WorldForge Project Summary as of 7-April-2002

Oliver White

It has been a long while since we wrote up the activities of the project as a whole, so I thought it worthwhile to write up this summary to let people know what is going on. Things have been rather quiet lately, but it seems we have a number of quiet achievers plugging away at their individual projects. I have news from all areas of the projects, from servers to clients to games, media and infrastructure.

Firstly infrastructure. After a long period without maintenance, the zope website is being reworked by Kosh, applying many of the changes he has been working on for the past few months. New features include "Webdav" and FTP editing. However, these fixes will only solve actual code errors, we still need to devote some time cleaning up the hundred or so broken links on the site. Any volunteers are more than welcome to sign up for the job. CVS administration has recently been taken over by Anubis, following the happy arrival of the latest WorldForge baby! Good luck Chord!

On the Client side, work is progressing in the early stages of Dime development, with efforts focusing on a 3D engine. 2D-isometric views are on hold for the moment, but support is still planned. Tim is working on the Data Model component and is nearing an initial release. The data model provides the low level infrastructure for representing game state.

Meanwhile, Malcolm is busy knocking the old UClient codebase into shape ready for Mason. Of late he has been involved in further developing the user interface, whilst Pato has announced a competition to come up with a new theme.

STAGE development was progressing quite slowly for a while, given the work commitments of some of the core developers. Recently, though, the team has picked up where they left off and applied some new techniques to the architecture. The result of this is that the interfaces between components in the server have been reduced to a minimal set and moved into standard API classes. For all you "Object Oriented" developers out there, this means we have lowered the coupling between our components, improving maintainability and making internal modifications less likely to break other parts of the system.

In addition, a number of documents have been published, discussing the STAGE design, coding guidelines and data model. These are works in progress, but are valuable for anyone interested in working with the server code.

A new server project has cropped up. Well, not so new. The Pangea concept was first proposed by John Sheets as long ago as 1998. He has resurected the server design, basing it on the J2EE architecture. Some early code has been deposited in CVS, and I'm looking forward to seeing what shape this project takes.

Very little has been heard regarding Cyphesis-C++ development. Malcolm assures us this silence will not last long, with development of the Mason game relying on this server architecture.

World development has been progressing at a rapid pace of late, with Will Jennings writing a number of articles on Moraf and the culture of Mason. In addition to a discussion of theology and a history of human settlement, Will has enlightened us on the linguistics of the Woodcutters. A true axe and perhaps an albey of the project!

Lee continues to work on Archepelego, with the story slowly developing. He has also taken on leadership of the world-development effort, and tells me that a number of meetings have been held to discuss the world team's battle plan. We can look forward to some professional documents in the future, including game manuals for table top gaming.

The media team have been pretty busy, if quiet about it. Pato has recently added his own collection of sound effects to the repository. He tells me this is a long way towards the complete set of effects we'll need for Mason. Impressive!

Pato has also assembled a team to develop models for use in our game. Currently he has nowhere doing concept art for a "Dipriva", whilst zzorn and munin are working on textures and modeling, respectively. From this model, we will be able to create 2D tiles, using Malcolm's "model2sprite" program. Of course we can always use more media developers, so consider joining or making a team of your own, taking up some creature, item or structure you'd like to see in our next game.

All in all, a lot is happening out there. Work is steadily progressing towards Mason and beyond. I'd like to thank all those out there contributing to their own little patch of the project, and espeically those who have helped me put this summary together. Have fun!