First Earth has been funded!
For the past four years, I've developed FE in bursts between paying jobs. That was hard. It made progress slow and unreliable. With this funding I can make FE my main focus all the way through beta testing. After that, it can be self-supporting.
The funding is in the form of a grant, allowing me to retain full ownership of the game - which is really ideal. The funding group is a philosophical advocacy group that my work is aligned with. I'm not required to follow any ideological rules or dictates, of course (I'd never accept that and it's one reason I haven't sought traditional funding). I'm not sure how eager the group is for me to parade their name out while I'm still in development, so I'll tell more about them sometime in the future. The amount is just enough to support my personal expenses so I can work on FE full-time through beta. I'm required to make continuous progress.
To support myself I've done web consulting, which I'm winding down this month. I will be clear of all major consulting commitments by July 15. That's when I'll go full-time on FE. Until then, my time is still divided, but knowing I'm funded, I've already been able to start again on FE dev. There's a hugely improved server that will be part of the next version.
Thanks for sticking around. I'll do a newsletter about this after the next release. When that newsletter goes out a lot of people will try the game again, and I want them to get the upcoming new version.
Well done- many congratulations. I am sure the waiting will be worth it.
Awesome to hear Adam. I have checked here about once a month for news on the game. I don't want it to die. Keep up the great work.
Yay, good news!
Glad to hear about the server. That's what I hate about programming - the back-end stuff that people don't see but takes the longest to do.
Anyways, I'll be watching.
any game news? I know I ask this a lot, but we can't actually see what you're doing...and I'm the curious type.
Thanks everyone. Current project is seeing whether I can compile FE for WebGL using the new version of Unity. That would mean browser-based 3D. The graphics performance would be like 2/3 vs native, and it's improving: http://blogs.unity3d.com/2014/10/07/benchmarking-unity-performance-in-webgl/
Not having to test compatibility with 3 platforms would save me time, and it'd be nice to have automatic "deployment" rather than using installers and updaters. But the coolest thing would be being able to LINK people to a game window. I want FE to have a wide and diverse audience, not a typical gamer audience. For non-gamer testers I've viewed in RL, their biggest roadblock is finding the download, running it, running the installer, then finding the installed application. Imagine if you can just link someone to the game and it puts them right into it with no login on a trial claim of land.
Everything has been moving into web browsers (mobile aside) for good reason, and 3D might be ready. Going to find out.
This is happening. What's coming is an HTML5/WebGL client and 100x faster distributed server. The server speed is needed to accommodate the massive growth that "click a URL and play FE instantly" can bring. Give me about 2 months.
Sounds good,. I am not a computer expert but seeing things like 100x faster seems very impressive to me. Seriously though- good luck with your work. If we can do something by Christmas let alone 2 months it will be great.
also do you still send the "monthly" newsletter? I just realized half the emails I actually want were going to my junk folder(seems I always get the spam in my inbox), so I'm wondering if I should dig through there more... :p
Happy Thanksgiving :) Closing in on the web build. It's running well (privately for me) and I'm just getting features moved over to it. I'm also improving the server at the same time.
My monthly newsletter is a bit of a joke right now, the last one was sent more than a year ago. People still subscribe to it, there are 1200+ subs. I kept waiting for "the next build" before sending it out, since people will want to check out the game when they get it (to decide whether to unsubscribe or stick with us). I think the web build will be perfect for that, since it'll be a one-step process for them to see the game. So the next newsletter will be after I release the web build to you and us on the forum; once we see it works, I'll newsletter about it. I'm not sure when.
Glad to have you still around, means a lot.
Thank you for the update.
It will be good to get back on the server and get exploring again.
Good luck with the features.
Thanks Spolmit. I miss it too, hoping to bring some awesome with this web built by making it easy for a bunch of us to be in the game at the same time. Outside of testing it always felt pretty deserted before. If I do this right, with a little marketing, there will always be new people trying it out.
Im still here :) Cant wait for you to come out with the new build.
Hope everything is going good.
Have a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.
Happy holidays! Trying to get build out before the end of the year but as usual will probably miss it.
Good news though - WebGL build is now REALLY WORKING. Just solved the final blocking bug, a networking bug. Game runs okay on integrated graphics even. I've made lots of optimizations. I think this is going to work!
Something to look forward to along with the lighter nights :)
By the way- you could just get it done by the New Year- the Julian calendar says the New Year is on Jan 14th (Gregorian time)
Nice idea ;)
I figured you all would want to see this, it's my tech demo build from today, nothing impressive except...you can see it via a link! Amazing! Use Chrome or Firefox (you can try Safari or Edge too if you're brave):
I may take that down within a few days to keep working on it; I've got to hook it up to your accounts like before, and enable broadcasting for multiplayer (networking is already set up, that's how it bootstraps).
Things that aren't moved over yet: Performance tuning, rivers, multiplayer, zoning; you're seeing 4 zones of the thousands in alpha, and you can fall off the edge here.
Taking that link down to do some progress on the server,
Nice man...the enviroment looks amazing. I can only walk around but seems really good...when we are able to play the first alpha? Well done and keep going! Cheers
Thanks, agree the environment has turned out gorgeous. I'm not making any promises but am working toward a working alpha build, followed by a playable alpha build.