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This year seems to be the year of changes.
Two developers are leaving, one of them telling me that he feels that he reached a brick wall and has to go around it (ie. I don't want to implement the radical changes to the server and gameplay he wants). He now wants to make his own MMORPG, which means totally rewritting the EL server, getting his own artwork and stuff. Oh well, I won't say anything more about it, I try to keep my journal pretty objective and not talk about my feelings, nor do I want to use it to put down people.

Obviously, this will affect the project a little, but no one is irreplaceable, and life goes on.

Now we have a new client lead programmer, he is a very very smart and hard working guy from Germany, and since he is working with us he managed to greatly optimize the client, as well as adding various visual improvements and bug fixes.

Meanwhile, I started a side project (that is, I am working at it when I don't feel like working for EL), which is a single player game which will be in a way similar to the first two UFO games (X-Com). For the time being I am doing the strategic part (the earth view, bases, etc.) which is a separate program. When that is done (months from now) I will modify the EL engine and make a tactical part.
I will post a few screenshots in a few days, right now there is not much to show yet.
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a single player game which will be in a way similar to the first two UFO games (X-Com)

Awesome! In fact, so awesome I can't even find a smily that gets close to how awesome.

I've completed all four of the XCOM games (I stopped caring after they ruined it) several times each, including the highest difficulty level. I absolutely love them.

It made me very sad when I couldn't run DOS games properly under XP [bawling]

Best of luck with that one!

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eheh, i have been thinking in doing something similar, but not as complex as UFO.., i was thinking in something like Laser Squad in the old Spectrum.., oh man, that game was soooo awasome..

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Thanks, I will keep you update with it's progress :)
BTW, it will be a free game, and open source as well. So if anyone is interested in helping me with some code, let me know.

Some technical details:
It is OpenGL, because I want to make it work on any OS that supports OpenGL.
It is supposed to work on any system that can support hardware accelerated OpenGL at least 1.2, and texture sizes of at least 2048x1024 (which means pretty much any video card made in the last few years).

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The other developer left because some personal reasons, I do not hold any grudge on him, because he did it the right way (announced us he was leaving, and he will let us use some of his resources (some webserver) for an indefinite amount of time).

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The fact that EL isn't your primary source of income doesn't mean you don't have to pay tax on any money you make from it however obviously it's easy not to declare it.

If you do go down that route then any expenses from EL e.g. servers etc can be deducted from your income so you'll only pay tax on the money you pay yourself.

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Also of note is development grants!!!

In the UK you can have virtually 100% of your development (on games!) paid for by various research funds, provided that you are developing something new that will push the boundaries forward.

Banks love small businesses and there are many organisations that offer grants to get you started provided that you're going to create employment. Most countries love IT jobs so if you're creating jobs for programmers they'll love you!

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Metorical, tell me something I don't know :)
I addressed the issue of paying taxes in a previous entry. We will have to pay quite some money for it, unfortunately.

As for obtaining grants here, in the US, it is much harder, I would say close to impossible (for an indie dev that doesn't want to sell his soul)

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