increased motivation, and a few days of improved health are mostly to thank for this. While I managed to put some long hours into development, this was somewhat offset by the items I was working on - my time estimates for this week's items turned out to be a bit optimistic.

The most significant thing done this week was the integration of RBGui, which powers the user interface, into the engine. It is good to see the engine start doing stuff that is complex and interactive rather than just rendering test spheres.

Development Log - Iteration 1
This WeekCumulative
Actual Work Hours:2843
Work Item Hours:1232 of 51 (63%)
Work Items:460 of 65 (92%)


There are still several loose ends to tie up with the rendering core, but if I can keep moving at a reasonable pace, I should have the core graphics engine wrapped up by the end of the month.

Volunteers


There has recently been a bit of discussion recently on the Forums about how the community can help me in creating Antilia. I appreciate these offers, and I have thrown together a quick website for volunteers that would like to lend a hand building Antilia (I'd link to it, but it requires a login). There is still some work to be done finalizing the volunteer agreement, but if you're interested feel free to contact me. The forum thread has more information on what sort of agreement we are looking at, and what I can offer volunteers in return (of course, the point of volunteering is helping the project first of all!).

The Great Unknown


As Antilia is now a hobby project, one thing I'm redefining is when to make the switch from development to alpha, alpha to beta, and beta to public release. In Antilia's case, hard transitions and 'big bang' releases in the style of large companies don't make sense. With Antilia, everything should be done in small, careful steps.

All this raises the question: With the first versions, where should I begin? After thinking about it for a few minutes, the answer is obvious. Begin at the beginning. The early history of the Antilians, as they start out in the lore posts is a perfect place to start - the known world is small, technology is simple and minimal, and culture is still developing.

When you think about it, the prospects of starting there are rather profound. Not only could I give players the opportunity to participate in timeline-oriented quests that directly relate to the technological and social advances of the Antilians - but I could even go so far as to write specific players down into the history books of Antilia. Starting there is the difference between throwing players in front of a a static historical backdrop on top of which they grind - and actually giving the players a chance to experience and interact with a world that changes around them.
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