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Speeding Up Development

Saturday, April 13, 2013 9:54pm
Lead Developer
For those who have been around for a while, this won't come as a surprise, but if you are under the impression that Antilia has a full staff that works on the game daily - well, not quite. Not to take credit from the excellent meshes, textures, and concept art provided by our volunteers, but the reality is that 95% of development: all of the programming, web development, modeling, texture painting, animation, user interface, world building, project management, and documentation is done by a single person. When I'm not working a part time job to pay the bills.

Obviously, I've received some wonderful contributions from volunteers over the past couple years - and look what we've accomplished! We've gone from a basic engine with a few content editors to a working game with a growing audience.

Still, in both developer discussions and forum comments I'm hearing the same thing: we all would like the game to be developed faster and be available to play all the time. Personally, I wish I could work on Antilia more!

All of this begs the question - "Where could Antilia be in another year with a few developers working on it full time"?


Previously, I have dismissed crowdfunding as being the wrong fit for Antilia. Since then, however, I have been paying much closer attention to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter - frequently browsing the site, reading campaign postmortems and crowdfunding news. I've come to a better understanding of crowdfunding, and we are reconsidering how it could change and improve Antilia's development.

What we've achieved on our own without any funding is impressive, and it speaks strongly to our skills and dedication to the project. One misconception we had was that we would need to commit to delivering a large, complete mmorpg - an overwhelming prospect. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case, however. We could commit to a smaller, more reasonable set of goals: Improved gameplay systems. Not all of Antilia - but a new region of Antilia to explore. A city, some ruins, and new enemies. A budget to keep the server online for at least a year after release - keeping the game online even as we plan Antilia's next step. We don't need to talk office space and 10 employees - but maybe 2 full-time developers and a few contractors. We would set reasonable goals that we know we can achieve in a reasonable amount of time.

I think approaching crowdfunding in this manner makes a lot of sense. If we reach our funding goal, we can make Antilia better, faster. If we don't reach our funding goal, nothing is lost - Antilia's development will continue slowly but surely as it does now.

Expect to hear more as these plans develop over the month to come - we'll be updating the blog more frequently as these plans solidify.


Of course, everyone wants to see some new stuff. March was spent continuing work on collision detection and AI/enemy movement (enemies get stuck by objects on the client - so it is important the server now knows how to walk monsters around obstacles instead of through them). And of course - time had to be spared for our April Fools event, which continues to inspire and amuse.

Even with planned events and a long list of development tasks and improvements to be made - as developers we can't help take the occasional time out to just make things we've been wanting to see in the game:

Tettix was also inspired to illustrate a character wandering in the Black Desert surrounding Chalei:

(Click here for larger version.)

I really love this unexpected illustration. It is our first glimpse of a distant region of Antilia which until now has only existed in text.

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