NOBLE APE MAILOUT - NOVEMBER 2003

NOBLE APE SIMULATION 0.665 - Work In Progress
NOBLE WARFARE
WEBHOSTING
MONKEY MUSIC

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to another Noble Ape mailout. It's been a busy month behind the scenes of the Noble Ape development. The new year promises to be interesting in terms of development and feedback. Noble Warfare is already receiving quite a bit of interest. Although the source code is a couple of months away from going live, changes in the Noble Ape Simulation interface to assist the Noble Warfare development have already started to occur.

NOBLE APE SIMULATION 0.665 - Work In Progress

The benefit of the Noble Ape development to-date has been the ability for different applications to all share resources and development ethos. The development of Noble Warfare has benefited the Noble Ape Simulation in terms of streamlining the platform interface.

I am hoping to release version 0.665 of the Noble Ape Simulation some time in December (with some documentation tuning). This version contains a number of new features like multi-processor support and a new streamlined graphics model.

NOBLE WARFARE

What will Noble Warfare look like? This is still a work in progress. The synopsis of the development is to create a real-time strategy game where the artificial intelligence in the game and the sheer volume of combatants is more important than animated combatants.

When I was developing in the early nineties, I had an acute sense of the two divisions of software development. The first is the operating system specific code, that changes fashionably and frequently and is the subject of hundreds of books and conferences. The second is the platform independent code. For me, this is where the magic of development occurs. Traditionally, this has been the section of development I have preferred to work with because it is far less a function of fashion and far more a function of refined skills.

Noble Warfare has been on the two extremes of this development model for the past month. Lots of work has been done on the very low-level code that will create fast memory handling (something which isn't always guaranteed) and at the other end, maximising the performance of realtime graphics output through the operating system.

The interface for Noble Warfare is going to be similar to the Noble Ape Simulation however obviously the subject and game nature of the development will make the playability more critical. Even with the relatively passive descriptions offered through the mailout and the Noble Ape website, there has been a dedicated response from people wanting to beta test the development.

Network play has been one of the most requested features. I am aiming to include network playability in the earliest release version.

The timeframe for release is still early in the new year. I am not sure if it will be as early as January, but I am hoping to have a good beta testing group by March.

WEBHOSTING

I have moved my webhosting for the third time in two years. Every webhost move requires about a week's worth of evaluation and some preparation. It isn't particularly fun and it takes time away from actual development - but it insures the Noble Ape website continues to be accessible and emails sent to me occasionally get through.

Through this webhosting, I have reduced the number of domain names that are automatically forwarded to the Noble Ape website. I also reduced the log information to PDF files for people to download if the information is needed. Part of the move to PDF over raw HTML is to reduce some of the unnecessary traffic from people who are looking for things totally unrelated to the Noble Ape development.

Part of this streamlining is also in preparation for the launch of a new site next year connected with the Noble Warfare development.

MONKEY MUSIC

Work appears to be progressing on both sides of the Atlantic for a Barbalet/Montreal collaboration. I don't know if any of the produced material will be hosted online. I certainly would like to add a couple of tracks to the existing Monkey Music archive;

http://www.nobleape.com/music/

Hope all is well with you all,

Tom Barbalet, 30 November 2003.


Noble Ape - Mailout Archive