I finally finished fixing up the last few files I needed. My game client is now 100% built from the build pipeline... no more precompiled assets! So now I can totally concentrate on adding all the good stuff like new gameplay mechanics, items, quests and creatures.
Actually, I have already started adding lots of things, mostly creatures and clothing. The creature models and animations I am using (for now) are all taken from Ryzom's creative commons asset repository. It is quite nice to be able to build gameplay and not worry about artistic work right away. I do intend to commission some original models and animations, and there are also going to be a number of the creative commons models modified for my game. Those things, however, are going to have to wait a bit.
Executing the plan...
My game is going to need lots of artistic work done, but that requires a lot of time, talent, and money. Sadly, there is only one of me, and I'm not crazy rich. I must be completely insane to attempt such a project, right? Well as I may have mentioned in the past, I love insane challenges. There are no roadblocks, there are only speed bumps. So how am I going to manage this?
There are a lot of talented artists with a fair amount of time on their hands, thanks to the depressed economy. Would it not feel nice to farm out some work to people who need it? I am sure their families would appreciate it. I have found a number of websites where many of these individuals bid on freelance work, so the only speed bump in front of me is the money.
Following in the footsteps of others...
There are at least a few examples of games getting funded in non-traditional ways throughout their development cycles. I am attempting to take a lesson from them. I'm not expecting to be quite as successful at such things as Minecraft, but I am sure going to try. I am still working out the exact details, but I do have some specific goals I need to accomplish to make it work.
The first thing of course, is to bring Mythaka out of its cloud of vapor. I have a server running and it is accessible from the internet, but I have allowed a very very few people connect for the most basic of show and tell. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, this game is just a figment of my imagination. Unfortunately for everyone, this is going to continue to be the case for the time being. I have a lot of programming work to do, building all of the basic gameplay systems. Once I have enough of my planned gameplay working, it will be time to show it off to more people. I intend to use the working gameplay to generate interest and financial support for the artistic development.
Dancing to my own rhythm...
I have planned out a number of phases of the game progression, which includes new gameplay elements, landscapes, skills, quests and puzzles with each major update. I am planning against the possibility of a relatively rough start, with proceeds from one phase of the game paying for the development of the next. Actually, since I am planning to have the game phases depend on the players completing certain tasks, I am going to be building two phases ahead ( just in case players complete the objectives faster than I expect, the next phase will be ready to go. )
My goal for getting things started begins with getting all of the gameplay required for phase 1 done before attempting any beta access or fundraising. Money raised during beta trials will be used to commission original audio and graphic assets, which will be farmed out to freelance artists who have good resumes, portfolios, and feedback. Meanwhile, I will be busy creating the gameplay elements for phase 2. When my coding work on phase 2 is done, and all of the graphics and audio have been completed for phase 1, it will be time to open up the game live.
It might be a relatively long beta period, depending on interest, feedback, and financial support... but one way or another it will get done!
Well that is all I have to say for now, I did not really have any other exciting news or anything. I'm going to work on getting some more creatures and items and such working ( and I need to figure out how all my character's clothes mysteriously changed in my latest update )... so I will be signing off for now. If I get any goodies worth showing off none, I'll post some screenshots on my website.
Till next time...
The Undead Dev