Saturday, January 5, 2008

Latest screenshot and state of development

Here's a look at the current interface (click to zoom). New art credit goes to Lost Garden.

I wish I had more graphic skills (and more graphic patience...) though I'm happy with the result. After trying over and over to get some nice borders, I figured that it was best for my mental health to use pre-made graphics.

There's still work to do on this but for now, it should be enough to really test it all.

So where am I right now? I stabilized a lot of small stuff, mostly related to buildings and the login interface (I was using update panels from .NET and it proved to be more trouble than anything else so I switched it all to straight javascript).

I worked on my administration tools to speed up world building and new items conception. I also added logging in the code. In theory, if I didn't forgot some, all errors should be handled and logged in the database with extensive info allowing me to quickly spot causes of errors.

More recently, I started to work on my test scenarios. Those are little stories that will be given to testers to focus testing on specific systems, telling what should happen when a given system is used. If a tester receive a result different than the story, that's an hint to me that there's either a bug or some scenarios I haven't think about. My goal is to first go through those test scenarios myself at least once before inviting others to test.

While I was away for Christmas, I worked on my "real" game idea. I've talked about the possibility of a "gameless game" before which is still a possibility and could provide me with a testing ground, but my ultimate goal would be to have a goal driven world.

My design had to respect some constraints coming from my abilities, the framework and the time I'm willing to put on it. While I'd like to build one of my dream idea, I'm still set on my objective to release something this year, at the end of spring if possible. It's not my intention to rush things but I must remain realistic.

I'm not yet ready of talking much about the concept I came up with but I can say that it's players driven, PvP and PvE will be linked together. Crafting should play an important part and yes... it's High Fantasy.

My very first idea (before starting to code the framework) was more of a Dark/Low Fantasy (if you know the city of Lankhmar, you might have a clue of what I had in mind) but some factors drove me away from this idea. If the first project goes well enough, I'd really like to revisit this idea, keeping it for when I'll have some experience.

So in the following days I'll do testing, testing and testing though it won't be long before I set up my server. After 6 months of coding, the code only ran on my machine and I don't want to wait to long before testing it on the web since this might require some changes. Maybe next week-end...


Jedaz said...

Wow, it looks and sounds like you've made alot of progress. Keep up with the good work. I'll be waiting to test it and give you as much feedback as I can.

Poo Bear said...

"gameless game" and "goal driven world" - all sounds very intriguing, I look forward to future posts about it. Fingers crossed testing goes well.

Over00 said...

hehe, about the "gameless game" expression, I took it from an article on Gamasutra here: