The First Alpha

The first alpha release should show the general idea of the game but still be very ugly. It should contain a sphere with separate regions and one of this regions will be your starting position. Although my goal is for the golem to be build by the villagers, in the first version I think you'll just start with 1 golem that can be moved around. It should be possible to annex countries of non-believers simply by removing the indigenous population and standing on their 'sacred soil' for a couple of seconds[disclaimer2]. This may give the game an 18+ rating even though the world will look like a colorful cheery place (when I get around at making it look good). I don't think I'll add opposition or destructible terrain or anything like that, that will have to wait for a later versions. Another issue is that I need to think about the feeling of adventure. This seems to get lost in the current ideas for the game. I know ways of adding adventure, but all of them involve something like adding an additional "mode" to the game and that will result in a loss of focus giving me less chances of success. Thinking about this will just have to wait after I finished the first version.

Although I said "First Version" I will release intermediate versions that does not yet contain the features described above. So not alpha-releases but, uhmm .. what letter comes before alpha in the Greek alphabet? Depending on your definition its either an omega-version or an access-violation-exception-version. Given the fact that they will be pre-pre-beta versions and many bugs are to be expected the access-violation-exception-version sounds the most reasonable, but its quite the mouthful :). Having both the alpha and the omega as version numbers nicely suits some of the ideas of the game, so i'll stick with omega for now. Hmm would that be a nice name for the game: "Alpha and Omega"? it nicely represents my situation in which it is unlikely there ever will be a Beta let alone a Release Candidate.

So are we done with brainstorming for now? I think we discussed all of the important stuff. O wait! Binary releases and source distribution. I've already talked about an idea for payment in my previous post. So I need to figure out how to handle the payment of unicorn-pictures taking into account that not everybody knows how to use Photoshop or Paint (or a camera if you are really, really lucky). There will also be those people that will use (copyrighted) art from other people just to play the game. Its not like I'm asking for photo realistic drawings, but there should also be some method of detecting fake-unicorns (random pictures, horses with wings, offensive drawings, ...). This will be more difficult than I thought, but receiving unicorn-pictures is the sole reason for me to start this project. Maybe thinking about the payment method requires its own brainstorm page. Oh man, I thought I could start programming. Now I think about it some more I should also think about DRM. There are 'some' people, without naming anybody in particular, John, that will crack my game and put it online for free. In my case it will be particularly easy because I give away the source-code. I 'could' keep that part closed-source but that will not hold back the really persistent John's out there.

Hmm anything else I've forgotten about? Don't think so. It looks like I'm doing this project in an iterative fashion. Brainstorming -> Building Alpha Version -> Collecting feedback, and back to brainstorming again. I'm usually not this organized so if you give feedback while I'm building an alpha version I won't get angry :P. I'm not going to make actual time-tables, stuff like that only makes me depressed. We will just guess how much work needs to be done for the next alpha release and keep my goals doable in relatively small time frames. If building an alpha version takes too long I will just shorten it and drop features. This way I can get feedback and reexamine if what we are doing is still the logical thing. Wow, I almost sound like a professional programmer (called a pro-pro). Success guaranteed, I'm going to be rich! Well that is, if I sell all the unicorn-pictures (which I will never do!).