Jan 07 2014

New Year Update

Welcome to the New Year.

For all that our IndieGoGo campaign didn't net more than about 1.5% of what we were hoping to get, 2013 was actually good for Ætheric Worlds. We clarified the direction we're moving in, and were able to put in solid work on our first game, begin designing our second, and make contacts that could lead to a digitization deal for another. That's really not bad for a company which started the year with the entire crew having the flu at once!

At the beginning of December, we scored four inexpensive Dell Optiplex 755 computers. They're all running Windows 7, and they're all able to drive two monitors. Along with the Mac Mini, that brings us up to five active company-owned development computers in the office, plus one computer that's owned by Rob (one of our artists) and a few tablets that get brought in occasionally. We have a Linux machine acting as our internal server and two retired Windows XP machines that we keep for spare parts (one of which is to be re-purposed as a Linux development machine), and with that, we have a fairly complete set. We're still on temporary tables and chairs, but that's okay for now. At this point, the only thing we really need, hardware wise, is another 8-port switch and a NAS RAID array for secure backups. We're looking at Drobo, but that has to wait for a while.

Software is another matter. We haven't figured out what drives the cost of software licenses, but we think it's distantly related to the phase of Neptune while in the astrological sign of Pisces. We're operating largely on free software right now, but that will have to change, at least in part, before we can make our final release.

On the up side — we have a fully working Alpha build of Nexus! It's in internal testing this week, and will be going to a select focus group for additional testing starting on Monday. We still need the artwork, and there is a bunch of final User Interface work to be done, including adding in sound, but the game itself is completely playable now. Due to software restrictions (see the licensing part above), we can only make Windows builds for testing purposes; alternate builds will be part of beta.

The underlying account system structure remains predominately in the design phase. Fortunately, we have the time to write that, as we wait for the artwork to be developed. We'll talk more about the account system in a future Dev Blog.

2014 is just beginning, but with where things stand, it promises to be an exciting year. We have true hopes of getting out of the "start-up basement" and onto the ground floor. We already have one new person joining us as assistant community manager & web developer, and we're talking with others about the possibility of coming on board. We're constantly seeking out possible avenues of funding, so that we can bring the games we envision to the people who already believe in us — and those who will join us along the way. We've even already had another game proposed and put into the pipeline for future development! In some ways, that's the advantage to being in the basement — every way from here is up.


Do you have something you'd like to read in the Developer Blog? Contact us and let us know.

Have something to say related to this blog entry? We'd love to see it, and so would others. Go here and share your thoughts.