The new method that I'm pursuing at the moment is to design a monitoring backend system that will control, monitor, and support the necessary components for a strong backend. So I've pulled back in my development and started the logical design (using Visio) with a full design document. I've made leaps and bounds using the logical design because I can create scenarios, run them through the system logically and have been able to determine bottlenecks, possible issues, and elimminated several flaws. Since starting this method at the beginning of July, I'm now finally ready to start the database design for the system. I'm still planning on supporting several popular database engines as to give the developers a choice in what they want and can afford to power their backend systems.
Because this is all usually written in documents, I have no pretty pictures, but I will keep the journal up to date every week in case someone is reading.
But in the future, I may issue limited screen shots of the system design as long as it doesn't give too much away. The pretty screen shots will come when I finally start developing the game server and need a base client for the front end.
Thanks for reading this dry and uneventful entry, but I promise it will get more exciting as I move along the design and coding steps.