misc 009 – misc research and errata

downtime while development box hunting and evaluating/planning next steps in development

watching a ton of movies and whitling down my favorite action scenes and themes

rereading random sci fi (dune, michael moorcock swords trilogy, neverwhere by neil gaiman, various graphic novels and every possible wikipedia entry i can think of that pertains to large world design (and history, which informs the design of story structures in mythology)

trying to decide if i should aggressively pursue platform independence and open source or go balls out windows and hope that the financials allow a transition later.

i suppose, based on the stuff ive seen on these pages, the project manager in me wants to do the latter and the developer in me wants to do the former.

i all depends i suppose on what i call “windows effect” the idea that the sort of design processes often found in windows environments (greater dependency on editors as opposed to actually constructing pieces in a more deliberate manner)

in mac things sort of “just work” but unlike windows they often (in a creative or design sense) dont “just make themselves”

obviously, along the operating system scale, in linux they cannot be expected to do much of anything without explicit choice

originally this project was supposed to integrate with or be the backbone of the development of an actual computer user interface capable of running on top of all three major OS platforms.

i dont mind doing things a bit slower than normal developers at TIMES.. keep in mind im just one person.. i dont think im doing that bad.. going from a running start in 2005. i like to keep a pace that ensures meeting all the major development points in a predefined line.

right now the actual structure of the structure of the world can begin, and the code logic behind various game systems can be implemented. it may at a later date be translated or moved, but the data of how things relate to one another through day to day operations is our goal this year.

this year will be lots of terrain editing and texture editing, lots of animation and compositing. we are going for maximum efficiency in cost this year, as funds are limited during the (at least in the us still) depression

system will either be core 2 quad or athlon x4 am3. it will only have 2 gig of ram to start (out of 16 max) and utilize whatever the onboard video is for a while (during the editing phase, a high end gpu isnt an absolute necessity, as long as the integrated is feature compatible).

the company i am looking at for decent prices for those on a strict budget is www.portatech.com. a decent x2/core 2 duo machine can be had for $455 with no OS (around $630 with windows 7 premium 64 bit and free upgrade to windows 7 64)

Heavy Metal (magazine) is cool because it evolves and yet stays the same. Films like District 9, GI Joe, (probably) Halloween II, Transformers, Nine, (probably) Inglourious Basterds

Im just trying my best effort to really clear my mind, and be as Zen as possible, when really diving into this process. The fact that I am (currently and only during this initial phase) an individual instead of a large team doesn’t allow me to make choices that are different than the ones i would make if time and budget weren’t factors.

Having developed, while not the ability (nor desire) to build an engine from scratch (or even have the slightest inkling to glue together various libraries myself.. although that is more appetizing) i have no problem with all the steps after that

the details of specific networking components and other miscellaneous engine construction details are simply too tiny for me to want to be concerned with during the grueling period in between when realistic production stars and some playable version is finished

ultimately, depending on what the drawbacks and limitations (if any) are inherent in this year’s engine technology choices, im sure bits and pieces or even more of teh engien may get swapped out or upgraded..

im sure it happens all the time with games like world of warcraft.. it will be interesting to see every level of a game engine adapt and evolve along with players, not just by adding characters or objects or races, but by significantly expanding, deepening, and detailing the gameplay itself in regular time intervals

what am i least looking forward to? coding the auction houses.. but so much has went into the layout, how they will function in relation to one another and the game world as a whole.. the code will evolve with the needs of having a relatively organic world economy in a virtual world the size of earth itself (with alternate dimensions and extra terrestrial planetoids or other outposts/colonies).

there will be lots of little design and development decisions that have been discussed but ultimately will decide themselves (like the math and differences between players who use mouse and keyboard click versus the FPS type players and even players who may or may not use motion controllers, and if we will even support those controllers and the legality of that).

final fantasy: advent children is still one of my constant influences when wanting to see really supehuman combat scenes

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