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Haven't done one of these in a while so I thought that I would just give some insight as to what's going on with the team.

I've been doing what I usually do, which is trying to fufill everyone's requests. Oliver is sort of in the same position, we support the team. Oliver does most major CSV updates so that the developer can focus on creating their content. I add the new requested functionality to the game, so that developers can move on.

Recently we've been working hard on getting the new toolbar design in the game. It required some coding to get it right. So Tim creates the design with Jim, they go back and forth. Oliver and I put in our input. Tim creates images for us to critique. Finally we realize that there is no way for the four of us to completely agree, I hate to think what would happen if we got everyone involved, so we just decide to move ahead with the base design and saves tweaks for later. So Tim creates the art, then it goes to Oliver to do the csv updates, then it goes to me because I wanted to add it as a mod. I created a new design for the mod interface and this was my first chance to test it. So I get it in as a mod. So we all look at it and critque it again. Oliver does his adjustments based on Jim's spreadsheets. We all look again. Oliver gets one version working, then I need to add code to get the rest of it. I add the code and send it back to Oliver with the new design in place. He adds the rest. Jim has comments, submits them to Oliver to fix. On and on and on. AND we do this all in our free time across time zones. Crazy! Amazing that we get anything done.

What makes it happen is that everyone knows and does their job. Everyone is here to make a game and everyone respects everyone elses position. There is a chain of command and a billete for everyone. It's a great team and I'm proud to be a member. No in fighting at all, just some disagreements and sometimes debates. If it gets high enough, Jim settles it. That's what the Lead Designer does, that and having to know the intimate details of every phase of the project. If your curious, I do not always get my way :)

We just had a major redesign of scenarios and I'm sure that Mark is hating me right now. We wanted to allow the scenarios to use and share master OOB files. So we had to change the way they worked. This required that every existing scenario be updated. We have done this a few times now and it sucks everytime. I am seriously trying to keep this from happening, but sometimes it just becomes obvious that a new design is needed. I think in the long run that this new idea will work out great and make it much easier to create new scenarios. Oliver will help out Mark and they'll get them converted quickly. I'm adding in new commands as Mark needs them. We have some real good ones. Hopefully this will only make the AI and scenarios better. We won't really know until we can really start testing and tweaking these things. But the scenarios are coming along very well. Wish I had time to play them :(

Got the second map running and Eric is working on the third. The second map includes a very famous location and it's amazing! Can't wait for people to see it. You are going to be blown out of your mind!! I just got a request for day/night changes during game play, so that's what I'm focusing on for Eric. I've also been constantly working on the performance issues. Seems that there are really 2 major things that occur, terrain sprites and AI. AI causes those hiccups in the game, not really that long and we can probably live with them, but I don't like them. The sprites can easily be thinned out by the player in the options. As well as the drawing distance and other tweaks to make sure that the game will run on everyone's machine. I'm going to try and add some options in game so that you can tweak them while you play to see what works best for you. Some stuff has to be done before map load, but other's can be tweaked while you are playing. On the day/night thing, I think that I found a solution. If I drop the skybox, then the in game fog works on the ground and the sky. Then I can slowly darken both. Problem was that the sprites were not fogging. Looked kind of funny to have a black sky, black ground, and bright trees :) The first time I had a bright sky too. It's just experimenting for me and trying different things until something works. There's not much documentation for PR and help on the forums is sporadic.

Paul keeps promising me sounds when I ask. Haven't gotten any yet, but we've talked and I can't wait to get them. He's a perfectionist, so I know that they are going to be great. But Paul, I need sounds please. You can replace them later. :lol:

Derek is doing his working in adding the terrain sprites and tweaking the effects. I had something in there to thin out the sprites that was hurting his work. It was ugly, but I got to try everything. Hopefully this latest build will help him out. Mike is working on supporting the scenarios and maps. He's a stickler. I don't even get involved in the historical debates on our team. I just stay out. Brett is pumping out the OOBs. Now that we use his files directly, any changes that he makes are immediately picked up by all scenarios. It's a great design. Jim is trying to make sure all these pieces come together and that our schedule is being met. I think we're doing pretty good, but we really need to start testing.

Before we test we have to get all of the placeholder art and sounds out of the game. We still have some stuff that we borrowed until we finished our own assets. So it's just a matter of getting all that out of the game. Then we can recruit testers. I haven't ever tried multiplayer for a while now and I hope it still works. It wasn't tested hard when I first got it done and I really want it to start testing. It's very tough to fix MP bugs as they are very hard to recreate. Everything else we do is important, but I think it's the MP that's going to get us on the map! It's just that awesome and there is really nothing like it out right now. Well that's my blog.

Thanks for reading. Can't wait until everyone gets a chance to play.

Norb