NOBLE APE MAILOUT - DECEMBER 2003
NOBLE APE SIMULATION
Almost every aspect of the Noble Ape development has been touched on this month. The development of Noble Warfare and the functional requirements of both the Noble Ape Simulation and Noble Warfare developments has changed the source code and software for the better. But due to the time of year, and the additional information I will add in next month's mailout, this mailout is shorter than usual.
NOBLE APE SIMULATION
I have decided not to do another release of the Noble Ape Simulation until after the first beta release of Noble Warfare. It would have been relatively easy to do a Noble Ape Simulation release over the past month. But time and development flow has been relatively solely focused on the Noble Warfare development which also included serious reworking of sections of the Noble Ape development.
Working in native integer code through the developments and changing both the file handling and the platform specific code to be modular for both developments has taken a large part of the past month's time. Rather than releasing a mid-point, patched together version of the Simulation that contains some Noble Warfare fixes, it just seemed easier to do a proper release following the initial beta of Noble Warfare.
The more that goes into Noble Warfare, the greater the shared code-base between the developments. In the past week, the line-of-sight code used in the Noble Ape Simulation has been quickly adapted to Noble Warfare. Similarly, the generic file handling from Noble Warfare has been ported back to the Simulation. This symbiotic code development is a very interesting model to work with.
There are still a number of undecided development areas. A lot of the past month has been testing ideas in isolation and in small combination.
Releasing a new program isn't just about writing and testing source code. Noble Warfare will be launched through a separate site with separate resources to the Noble Ape Simulation. My present thinking is those interested in the Noble Warfare development will be quite different to the people who have been interested and involved with the Noble Ape development to-date.
Lots of lessons learnt with the development of the Noble Ape Simulation documentation will translate into Noble Warfare. The quick-start prioritised documentation leading to a progressive increase in detail, highlights the many kinds of readers and uses of documentation.
I have spent some time studying existing online communities associated with computer and other strategy games. The needs for this group are quite different to the Noble Ape Simulation. The current plan following the first release, is a monthly update in parallel with the software development. This monthly update will include new maps and battles covering history and potentially fantasy battles as well, will keep occasional downloaders coming back to the Noble Warfare site.
There will be much more in next month's mailout on Noble Warfare and hopefully some additional information on the Monkey Music development.
Happy holidays and hope all is well with you all in 2004,
Tom Barbalet, 30 December 2003.