You've been waiting patiently while we focusing on other aspects of the project, and now that Atlas-C++ is completed, and talk of Acorn previews in the air, we are now prepared to initiate the next phase of the STAGE massively multiplayer online game server development effort.

The emails, listed in sequence below, will be released at one each day over the next 8 days. Peer review comments will be accepted and integrated, and released as a set of Whitepapers in the Chopping Block.

This work represents research and experimental work over the last 5 months into running a large scale product development effort. It identifies the process we'll be following and why, and thereby establishes our "Big Picture".

Here are the topics that will be presented.

On why STAGE was put on hold and an overview of some of the issues that WF has encountered with server and other development efforts.

On several different lines of research conducted over the past 6 months, to find solutions to the aforementioned problems. As these problems were more with procedure/coordination than programming, the research was into teams, methodologies, and other coordination aspects.

On tests made to check the practicality of some of the various development theories. What worked and what did not work. Again, these tests focused less on the software being developed so much as on the way in which it was developed.

On unambiguous conclusions that were able to be drawn from the research and experiments.

Based on the findings, a set of STAGE Development Ground Rules are derived and some basic policies set down.

On the process of establishing, growing, and perfecting the design (both code and documentation).

From prior work and research into other game server designs, a really simple baseline architecture has been drawn up. Some initial code has been written. A call is made for others to present whitepapers in a future issue of the Chopping Block on different architectures, that we might be able to collectively achieve perfection, while avoiding the process problems found previously.

This section lists a collection of tasks and concludes the series.

One of the reasons to release these one a day is to permit reflection and digestion of each, as we go. No one has time for a book. So please ask questions and provide your comments. I can't promise to respond to all of them immediately, but I will work to incorporate all feedback for the final Whitepaper version of this document.

If you are anxious to begin STAGE coding at this time, you may, but please ask permission before checking code into the forge/servers/stage directory tree. If you're not sure what to work on, a task list will be posted in about a week.

-- Bryce Harrington
bryce @