We're ten days away from milestone one now. It seems odd to say it but my main focus over this time has simply been project management. Sure I've thrown in my fair share of time on art, audio, and writing but I've spent almost double that simply managing. So what does that mean? "Control freak!", I hear you cry, but I was never like this during my education or work! This is the first time I've felt such a weight of responsibility not only to myself but my other team members as well, and you know what, it works for me. Since we started I've steadily increased my 'project time' up to roughly six hours a day while I've budgeted to cut my employment hours down quite substantially, although I have to keep working a little more than necessary to save up for advertising / hosting expenses. I've decided to aim for GBP3,000 which will be split between hardware purchases, connection rental and advertising for three months. Of course this will be supercharged if I can successfully get sponsorship or investors.
A lot of my last few weeks have been spent on research and discussion about technical requirements and solutions. I've dug the Internet in godly sessions, which generally end in either total browser failure, or a flurry of random bookmarking which are all filed in a severely disorganized 'resources' folder. One of the most important aspects of the game is that is can be launched and played from java webstart, I want people to be able to get into the world and play wherever they can; places like the library, IT labs or work. Me and Alan have had long discussions about features and their costs, most of the time we are trying to figure out the most bandwidth efficient way of doing things.
Part of the first milestone lists the requirement of a specialist server programmer, so my most recent project has been planning and posting our help wanted add, which you can read here. Its drawn five applications in just under a day, which is the best performing help wanted I've ever posted and its hardly kicked it into gear yet! Granted, four of them are from artists, but I'm not complaining :). I made a special page on our website to welcome referrals from the help wanted post, which I thought was a nifty idea, and even though its very basic some applicants have mentioned it positively, and it means I know how many people are visiting from my post.
Anyway, thats quite enough badly formated text for one post. I'm off to make a forest on our test island! Until those pictures get published, I'll leave you with a picture of our terrain editor, don't be fooled by its minimalist layout, it's one powerful piece of kit.