We've alot happening right now on all fronts. I'll get straight on with it.
Game Engine: Work started on this about a month ago. Obviously we still have a long way to go, but we already have a bare bones service that processes the turn, advances the turn and phase number, seasons and years. Over the next few weeks we will be integrating into this cycle the introduction of players. The engine persists its data straight to MongoDB.
Registration Process: Development here has slowed down a little due to our move from using SQL to Mongo for our database requirements. So there is little to report, but we'll be re-starting this in a few days time.
New Content: With the website now 95% optimized we are really focusing on pushing new content to the live website on a regular basis. Our aim is to have something new on the website every two weeks. New content will be mostly added to the 'Features' section of the homepage for a little while. This is being achieved by serving up the content in our specially skinned 'scroll popups'!! Go to ilkor.com and see for yourself, we are revealing more and more about the game features and details.
Map: Jon, our fab cartographer is still working hard on completing our world and regional maps. We hope to get the final finished maps very soon now, hopefully before the end of October. You can then expect to see a number of sneak previews of the finished maps!
Avatars: Simon, our amazing Artist will be delivering the first batch of avatar 'facial parts' (head, shoulders, eyes, nose, hair, mouth). He has dealt with a male human for starters. We need this so we can then test our our avatar generating code. If it all works out as planned Simon will then have a few amount of work to do over the next few months coming up with the facial parts for all the other 7 possibilities. Personally I'm really excited about this and will certainly be blogging about the Avatars in far more detail soon.
Database Migration: As mentioned last time, we are busy migrated across from MS-SQL to MongDB. The process is good and we hope to have everything in place by the end of October...hopefully!
And thats about it for now..
You might be aware we had decided to use two different databases to store game related information. Microsoft SQL Server for the majority of the data and MongoDB for all the map data.
Recently we scrapped SQL completely and will be 100% Mongo. Currently we are migrating across. Hopefully we'll be finished with this before the end of October. It certainly is the right choice for Ilkor, there is no doubt about that, but there is quite a learning curve for us, coming from a SQL background.
If anyone is interested in the finer technical detail then by all means drop us a message and we'll be only too happy to discuss the topic in more depth.
One rather large advantage is the fact that MongoDB is free. So that suits us just fine considering the game will be free to play.
Many apologises. It's been a little while since our last blog entry. I can't believe just how quickly the time goes when you are busy
And we sure have been busy!!! It's now been a month since we went live with ilkor.com. The site seems to be holding up nicely.
In that time we've had a surprising amount of people signup to be part of the playtest, especially considering it isn't due to commence until June 2012. Having said that we do expect to get the playtesters involved much sooner than that.
We've also refined the website during the month of July, it has already gone through a number of updates mostly centred around performance and optimization improvements. I think we've managed to reduce the image sizes by about 3/4. The site now runs alot quick and we've had some very positive feedback.
On the development front we're working on the character creation process and will be involving our playtesters over the next few months to ensure what we're doing is right. I can't say much more about this here other than the setup will be a two step process. Players will be able to join and get playing very quickly.
We've also made a fairly big technology architecture change. We're now using MongoDB for our database needs. Originally we were going to be using SQL Server and Mongo just for the map components but now the entire game engine will be run off MongoDB.
The only exception might be our messaging and forum system. We've been exploring the idea of integrating phpBB into the game system. This uses php and either mySQL or MS-SQL. Our investigation has concluded it could be the best choice for Ilkor and although the integration won't be that straightforward it is possible. With some luck we should have this in place and ready for exclusive use by our playtesters by the end of the year.
Other than that we've been getting a fair amount of coverage on the various PBM and Gaming Forums and will soon be putting together a small low key marketing campaign to help spread the word of Ilkor further afield.