Middle of Week 2

I looked back at some of my older posts and cringed at a few typos. A lot has changed. The team has grown quite a bit. A few instructors at the Art Institute have been talking to me about some of their students and asking what roles I need filled. I've had so many programmers want to join the team that we just can't fit any more. I think we're at around 15 people, with more I'm scheduled to meet with. We'll be recruiting a lot of animators and modelers soon, though there's not much for them to do now.


Where we are in development?

Programming
I had planned to spend a month with the programmers just learning the engine, but they're moving faster than I thought they would, so we're already putting in the combat system. It's not done or working, but some of the stats are in. One of the programmers I recruited was only in his first semester in college and had never programmed anything other than some simple class assignments. I was obviously hesitant to recruit him, though I could tell this was really important to him. But he's already gotten a part of the combat system working, so I was right. This really is what he wants to do and he's adapting fine.

Technical Art
The technical artists are testing polygon limits of the engine, animation importing, and setting some standards. I made our two technical artists the gate keepers. Not a single art asset gets into the engine without going through them to make sure it's imported and working properly. When I start modeling some assets, they'll be telling me how many polygons I can use. If this is too technical, I'll explain it this way. The better the graphics, the more it slows down your computer. So we need to work within our limits to pack the best amount of graphic quality while ensuring good performance on as many machines as we can. We have two technical artists on the team that know how to find that balance at different parts of the game so they're in charge of that.

Concept Art
We're working with some widely varying schedules from some of the concept artists, so this has been a little rough. We have some initial concepts of the four playable factions from one of our concept artists that makes every meeting. I like them so far, but I want to see what some of the other artists have so we can mesh some ideas.

Business
There were several business people I was talking to about the project, though none of that has materialized, so I've been handling that on my own. We've partnered up with Loki's Planet and they're using their marketing resources to lay some ground work for us. They haven't even launched yet, and they're already getting over 10k hits a day. They're doing something right. We're getting 20-200 hits a day right now. I've also been made the Editor at Loki's Planet, so I'll be recruiting writers looking to write game reviews. Btw, writing for a game magazine is an excellent way for writers to break into the game industry, so any writers interested in that, email me at brian at lokisplanet dot com But back on topic, so Loki's Planet wants to start using their promotional prowess to help us out. There's some other things in the works, but not anything I can talk about at this time--hopefully something that turns into something cool. We'll see.

Also in business news, last night I went to a meeting being presented by the project manager of SARTA. SARTA is a non profit organization whose purpose is to develop the tech industry of the Sacramento region. They were founded by venture capitalists and angel investors who are looking for tech companies struggling to get off the ground. Stigma Games is exactly the kind of business SARTA would be interested in and they seemed pretty interested in the Dawnshine project when I sat down with their Project Manager after the presentation. Does that mean that funding is right around the corner for us? No. No, it doesn't. These investors want to give us too little money and take too big a percentage of our profits.

But laying the ground work now and starting these connections can possibly lead to the right deal for us. In the mean time, we need to get the concepts down to where we're happy, start building 3D assets, then work on putting out a demo.

Once the demo is out, hopefully we start attracting Likes on our FB page. That will show investors that we have a marketable game worth investing in.

Audio
Not much to report there yet. Our composer on the team is working some things out. I can't wait to hear what he has so far.

Writing
I've been getting behind on this. I want to start posting some fiction about Dawnshine. The brief descriptions on the site right now are not terribly interesting. Nor do they mention anything about the characters struggling in the world--which is the bulk of the story. Quests are going to be character driven rather than event driven. In other words, you're doing quests because this person did that, not because some event happened. It's a different approach. It's subtle, but I think players will find our quests a lot more interesting even if they're not sure exactly why.

I think Star Wars does a good job of this approach. With my Sith Sorcerer, I wanted to collect the Artifacts because I wanted to know why they were so important to Zash. Well, now I finally know and I wasn't disappointed. BioWare's writers did a fantastic job.

Web Development
There's a web guy that I've talked to. Not sure what's going on with that. It's not a big priority. But I've had a few people politely tell me that our website sucks. Yeah, I know it does. Don't worry. It will look pretty cool one day. Right now we're low on 2d artists, so I can't justify telling them to stop working on concepts (that we need before we can start building graphics for the game) so they can work on the website that's not really important right now.

Ok, that's it for now.





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