1982 – I see the Tom Hanks movie “Maxes and Monsters” and it teaches me that the emotional impact of roleplaying is so pervasive, that demonizing it in Hollywood is profitable. This makes me do further rresearch on the fantasy books that inspire the RPG genre. I become hooked and start devouring fictional universes with the same speed I had previously reserved only for non-fiction.
1983 – I read “The Official Handbook of The Marvel Universe” and it makes me think of a virtual planet earth that followed fictional rules. The idea of actually experiencing the world of comic books by living in them virtually (and bringing the reality of their science to our own) becomes a defining operating priority in my life.
1984 – I read “Neuromancer” and X-Men comics that depict the “Danger Room”. I am fascinated by what is NOT shown. The idea of a photorealistic virtual planet earth takes hodl in my head. i continue to see it in snippets of every science fiction writer i read from that point on.
1988 – after reading “Engines of Creation” I read “Islands in The Net” and wonder why they did not simply create artificial islands.
1999 – after spending 120+ hours on “Final Fantasy Vii” my wife asks me if i feel humans will make the “Dream Game” anytime soon. i tell her they would not, so she asks me to devote my game playing time for the next few years to making my own product.
2000 – newly single i am devoted to studying every part of game development enough to start preproduction and finish actual production of the final game myself (with volunteers and others in the middle parts which would cover what I do not know how to do)
– i go to china and study game development full time
– a plan is put in place to do smaller projects one by one to assist in the research or construction of a virtual planet earth/mmo
– a community website is built where hundreds of site members discuss the final design of the game to be released in ten years. world, content, story, limitations morality. a very specific set of design goals and themes. a very specific overall story arc to handle the next 5/10 years of play as the engine developed. they donated money and i ended up having to use it for the final game instead of a stopgap warcraft wannabe intermediary.. i was shattered.. i had become behind schedule for the first time in my whole IT development career.. i was dealt a second blow when my inability to understand civilians makes me lose the model i had chosen for motion and audio capture blog to fund production.. a third blow when .. and a fourth when..
– eventually i learned that no intermediate project could be done with the time and resources available to me.. even if i had millions from a successful intermediate game…. all my energy and time would need to be focused on building the virtual planet earth mmo on time IF i wanted to see it made on time.
– in 2010 I discovered the Proland planet rendering library by Eric Coumans and the team at Infria. in 2011 the book “3d Engine Design for Vrtual Globes” by Patrick Cozzi and Kevin Ring. I saw lots of technologies that promised what I wanted like OGRE and Unity and OpenSceneGraph and Unigine and other AWESOME technology…
Awesome at everything but showing one guy punch another guy to the moon.. while a million players look on from the earth down below.. But none delivered in a way that was able to be PLANNED to be shaped into a XBox or Sony quality end product.
– I want the sheen of Triple AAA game studios, the LOOK of a Hollywood film and the independence of the most gutter graffiti meets BDSM pinup artist
2011 – Occupy Wall Street happens and I decide to take a year away from corporate america to do preproduction while volunteering for them. a large amount of game profits will be going to activist and humanitarian causes anyways. The maker of the Proland engine writes that adding it to OGRE or making it into a real game engine are both “very time consuming, even for a team”
– I study the OGRE, UDK, Unity, Crytek engines.. determine none can handle. I inquire about the Outerra engine and still crave to do an intermediary project for cash to do the final.
2013 -I decide to get a lead programmer to help me determine how best to move forward. I luck out and get a lead engine programmer from a FAMOUSLY FAMOUS AWESOME (not halo but close) game (thank you GameDev.net)
– The programming Lead tells me that the best way to do it would be to make Proland into a module for the OGRE game engine. I spend a year evaluating every OTHER alternative when he says the making of a full game would take a team of 30 one year.
– My independent investigation, fueled by all I have learned these last ten years.. indicates that integrating Proland as a OGRE module is the easiest way to go.. IF you have to get that AAA quality without losing features the fans requested and paid for.
– I had hoped that some other team would have an API ready virtual planet earth engine, but I don’t want to risk waiting for Outerra (which I know will be awesome when it is finished) and I have run out of other options that I trust to deliver the desired completed, finished product.
– Making my own game engine is something I have always dreaded doing without a ton of money (meaning, with my own work). OGRE intimidates me as a person that can always find the easiest tool, the easiest IDE, the easiest Editor for any task.
– I have to complete the engine in between me and the game I promised to fans years ago. That sucks, but it frees me up to make it as advanced as I like (within the boundaries of time and OGRE)
NOTE: I am still evaluating options.. but moving forward with the only thing that I can plot a line to completion with.
Proland as an OGRE Module
Virtual Human Toolkit