Like a duck in a pond, things might seem calm on the surface, but it's total chaos underneath. There is a lot to cover so let's get right to it.
We switched engines awhile back and that has presented its own obstacles that we were for the most part aware of and prepared for.
We knew the largest obstacle was going to be the lack of a strong network code. Unity network code isn't exactly suited for an MMO. So, job one was to make sure we could settle on a solution for both the demo and for eventual launch. Our choices were Unity's built in networking code, middleware, or custom build our own. Unity's net code will simply not handle it, so we ruled that one out pretty quick. Building a completely custom built network layer is too expensive to build with our demo's budget. So, the solution is to use middle-ware. We've already decided which one we will use and are well on our way to implementation. Once we get full funding, we will replace the net code with the required custom built bits we'll need to handle the scale of a full scale MMO that is ToA.
Next, we've brought on a developer that knows Unity inside and out. We'll be introducing him soon enough but we need to keep him tucked away from all distractions for the time being. He is currently working on camera/character controls and how you will interact with the world of TerVarus, which will be quite different than MMOs have offered you. After that, it is on to dynamic spawning. We plan on demonstrating both of these systems to the backers via videos.
Just last night, we had a big Skype meeting that included the owners, the social team, our resident goblin artist, and our new coder. It was great fun to get to know the gang we've been working with. I'm feeling very confident in the small team we've assembled. They really seem to know their stuff, have been very proactive in their roles, and I couldn't ask for an easier team to head up! I don't think the social team has introduced themselves to the rest of the public. I don't think I ever told them they couldn't... Hmmm. Anyway, the crew behind all the constant social updates you're seeing and news monitoring is Garbrac, Black Lotus Dragon, Xanward Songsteel, GimiZigi, and Archroy. Give them a big welcome next time you see them on the forums!
In under two months we have raised over $20,000! Our backers are THE BEST!! We canceled our Kickstarter after the cold hard reality sat in that while ToA is rock solid from a design standpoint, we failed in showing its true potential. Even at that time, you all were telling us to regroup and come back at it. "Just don't give up!" was the mantra I was seeing on the forums, email, PMs, even in phone texts.
We withdrew and did an intensive cost analysis of what it would take to put together a demo worthy of our beloved design. We found "the magic number" and wondered if it was possible to raise that kind of money on our own, without the help (read:popularity) of Kickstarter. After all, we just fell on our faces in front of the people that have followed and supported us for years. Well, I think the amount raised (and in the short time) speaks for itself.
When we first launched the store, and the fundraising campaign we dubbed "Light The Forge", we went back and forth on if we should show the total amount we needed. If it was too much, some people would never bother. Add to that we don't offer the same "if we don't hit our goal, nobody is charged anything" safety net that Kickstarter offers. It just seemed too much to display so we decided not to reveal our magic number.
Fast forward two months to today. Backers have been giving generously, have been very patient with our continued enticements, but are starting to wonder if there is an end in sight. That is an absolute fair question to ask, and the answer is yes. Yes, there is an end to our Light The Forge campaign. That end, aka the magic number, for us to complete the demo and get back to Kickstarter is $40,000.
This means we're already over halfway there and things are still going strong! I have complete faith that we will make our goal and we will deliver a demo on our return to Kickstarter that will be truly worthy of our backer's continued generosity and confidence!
And now you're all caught up!
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