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Designer's DiaryJune 2000

Monday, 5 June 2000: In the recent past, I've tested the Chat feature on the Official Discussion Boards a bit, enough to venture to try our first open "chat." Many more people seem to be finding out about MOO3, and so the traffic hasn't slowed much yet. Interestingly, we had our first "wish list" meeting, where we discuss the themes of what we're seeing out there on your wish lists. We're beginning at large features and then will work our way down into the minutiae, but I think we made a good start. It was good to see the whole team assembled to directly discuss consumer comments. I'm still slogging away in the land of Ground Combat, but the spreadsheets are starting to gel and code is starting to "do stuff." Tom Hughes is feverishly trying to wrap up planet creation and wade into ship combat.

Tuesday, 13 June 2000: The first scheduled "chat" on Delphi didn't go nearly as smoothly as I'd hoped. When I get the time, I have to figure out what caused the technical problems. Still, a good time was had by those who did make it. Our second full staff "wish list" meeting went off and left me with a huge design challenge: create "team play" in a game and system that was never designed to support it. Wish me luck on that one! We've got another new Hasbro Producer on this project (our third). Our Producer, Bill Levay, was promoted to Executive Producer, so he's still around, just less hands-on. Our new Producer, Jeff "Bootch" Buccellato, and Hasbro Designer Jennifer McWilliams should be out to visit later next week, so it will be nice to have a little "face time" and do some "show and tell." In the meantime, policing the Discussion Boards has been real educational. I've actually gleaned some juicy ideas from amid the noise and pasted some into the Design Doc for further consideration. (Keep those ideas comin', folks!)

Tuesday, 20 June 2000: The "discovery" process continues as the design doc interacts with actual coding. Data structures are proceeding smoothly and we (the designers) are learning a lot about how to create more flexible "nodes" in the way that we store the data for things. What this means is that we can make technological advances that are way more numerous, specific, and granular at the end of the day. This is a big "win," as you can have enough possible technological discoveries hiding out there. I notice that more people are meeting me during my spontaneous "chats" on Delphi. It's always good to talk to you guys. Keep watching for me out there!

Image: Jennifer McWilliams and BootchTuesday, 27 June 2000: Jennifer McWilliams and Bootch from Hasbro Interactive (pictured, left) have come and gone. If you haven't seen it yet, Bootch has his bio up in the About Us section, and Jennifer has a new picture there. While Bootch was getting up to speed, we did manage to go over a lot stuff during their visit. Basically, I get the feeling that they'll sleep a little better out there in Massachusetts after this visit and feel that their money is working hard over here at Quicksilver. I want to thank Jennifer for dropping a very good design nugget concerning Leaders in MOO3 and "the Imperial eye." Unfortunately for me, I'm falling a little behind schedule what with the VIPs in from out of town and my home finally getting built and needing lots of pre-move in attention. I've got to spend some serious time hacking away at the pile on my desk.

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