I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some news about this other side of BMC: Development, Design, Testing... and my personal thoughts. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment and ask in this open forum. I plan to update this Diaries often to let you all informed of our work with BMC.
We are a 2 people studio from Spain that really wanted to revive BMC. I have an official T4C Source Code lifetime license acquired from Vircom tons of years ago, and I knew BMC were much better coded, more polished, wider possibilities. With BMC we not only acquired the game but the engine itself, tools, assets, etc. A game and a technology for MMO isometric games like BMC is capable is really good stuff for a small studio like us. No need to invest on creating such technology from scratch that would take us years of development.
When I received the code I was really astonished by the number of copies, copies of copies, copies of copies of copies of files, temp folders, delete me ones, etc. Absolutely a mess of disorganized code. Again no pun intended nor offenses to anyone, just express my feelings. 20 days of pure archeology looking at each file of over 100GB of compressed files, to find a relative base of development.
Setting up a development environment for a 2001 old game was a *********. Microsoft discontinued some components, missing libraries, no single document about setting up compilers, tools and Visual Studio 6... But achieved to properly compile the game and... voilá... we looked at the forum, made a list of bugs, and within 1 hour I could find some workarounds for some of them, while other are being tested on our internal server.
After that, that took over a moth, my first reaction was... Hey, these guys has not been able to play BMC for a long time. Let's put all our efforts to make the game online, as it were, fixing some bugs I described in BMC Acquisition Thread, and switch all server logs at full to have as much info as possible.
If you are a developer, you will understand the Agile term Spring, or Milestone. Well, today we achieved Spring 1, that means we have finished and fully tested 15 days of productive work and we are ready, to go with Spring 2 that will take other 30 days, and so on. BMC will be developed using Scrum, that means we should work on tight deadlines, with 100% tested code (theory).
Most of the work has been internal, mostly related to Databases of BMC, bug fixing, and continue installing and deploying design tools. With Database we really achieved a nice improvement, that will allow to load, save, backup and distribute DB loads without having to bother by commercial DB licenses anymore.
Yesterday we could finally be able to begin modifying items, quests, and get it working on our internal server.
In this next spring we will complete all archeology of files, excel files, formulas, and tools to finally be able to properly debug and correct game. Will also replace original amalgame site with news, newer screenshots, etc..
Lastly, we have created a Facebook Fan Page, where you can invite your friends.
Hope you "like it"
See you soon....