Saturday, February 22, 2014 1:14pm
While we've discussed at some length our plans moving forward on Antilia in our weekly behind-the-scenes live stream (see the panel on the right-hand side of the homepage for details and the next air date), that news has been a little slow arriving here on our blog. For those that haven't been able to watch the show, here's a summary of where we are at and what we're planning next.
While we had hoped that our Kickstarter campaign would provide the funding we need to officially expand the team and focus on Antilia's development full-time, having fallen short of our goal we are continuing to work on Antilia and look for ways to speed-up development. We feel that our next best option is to find ways to work more efficiently and to be more responsive to volunteer offers coming from the community. Although our existing Antilia Editor has gotten the job done for our small development team, it was not designed with volunteer contributions in mind. Synchronizing work among the development team currently requires a lot of careful communication and using 3rd-party tools in ways which they were never designed for. With more than 3 people involved, it would be unmanageable chaos.
Several people have offered to lend a hand in Antilia's development, from improving the animations to going through the landscape and fixing simple things like floating trees - we just need to find a way to get the tools into their hands and keep everyone's work in sync effectively. This is where our new solution - which we are calling Toi Studio - comes in.
Our New Editor Suite - Toi Studio
Toi Studio is a resurrection of the engine's original editing suite, with a new tool system built from the ground-up for distributed, collaborative projects like Antilia. Every editor built for Toi Studio will not only make it easy for multiple users to work on a large project like Antilia - users can even work on the same resource together at the same time. From building landscapes in the world editor to improving meshes and animations - the new editor will bring our web-based team into a single virtual office. The tool system has also been designed with an auto-branching version control system built into its core. Volunteers will be able to create and submit improvements upon which the community can then vote on - all without affecting the official approved version of an asset in-game. This will prevent Antilia from losing focus or for resources inappropriate for the game's style to be introduced. Think of Toi Studio as a "wiki for game development" - one where you can watch as others edit pages, and there is a 'gatekeeper' that decides what goes onto the final page.
Development of Toi Studio is already well underway, and we demonstrated our first editor, a shared whiteboard, in our most recent live stream. The development team was able to simultaneously draw on a shared canvas, and the editor even included a real-time display of where remote developers were hoving their mouse over the canvas. With a few more improvements to the underlying architecture, I'll begin porting Antilia's existing editors: mesh, world, game object, particle, and tree to the Toi Studio platform. Beyond that, I'd like to add some additional editors: a gui theme editor, a window layout editor, a font editor (for Antilia's unique languages), a shader editor, and an NPC conversation editor to name a few.
In our recent Live Stream the Development Team tested out the new shared whiteboard in Toi Studio.
It will of course, take a bit of time to develop these new tools, and I really believe it is in the best interest of Antilia that we do so. As more tools come online, we'll continue to highlight them in our live stream, and in fact our live stream should become more interesting as the entire development team (and eventually members of the community) will be able to participate in crafting Antilia live.
Our Current Goals for Antilia
As for Antilia itself, my top priorities for the first half of 2014 are to:
- Create Toi Studio to speed up development
- Improve the game's performance
- Provide an official installer
- Build an improved combat system
We'll likely continue to stick to the Isle of Kasau for a bit longer, with testing becoming more frequent after Toi Studio is complete.
In the second half of 2014 we'll focus on making Antilia something that is enjoyable 24/7. I'd like to focus on player-owned-properties and the virtual game master. With improved combat and player-owned-properties - I think Antilia will finally begin to justify a server that is available 24/7.
There's a lot in store for Antilia this year, so stay tuned!
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