Category Archives: General

A few cooperative things!

Short little video for you guys today demonstrating some cooperation, rather than solo gameplay. Varaeth and I wanted to show you a few new two-person things that have begun to work since we’ve been working on the game. We showed you back in March that collaborative mining was working, but quoin sharding was not. Trading, transcendental radiation and even partying also work again. The party space is full of unconfigured spawners and teleport markers.

(Pardon the overall lack of polish in this video…we started to film it, then I had to reset the server for other reasons, which of course meant we both forgot to grab a quoin to get those badges out of the way. The reason it takes Varaeth so long to join me when we dive into the pool is because he was getting his badges and had a little lag on his end…

TL;DR: staging can be harder than you think when you’re still building a gameserver!)

State of the Project Address V2.0

Hi everyone!

It’s been a good 5 months since I last gave a nice overall summary of our progress on things, so here we go.

Game Related:

You know that throwaway server we’ve been talking about?  Well, we’re just about ready to throw it away!  Well, not really throw it away; it’ll still be a playground to figure things out for a while, but we’re actually ready to start working on the actual thing!  Aroha has put a lot of work into the high level design while we’ve been picking away at the throwaway server, so keep tuned for further details soon.  (I’ll pester him into making another one of his Dev Log posts.)

Of less importance, but more fun, is the fact that we got a lot more features working.  Just some of the highlights include the home streets and interiors along with towers (expect a video from me soonish!), hi5 signs, GPS features on the main map, triggers (physics and such), and I’m sure I’m missing a bunch!

The QA team under LadyCeres is still tweaking the locations of different items with input from their fake forums while also cataloging the way street spirits should look around the world of Ur.  To put that second part into perspective, each street spirit is made up of several customizable parts, which leads to an absurd number of possible combinations, but only a smaller subset actually make any sense, since some of the different styles simply don’t physically match up. You an expect a blog post about how the world of Ur is coming together soon!

Eleven Logo

We have a new logo made by none other than Kukubee himself!  He was awesome enough to make us our very own logo with similar styling to the Glitch one, but with it’s own unique feel to it.

eleven hq

Work has even started on the Android version of the Eleven app based on the Glitch HQ app that TinySpeck had.  Gafanhotz has been hard at work making it look really slick while the server infrastructure is still being developed to help drive the app.

Website Related:

eleven_forums

The forums are getting very close to internal testing, which means they’re also close to a public release!  Varaeth has been hard at work getting the whole website infrastructure set up to allow us to incorporate the forums with the game, vanity, wardrobe, etc…  I can hardly wait to be able to start interacting with everyone in a more direct manner.  Expect an update soon when internal testing starts.

I’m sure you’ve all already seen Joey’s video showing off the new combined wardrobe and vanity.  If not, what are you waiting around for, get over there and take a look!  Gone are the days of having to go back and forth between two tools to update your overall appearance; it’s all in one now, baby!  We’re still considering some extra features, such as customizing the color of some of the different pieces of clothing, so let us know what you think.  This is even something we could consider rolling out to public testing soon.  Stay tuned for more details!

skills

We’ve got an early concept for our skills page as well, thanks to RedBirdo.  Once we get the forums rolled out, we can begin integrating these important game-related features with the rest of the website.

Bottlenecks:

I’ll go over some of the bottlenecks from my last big post along with an update on where we are (some of which may have been mentioned above already), along with some new things.

Logo – Done!  Thanks Kukubee!

Vanity and Wardrobe – Mostly done!  Turnip started off the efforts to determine how it worked in the background for TinySpeck, and Joey helped finish it off by creating an amazing new interface.  We’ve got a little more behind the scenes work to handle in order to get the spritesheets generated (and put in the right spot for the game to pick up), but the main work has been finished!

God Pages – We’ve stalled a bit here, but have a small set of pages to start from.  Soon, we’ll need to pick this back up as a higher priority, and really start to consider the scope we want to include in our version of the system.  We’ll try to blog some details of this effort at some point.

Authentication – Just about done!  Varaeth is just working out some of the last details before we can start the forums testing.

Pathfinding – Still waiting.  There have been bigger fish to fry, so it keeps getting pushed aside.  If anyone has some experience in this area and would like to join our little team to take a stab at it, let us know!

Other Notes:

“Can we come it and play yet?”  – Unfortunately not yet, but we’re getting closer with every step we take.  The rollout of the forums and wardrobe/vanity and the fact that we’re gearing up to start working on the ‘real’ game server should be good signs, so keep your eyes fixed here.

“Shut up and take my money!!!” – Patience, friends.  We still don’t have a great demand for income, since servers are really our only expense right now, and we’ve got that pretty well covered.  We’re also evaluating options on how to take donations once we start needing them, as well as considering options for Eleven merch.  As always, stay tuned here for more details.

Final Notes:

Again, I’d like to thank all of our amazing friends.  Tiny Speck, Kukubee, Jade, Danny, Brandon Brown, Xavier and many more that I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Things are slowly coming together, and I’m still insanely proud to be able to lead such a great team of people.  It’s amazing how well people can work together when they have a common goal!

Sincerely,

Your Chief Chicken Tamer,

Jim ‘KaiyonAlatar’ Condren

Playing Dress-Up

Here is a preview of our NEW concept for the Wardrobe and Vanity. The layout and functionality is entirely thanks to Joey!

For those that are curious, this interface is written using HTML and Javascript, but it’s calling upon the original Avatar Displayer SWF file found in the wardrobe. We’re all very excited about the Wardrobe and Vanity being more unified than it was previously – you can see how easily you can switch back and forth to customize your character’s entire appearance on the fly without needing to wait for each module to load independently. Enjoy!

Fun With Logos

Ladies and gentleglitchen, I’m very proud to unveil a very special something from a very special someone…

Our new official logo created by none other than Kukubee himself as his own personal contribution to our efforts!

Eleven Logo

 

We’ll be working to get this integrated into the game and rolled out to our website and social media outlets, so be on the lookout!

-Kaiyon

Weekend Whimsy

This is the tiniest of tiny updates. Feel free to pelt me with rotten cloudberries if this post gets you unduly excited. 😉

If you visit our homepage, we now have a favicon – it’s a symbol from one of our beloved giants! I can’t tell you which one, because it’s going to be different every time you refresh the page!

Thank Tii!

We thought it would be a fun way to honor our giants, who are still out there adventuring.  We’re hoping they return for a nice long sleep soon, so we can fill their dreams once again.

Many thanks to Veralidaine for designing the icons!

Unique Challenges

Seems your chief chicken tamer has been quiet for over two months.  Seems a good time to change that.

We’ve been asked with increasing frequency about a time line for an alpha test, and, while my previous post highlighted some of the tasks that sit between us and opening up, I haven’t touched on some of the challenges that a team like ours has to face which make even rough estimates on a timeline neatly impossible until we’re much closer to that goal.  What I’m talking about here is at the very nature of this project; we’re a volunteer only operation made up of rabid fans.

Volunteers
Every single person on the team is working on it as a labor of love. We don’t get paid for it (nor do we want to be currently, before offers of funding start flowing in), and just about anyone with a desire and applicable skill sets are welcome to contribute.  This leads us to a few of our major challenging points; availability, disappearances and missing skills.

Availability
Most of the team hold down full time day jobs (myself included) or attend school at the university level full time, with at least one notable exception. Bundle that with some having familial (I’ve got a wife and 2 small children, personally) or other outside obligations, and some of us are lucky to find spare time to work on the project in a given week. If we had even a handful of skilled people that could dedicate their efforts full-time to the project, things would move along a lot faster. In fact, Aroha has recently had the fortune to be able to devote nearly a full time effort, split with a personal project, and has helped advance several tasks much faster than would have otherwise happened. On the flip side, final exams, school projects, moving and starting new jobs (something I’m personally in the middle of) have caused several key team members to lessen their contributions significantly over the past few months.

Disappearances
If you look at the number of people we’ve brought into our team (91), you’d think we’d have enough people to move things along at a decent pace. Unfortunately, only 20 or so have actually continued to contribute past their initial excitement. It’s hard to say what exactly causes this to happen. Perhaps they find they don’t have as much time as they thought they did, aren’t quite as skilled as they thought, or maybe they just lose interest.  Either way, it can be difficult to deal with someone disappearing without notice, especially if they had a desired skill or had committed to a task already.  Unlike a paid job, the incentive to keep us up-to-date on what’s going on doesn’t seem to exist for some. Fortunately, we haven’t had to deal with this situation too many times, but it has caused some setbacks.

Missing skills
There are a very talented group of people committed to getting this project completed, which is amazing; there are a few areas where the skill sets are missing or held by too few team members (or team members that aren’t able to contribute a significant amount of time).  A couple examples of this situation are graphic design and significant AS3 experience.

Butting heads
I honestly think we’ve been incredibly lucky with regards to how well our team gets along, even though the occasional disagreement had occurred. So, while this hasn’t been a huge issue, there has been at least one notable exception where someone didn’t mesh well enough with the group that they felt they had to leave the project. It was an unfortunate situation, but I was quite happy that it was able to be resolved in a very peaceful manner, and I’m quite hopeful that we won’t see any worse situations in the future.

Internationalization
While it seems most of the team is based in the US, there are a good number of team members hailing from other countries around the world, including, but not limited to, Germany, the UK and Brazil. You’d think the time zone and language barriers would be a bigger obstacle, but aside from some people mentioning where they’re from or that they don’t know the best way to say something, you’d hardly be able to tell.

Managing expectations
Everyone is excited, probably our team more than most. Truth is, this is a massive undertaking, and, especially when you take some of the above into account, it’s going to take time. We have some talented and driven people working on it, but that won’t make it go that much quicker. The only realistic way to get things done faster would be to have all of us quit our current jobs/school and find a way to get paid fair wages from this project, which isn’t something that we want to do and don’t feel is viable long term. If you look closely at the discussions that Tiny Speck had regarding the shut down, you’ll see that the game had to not only support a current staff level at a fair wage, but also compensate for the time in development when no money was coming in. This is a hole we’d prefer not to get ourselves in, and if we decide to build up a paid team at some point, it would likely be under a different kind if structure to help make the game more viable.

So, while we know you’re all excited to get in and play, it’s going to take some time. Don’t worry though, our key contributors are very committed to making this happen; when we finally let you in, be certain that we’re giving you the best built game we can. Tiny Speck gave us a great starting point from which to rebuild Ur.

Still here!

Hey everyone! I realize it has been quiet this month. Our team members have had lots of real life obstacles to contend with, including new jobs, moving, and final exams. We have been making some progress in the webapp, authentication, god pages, and server code. Nearly everyone will be back to work around mid-May though! I am very excited to be able to focus on Eleven full-time again soon, as is the rest of the team!

Keep imagining the future with us!