Despite appearances, we're still here. Things have obviously been slow for the last several months, and none of us are sure when we'll be able to give Frostbyte enough of our attention to begin making regular progress again, but we're still here. There has been some small amount of work put into Stellar Trader in the last months, but we've mostly been working on side projects (and being swamped by Real Life).
Two of those side projects are now hosted here on FBG.com. One is creating maps for some of the games we play at LAN parties. The other is a D20 Modern campaign that we're running every other week. Check the links in the sidebar for more info on those.
It's almost time to renew the domain, which means we've been up for almost a year. We've made a rather pitiful amount of progress so far, but hopefully the next year will see us being more productive. Stay tuned!
May 4th 2004
Well, I'm sure it's pretty obvious from the lack of activity that we haven't accomplished much in the last month. The intrusions of real life have put the project on hold for the moment, but it's far from dead. Once our schedules calm down again, we'll pick up the pace and get the project moving. We've come a long way so far, and we're not going to let that go to waste. Check out the Roadmap for Stellar Trader to see our current progress, and check back here for updates in the coming weeks.
March 27th 2004
The last few weeks have been slow ones, so there hasn't been much to add here. None of us have been all that motivated to work on Stellar Trader, partly because two of us are in the midst of changing jobs. That's the downside to projects like this: real life takes precedence.
On the other hand, we finally have our design document online, though its passworded to protect our ideas. I'd rather let people have access to it, but you can't be too careful. At least it's accessible to the members of FBG, where we can all refer to it.
Hopefully things will pick back up again in the upcoming weeks. I'm back in class after spring break, so that gives me three hours a week in which to work on the engine. :)
March 10th 2004
The last week or so has been focused on design. The game startup options have been fleshed out a bit, and some detail has been added in other areas as well. If this all works the way we hope, Stellar Trader should be one of the most configurable games of its type. Everything from the number of star systems, to the makeup of those systems, to the efficiency of police and the amount of piracy will be changeable by the player at the start of a game. All of this is in support of our philosophy of letting the player have full control. Why hard code what we can just as easily leave open?
We've also got the new logo, as you can probably see. Jake did an awesome job with it. We've even got an animated version that we can use as a plug screen in the game. :)
March 1st 2004
Well, things are moving along. There hasn't been much to post about on the main page, but here's a small update on what we've been up to:
The design doc for Stellar Trader has been taking shape, with a fairly major overhaul to how we're going to handle ship systems. We've decided to move to a "top-down" sort of design, where a ship will have a few (5 or 6) major systems, that can be added "off-the-shelf" for quick upgrades. Each system is in turn composed of a number of smaller systems that mechanically inclined characters will be able to improve and fine-tune.
The engine is being developed alongside the design, since the core of the engine is project-independent and doesn't rely on anyhting that might change in the spec. Things are going smoothly on that front as well, with only a few hang-ups here and there.
We've also been working on a new logo, which will be showing up shortly.
February 11th 2004
The DNS records have been updated, and www.shiragazome-bible.com is officially online.
February 10th 2004
Well, the news page has been converted to use php and mySQL to pull news items, so now it should be nice and painless to maintain. I've spent a good portion of my day playing "Escape Velocity: Nova", a game similar in concept to what Stellar Trader will be. It's interesting, but not providing much inspiration. It sounds good, but ends up being more tedious than anything. At least it gives us a better idea of what other people have done in this genre.
I need to take a break from writing for the next day or so. My wrists are killing me...not that I will take a break, but I probably should.
February 10th 2004
The outline for the Stellar Trader design doc is up, but it's going to take me longer than expected to convert the doc over to HTML, mainly because the doc itself is being worked on constantly at the moment.
The doc is actually coming along nicely, with most of the basics worked out and a fair amount of detail. There's a lot more detail to get in there before we can really get to work on the code, but at this point it's mainly things like exact numerical values to use as a starting point for the skill system, and things like that. We know how everything will work, just not to what numbers it will work with.
February 9th 2004
Thanks to Mike for getting our forums back online, and thanks to Jake for getting me the updated logo. We decided last night to switch to paid hosting - within the next few days we'll be making the switch.