Call to action

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FVANtom's picture
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Some people have been talking about the need for updates on TerraWorld. I agree this is a problem and I would like to look for a solution in this post.

Reason for the lack of client updates

The main big reason is that the client application is written in Macromedia Director and Lingo. This dev tool is very old and stores it's source code for the TerraWorld project in 1 big source file. For security and legacy reasons it's not possible to change this.

This basically means that whenever I change anything about the client there is no record or change-log of what changed. If later on there is a problem with the game because of a previous update it's very hard to trace back all changes since the last working version and correct the problem.

It also means I am unable to let others help change the source code because they could add malicious code or accidentally break something and I would have no way of knowing what they changed. So letting others help to add to the current client would make it impossible to guaranty the safety and security of the client application.

Other reasons for the lack of new items and other features is that it all takes a long time to add and change. The code base is more than 12 years old. It's simply too outdated to work with comfortably.

Suggested solution

Some admins have been suggesting to let someone build a system that will allow them to add items dynamically without the need for a new client. While this all sounds good it's an awful lot of work for the person who creates such a system and for me to integrate it into a new client build.

On top of that I think that adding a few new items to TerraWorld won't solve a whole lot in the long run.

I have been talking and thinking about this solution for a long time and I do not think it is feasible enough.

A client rewrite

Currently the only way out that I see is a new client with new source code in a new engine. While this sounds complicated I think it's the best solution if we want updates to TerraWorld in the future.

A few of the advantages to this solution:


  • The client will become maintainable again and regular updates will become possible

  • The client will be able to run on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone or iPad and Android, maybe even inside the browser

  • In the long term it will give TerraWorld a new fighting chance to survive

I have had this idea in the past before but it didn't amount to anything because I could not find the help required to build such a thing. I have a full time job and other game projects I am working on so I do not have the time to rebuild the TerraWorld client myself.

So if we really want updates to TerraWorld, we will need to find programmers who will be able to port the current client to the new technology.

As a technology I want to use the Unity3D engine (but use the 2D functionality to keep TerraWorld the same game as it is now) and build a look alike client in that engine. This client should have the same functionality and work the same as the current client. Changing both client and server at the same time won't work as it would be better to create a completely new MMO in that case. (and there are better solutions if we want that)

Time and money

To execute this plan we will need people who can rebuild the main functionality like chat, map rendering, monster movement, item and inventory system, map editor, various dialogs ... in the Unity3D engine (preferably in the C# scripting language).

Because we are a community project that runs on the effort of volunteers (myself included) we have no funds available to pay someone to build this.

Either we find someone who loves TerraWorld and wants to help out for free, or we all put our money together and find someone who can build this.

If you are interested in helping out as a programmer or donator send me a message via the support form.

If enough people are interested we will set up a page for this project and work out the details.

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i think if possible find

i think if possible find someone who can add to the game would be the better solution. a completely new game will possible take as much time and money as the other ideas.

now since i said that im all for the new terra idea of creating a game with a new engine but making it look how terra looks right now. i am willing to donate some cash for this project if i get updates on how things are going. i would not donate if there will be no show of updates.

either way its a lot of work for both ideas. but i know KOMA has had lots of interests in finding someone who can program or write up a script to add items for you.

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XxbearxX wrote: i think if

XxbearxX wrote:
i think if possible find someone who can add to the game would be the better solution. a completely new game will possible take as much time and money as the other ideas.

There have been people who have offered this, it's not going to happen. Koma did find someone to work on the patcher idea as well, but it's not going to work with the way Tom wants to do things.

As for the "new terra" idea, the only people capable of this aren't going to do it for free, so thats out of question as well.

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Jer can you give detail as to

Jer can you give detail as to why it won't work? Also, I propose getting a "kickstarter" fund in progress and paying the programmer that way. Oh wait tom suggested that. I am willing to put forth money as well. Hell, working on this game has made me think about getting a second degree in either programming or especially design but i dont think I can afford anymore school loans lol.

So if we do a donation campaign, what would be our goal? Would the developer be paid for the one project or be paid full time to maintain as well? I can't imagine that anyone brought on full time would do anything less than 50,000 a year, even a new graduate.

We need to find a lot of old players and see what they're doing nowadays. Maybe one of them has enough love for the game and got the right experience...

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Nivh wrote: Jer can you give

Nivh wrote:
Jer can you give detail as to why it won't work?

He wants to do it in a way that requires never touching the source again, this is not a realistic expectation for this sort of system, this would pretty much only work with a new system built with a new engine.

FVANtom's picture
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Nivh wrote: I propose getting

Nivh wrote:
I propose getting a "kickstarter" fund in progress and paying the programmer that way.

Something like that yes. If we decide to go that way I will set up a page for fund collection. First we need to see if players are actually waiting for such a project. Maybe a poll?

Ideal would be if we could create the new client the way we create the game content itself. With volunteers from the Terra community working together. If enough people are interested in helping I will donate some of my time and money too.

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Like I said i am willing to

Like I said i am willing to support and help make this game possible.

I have some money and some time that I can give up for this project.
once it gets started I would like to help out as much as possible. I really do like terra and hope the new game will work just like it.

Tom if u can email me

Roman_samoilich_15@yahoo.com please

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Lets pretend that we raise

Lets pretend that we raise money, new server, client, software. Everything goes as well as it could. I think what most players would want to know is whats going to change? Who would be in charge? No offense but having someone with a full time job and other projects isnt exactly who I would think of as someone to lead the design project further. I am not going to sit here and tell you what to do but I think before you try to raise money we as players(and potential crowd funders) would need to know its going to change
"Idk we need Tom for that and you know what that means..."

More frequent updates By Tom or more frequent updates by your new design team or admins? I understand that in your post you said it will help with updates, but if you dont have time to do it then no progress will be made. I think more details of exactly what and how things would change would help the process exeedingly more.

For Example:
Monthly Updates (or scheduled)
More transparency between staff and players (a look at whats coming next)
Player feedback system
Frequent events
THE NEW CLIENT PUT ON STEAM

These are just examples but I think it would be important that the players saw an immediate and long term effect of the switch and that we knew what they would be before it happened. Same game new feel. I absolutely support the crowdfuning idea. I think it would be important that you make the Pledges something that would influence people to give more. Im sure you could come up with some very creative ideas for rewarding the people helping the cause.

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Kinda Long and Boring The

Kinda Long and Boring

The problem with this is that without dedication to Terra it won't get done. I understand that you have other projects that may or may not gain interest, but as of right now Terra is the only concrete game you have that has kept public interest. I understand the population of Terra has died, but the main cause for that is the lack of ownership of the game, 3D and more advanced games are not the cause for the population check steam too see what I mean "realm of mad dog" in particular.

I realize that Terra is bringing in no real profit at this time, but just think without Terra you probably wouldn't be known like you are today. This game started it all for you and in most cases I have seen you refer back to the game in your portfolio, or whatever you call it. Which tells me that you still care about Terra you just ain't gaining profit from it.

The matter of you not having time I believe is more circumstantial than anything because you have had time to work on the 3D vr game which I am sure was more difficult to script than Terra and a lot more expensive, judging by your post on indiegogo.com you stated that you have spent $5,512 on the project, along with taking time off work to work on the project, and need another $4,375 to finish it in which you earned $1,914. I guess the real thing I am trying to get at with this is why are you investing so much into that game that may or may not gain public interest instead of investing it into a game that has a long history of success?

This post is more about my concerns, but with that said I want too say that if you actually do something like this I would support you as much as I could on one condition if it can be done without losing any of the games features this should be strictly to improve Terra not remove some of its current features.. I know that the last time I spoke to you about this idea, the idea you posted above, over skype you said that you wouldn't be able to bring everything over which is somewhat understandable, but you went on to say that you would turn Terra into a single-player mining game which I know would not carry over any of the current player's support.

I will end this by saying that the only way ANY of this will work is through some form of advertising because there are thousands of people out there looking for a game like terra and if you don't let them know about terra then how are they supposed to find it. The best example for this is if you had a business out in the middle of nowhere and did not put up directions too get there how would customers find it? Especially when there are thousands of other businesses out there that are easier to find.

Reference Used;

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bouncervr-for-oculus-rift

FVANtom's picture
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I'm not actively developing

I'm not actively developing TerraWorld anymore because we are stuck on a software level and it would cost me too much to get it unstuck on my own.

Doesn't the fact that I've been running and maintaining the game for 12 years already prove I'm still dedicated to the game? You might not see me ingame managing the team anymore but I'm still monitoring and fixing stuff when it breaks.

That is why I'm proposing that if the community wants software to change in the game that they help achieve it together with me either financially or by voluntering. I'm not proposing a completely different game, rather a client software port to a new technology (Unity3D engine in C#) so we can be on other platforms like ios android and Steam. It's an illusion we can just outsource it to another developer. I will need to work closely with the people who are helping to make the software port into a success. If that could happen I could do regular updates again because it will be more easy to do so and to maintain them.

If the community doesn't want that software update enough, the game will still stay online for the people who still love it and I suspect there will still be a team of admins who want to improve the maps and quests. It's all a matter of involvement and demand.

I appreciate many of you are trying to find constructive solutions in this post. Lets try not to turn this into a "Tom should do more and that's the problem" post but keep it about finding a solution to our problem.

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I actually think you try to

I actually think you try to do too much Tom. You need to get someone up higher than an admin power wise that can make big decisions. You cant run the game by yourself. We want it to expand and grow, one person cant do that. You limit the games possibilities by placing sole involvement of big choices in your hands. Like you said you have a full time job. Terra demands more and the decline in players the past years show that. Its a great game and I understand that it is yours to do with that you please, but if you are really looking for suggestions then yes I believe that is valid. I am not alone in this. At least take some time and consider a number 2 if you haven't already.

Other than that I think a poll would be a good idea. It could give you an idea of how many people you are looking at and also maybe some make or break factors if you do the poll right. Maybe more of a survey?