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A New Approach in August, A New World in September

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:35am
Lead Developer
I'll be honest - I am so excited about what I have to announce for September that I really want to skip ahead and write about that. In addition to making some improvements to the editor as I mentioned at the end of last month, August involved a fairly significant change to the dev team that I should mention first.

Still, if you jump ahead to the end anyway... I won't judge you.

Changes to Development Team

For the past few years, there hasn't been much need for real task management among the development team and volunteers. Beyond design discussions and concept art, more-less everything was waiting on the development of the game editors. As the editors have matured and as alpha testing draws near, the management needs of the project are changing. There are several things that have been waiting while the editors were in development - and as they become fully functional - suddenly there are literally hundreds of tasks that need to get done.

While this may sound like a great opportunity for the volunteer team - unfortunately it's not quite the case. Antilia needs more core developers.

I expect it to take some time to find these new team members. In the meantime, I am changing the way I manage the project, and to simplify things, I plan to change the volunteer program into an 'internship' style program. I have of course announced the changes to the volunteers, and a couple may transition toward becoming interns.

On the Philosophy of the Alpha Test

A few months back, as I was thinking about the alpha test, a thought occurred to me: There was something about the Antilia client that was missing. Not just the Lupans, Koro, and Kisan, etc. - I had been thinking about the alpha for too long as a technical beginning.

The alpha needed to be something more. It also needed to mark the beginning of a story, and of a relationship between the community - the players - and the world of Forra. Up until now - "Forra" hasn't existed in the game client or engine. Development testing has taken place on a small test world named "jl_sandbox1".

Tomorrow I am going to run the world editor... I am going to open the "World" menu and pick "New". A box will appear prompting me for a name, and I will type in "Forra".

Building the continent of Antilia is a little more than we can handle for the Alpha, of course. Instead, our story will begin on the Isle of Kasau - just off the south-eastern peninsula of Lantros.

Thirty Days of World Building

Finally, we come to the announcement that has me nearly hopping up and down in excitement. For the month of September, instead of firing up Visual Studio and programming each day - I will be working daily in the Antilia editor. In addition to continuing work on the character meshes, Alex and I will be creating new terrain clutter, trees, campsite props, landscape features - a whole new island with interesting features and distinct regions. Throughout this, we will be posting screenshots and/or videos in the Forums every day of what we've made or what we're working on.

Having spent some time now building these editors... and knowing for the past few weeks that we were close to doing some real world building has been extremely motivational for me. This is another big step. At last - it's time we get to see what the game engine and the game editors can really do.

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