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Watching rice grow.

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We are quickly approaching our second milestone now, which is due for completion in two weeks. Here's a round up of the last few weeks of work, and where I'm hoping it will lead us...

Work on the client engine has continued unabated, with a fairly good list of features now implemented in a rudimentary state, picking, collision detection and billboards are the latest additions, with basic UDP and TCP/IP frameworks also ready to go. We are quickly approaching a 'usable' client. This has been helped along tremendously by a new programmer, who has good networking skills to bridge the gap between our core Server and Client devs.

Artwork has been a bottleneck from the start of the project, because of a lack of good concept artist interest, but that has finally been corrected and guess what, three came along at once! Our first concept art pieces are now in production:

Human male (ranger),
Countryside with house,

A nice range which should stand us in good stead for a while and help us display the high standards we are working toward. As soon as these are completed we will create a round of less functional (but more exciting) artwork for promotional material.

It's worth mentioning that the most recent developer applications all came from help wanted adds posted on other sites. GameDev is an excellent resource, but be sure to spread a wide net on more specialist sites to get the maximum applications. A well structured add posted on more focused sites are a novelty to the readers, will stay on the front page far longer, and generate more interest in your project, even though they have far fewer views. At least, they did in my case!

Audio is coming along excellently, with no trouble to speak of. Our composer has been doing an incredible job so far and has easily met my expectations for the tracks he's produced without any concept art or game media to score too. I think you'll love his work:

1:40 preview from the middle of our main menu track.

I think it's nearly time to start advertising for sound effect and texture artists so we can really get the Asset production ball rolling.

Interest in the project is starting to pick up pace, something which I intend to encourage whole heartedly. To date we have only been visible in help wanted posts (and my signature:) and we have picked up a rather cozy post rate in the forums with a few hardcore fans popping up already. This is fine for now, but in the long run I'll be using every trick in the book to draw visitors.

Another interesting turn of events introduced the possibility of Chinese translation for Phoenix Feather, to be honest, it wasn't something I had considered, but it seem fitting to translate to as many languages as possible. Our software is designed to run (and serve) as many electronic languages / platforms as possible.

Anyway, i'll leave you with a shot that was published on new years day of our client loading a custom house. Yes, the brown cube [grin].

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Perhaps you should think about a move from game development into real-esate: "Why yes, and this beauty over here has the most beautiful sky lights..." :)

Witty commentry aside, the progress that you've been making is great! Getting artwork together is a pain enough in my world of 2D gamedev, so I can imagine how aggrevating it must be to have to worry about getting in models, textures, animations, and whatever other bits of artistic tedium are involved. :/

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- "Hay hay now, this is one of our finest CUSTOM made houses in the Emperor range!" ...
(confused customer) - "But.. its just... a box?".
- "Oh but not any box! nono, this is YOUR box, for just 6 monthly payments of $3.99"
(confused customer) - "Please leave me alone..."

Thanks for the compliments! Hay, I think the salesmen will be clamoring to sell the next house I reveal. [grin]

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