I wrote something similar in the forums already, but we thought we might as well tweak it and make a blog post about it.
Until now, we have not explicitly described the progress we have recently made, but we have gone a lot further in the past 6 months than we have previous year. With more people and more devotion than ever before actually, as I personally for example spend most of my working week on this. In fact, here are two random picture from our office only just last week:
All the post-its on the window are things (features/art/effects) that are finished, so this is proof we are doing something ;).
Let me explain a bit which stages we passed through and where we stand today. This should also explain why it has been a bit difficult for us to give lots of frequent updates. Last year we spend most of our time on three things:
(1) Developing the game concept
(2) Deciding on a technical framework and doing some quick prototyping
(3) Building a team
It is only since mid-December that we actually have an office. And it is since this time we've slowly been building a team with all the qualities needed to built an awesome game. We now have several 3D artists, an animator, a game designer, an art director, a technical artist and an some additional programmers. On average we work 3-4 days a week on this game, so not full-time as many of us have side activities as well :). In my Christmas post I've already described what our technical approach was and how we would start with a completely fresh code base. Work on art had only just started at that point as well. So from an actual development point of view things didn't really gain momentum before January this year. And as you can imagine setting up a start-up like this and creating a professional game is a huge task! It is definitely something we underestimated a bit at the start, especially as we became more ambitious along the way in what we wanted to achieve. We've also had our ups and downs, with set-backs with regard to art (switching art directors) and some technical choices that didn't quite work out (e.g. with regard to the map structure and path finding). We've overcome those problems though and are steaming ahead :).
So where are we now? Essentially there are four things we are working on in parallel right now:
(1) Programming the game, so implementing all the core game mechanics and networking stuff
(2) Creating all the 3D assets, effects and animations for a rural/farm demo map
(3) Working on a game website and the infrastructure needed to host the community
(4) Looking for extra funding to finish the game
The reason we are not really able to post cool screenshots of the actual game is because programming the game and creating the art are essentially separate processes. We feel that integrating art immediately actually complicates development. So let me show you two screenshots. One from the actual playable prototype (which Brett aka "UG" will present to you in more detail soon) and one screenshot from our art guys who've been integrating some of the art we created into a single scene. In the coming months we'll be merging these separate development branches.
We were a bit in an awkward position since we started this, as we already announced the game when we hadn't even started producing it yet (there were good reasons for this at the time of course, with the old game just going offline). Normally game companies wait until a late stage in development to announce and start 'talking' about their game. They wait until they have actually finished it 80% and are ready to show stuff. Over the next month or two we will slowly be reaching that stage though, where we will actually launch a new website and have early alpha releases ready for small-scale testing and demonstrating. I cannot yet tell you when a public release will be ready though. But I can tell you we will be making a lot more public announcements!
And with regard to the question about money on the forum: we always need more money! So if you are looking for a nice investment, contact us ;).
Florian aka "KAding"