How this game came to be

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

(this is a repost — from may 7th — originally on the forums incase you’ve already read it)

I started working on The Chipped Dagger 97 days ago. That’s when Krumple started doing the artwork for the game. The tale begins long before that however.

A long time ago…
Both krumple and I have very fond memories of the original “Gold Box” TSR AD&D games. Curse of the Azure Bonds was a great game! I think it came on 6x double-sided 5 and 1/4 inch floppy disks. Fire up the Commodore 64 with the 1541 floppy drive and we were ready to go! This was back in the late 1980s. Things have been pretty much downhill since then. Even though the game had rudamentary graphics and itwas turn based it is more compelling than most modern RPGs that i’ve played.

I remember seeing the advertisements for the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL. I’ll admit I didn’t get what the fuss was over playing an RPG online with other people rather than just playing an RPG all alone. That changed though in 1996.

Around 1991 ish, I got ahold of a copy of Ultima Underworld 2. I still have very fond memories of that game. It was a great RPG. It ran like crap on my 386sx20 with 2mb of ram, but it was an awesome gaming experience.

A friend and I both bought warcraft. Not World of Warcraft, but warcraft. We lived about 30 miles apart and we would play all night long over a phone line. Back in those days used to cost about 28 cents a minute for “local long distance” in our area. We made the telco rich. He always played orcs, and I always played humans. It was my first experience with a online multiplayer game and it was great fun.

At some point in 1996 my friend (let’s call him “Joe” to protect the innocent) got hooked on crack. Not that normal crack that they talk about in school DARE programs, but the cardboard crack variety.

Thankfully I never got hooked on crack. Since he was my friend though we still hung out despite his addiction. At one point he started dragging me along to this non-descript office building outside of Seattle. He said there were other crack addicts there. He was right. It was WoTC (wizards of the coast) office building and they had an area where players could play magic the gathering. That really didn’t interest me. They did, however, have about 16 networked computers there. These were like 486 or maybe first generation pentium machines. Not much by todays standards.

While he hung out doing lines with the other addicts, I started hanging out in the computer lab. One day — and again this was in 1996 — someone was playing a game that I had never seen before. It was a dark and eerie dungeon crawler. I was blown away by it. Sure it was only a demo, and there were only two levels, but I was instantly hooked. The demo was for Diablo!

After that I waited feverishly for diablo to be released. It was slated to go gold in December 1996, but it missed the date. At the time I had a Compaq 386 SX20 with 2mb of ram and a newer Compaq 133 pentium with like 16mb of ram. Finally on January 4th 1997 it launched. I remember buying my copy at a local store that day. I even bought a brand new Pentium pro 200 with 32 mb of ram with a 17″ flat screen CRT just to play diablo!

Those were great times. I played diablo for months on end. Not only was it a great game, but the battle.net was a really nice service.

A number of months into playing Diablo people started telling me about a new online game that was ever better than diablo, but with player-owned housing and a totally graphical world. Just like Diablo but better? sign me up!

So in September 1997, krumple, will (who is also the chipped dagger server admin), crack-addict Joe, and a couple other friends all started playing UO! Just like Diablo I was there on launch day. Nothing like being the first one to the party.

Mind you this was still when you had to pay by the hour for internet access. I remember krumple sitting in my office redailing AOL for hours on end just to get connected to the internet so he could play UO!

The game was _very_ rough when it started. There was no comparison between Diablo and UO. It was very buggy, and extremely laggy. The rubberband effect was infuriating.

I remember when I first start playing (I had not played the beta for UO) and one of the first things i ran into outside of town was either a rabbit or a cow. Whatever it was it quickly killed me. I’m not sure how either a cow or a rabbit dispatches a hearty adventurer, but it happend. After a fre unsuccessful attempts, I figured it was time for something else.

Since I was new to UO, I didn’t know that the “tank mages” just sat at the outskirts of town and blew up everyone who dared leave the safety of the town guards. After getting PK’d numerous just trying to leave town I figured another career was in order.

Skull caps anyone?
UO had a totally broken economy. The guys who made it (Garriot, Koster, et all) didn’t understand the first thing about economics. One of the best way to make money was to buy some cloth for the tailor, sit at the tailors shop and create as many skull caps as you could. Of course I wasn’t the only person doing this. The skull caps had no use whatsoever to players, but the NPC tailor would buy them up as if he had recently won the lottery. Soon they changed it such that the tailor only had so much cash and when he was out of cash he wouldn’t buy anymore junk. This new system worked until the first guy sold a truckload of skullcaps to the tailor thus removing all NPCs gold.

Then it was changed such that they would still run out of gold, but every ten minutes their gold amount would refresh. This meant that you spent about 9 minutes and 50 seconds making skull caps, then you spent the next 10 seconds trying to be the first guy to spam all your stuff to the NPC to drain all the gold. This was the economy in UO.

Then we decided en mass to become rogues. It was too hard to kill anything, and too dangerous to leave town, and too much of a pain to craft, so the next best thing was to steal stuff from others! IIRC you could have 7 skills maxed in UO (each skill went from 0 to 100). We only needed three kills: Grandmaster Rogue and Grandmaster Hide In Shadows and pickpocket (i think that’s what the last one was called). This was the fast track to riches.

There was a bank in town, and players would swarm around the bank to do deposits and withdrawals. Originally you had to walk inside the bank, but it was so damn crowded you could never get through the door. Eventually they changed it so you only needed to be close to the bank in order ot interact with it. Back in those days you could actually snoop inside another players backpack. If someone noticed you snooping or trying to steal something they could say “Guards!” and the town guards would insta-appear and insta-gank you. Plus, rogues generally didn’t bother wearing any gear since they were often being killed by the guards. We just wore our gray “death robes.”

Players eventually noticed that the guys standing at the bank wearing death robes were up to no good and eventually no one would stand near you if you idled at the bank. This is where hide in shadows came into play. You could hide next to the bank so others couldn’t see you. Then you would sit patiently and wait for your prey to show up to deposit whatever goodies he had in his backpack. You could snoop while hidden which was nice, but if you tried to steal something, you would turn visible again. Stealing often resulted in someone witnessing your crime, which also resulted in near instant death. The trick to making this profitable was to have your backpack and your bank open before doing any of this. If you found something in the player’s backpack worth stealing, you could attempt to steal it. The item would appear inside your backpack, and then you had to drag and drop it into the bank before you were ganked by the guards. This took practice but it was very doable.

The game mechanics were so horribly broken — and remember this was an already released game that you bought down at the store — and they were constantly making radical changes in the gameplay. I remember at one point you took something like a 10% skill reduction in all skills just for stealing once. Then they removed it again. I think at one point they even removed the ability to snoop inside containers within containers.

It was a great game, but it was very frustrating to play.

Dialo 2!

I think D2 is probably my favorite game of all time. I have some nitpicks with it, but overall it’s a great game. I only over played softcore mode just long enough to unlock hardcore mode. I’ve lost many lvl 90+ characters over the years in Diablo 2. Permadeath sucks, but when you almost die (but survive) it’s a great feeling! I blame my severe carpel tunnel in my mouse hand on Diablo 2. >:(

EVE, UXO, EQ2, and WOW:

By 2004 I was looking for another MMO to play. I ended up at EVE Online along with krumple and will. This was back when EVE was still very new and had about 20k total subscribers. It was quite different then than it is today. I started a corp and we had about 100 players in it. It was lots of fun. It was a lot of mindless grinding and eventually all three of us burned out on it. 2004 was also the year that UXO, EQ2, and WOW were to launch. I was pretty sure at least one of those would be the MMO for me. During the summer though UXO was cancelled. EQ2 launched late in the year.

Graphically EQ2 seemed impressive at first glance. I showed krumple the nice water reflections of a tree in a lake I was standing by. He quickly pointed out that there was no tree on the other side of the lake. Then I decided to walk into the lake. I was promptly attacked by some sort of small fish. It started to kill me so I back out of the lake. The fish folowed me a bit and was hovering above the ground. I figured the collision detection was a bit off and back up a few more paces. The fish followed. I backed up some more, and the fish kept attacking. Eventually I backed up through the entire zone and the fish was still following. I logged out of EQ2 and never played it again. I think I used 1 of my 30 days playtime.

Then came the world of warcraft. Again I was there for launch day. I was actually quite impressed by the high polish of the game. Blizzard has always done a bang up job with their games. I really like the music, and the graphics, but the gameplay left me very wanting. I didn’t like how they designed crafting to be a money sink — instead of a primary way to play the game. I didn’t like the instanced dungeons. I didn’t like the fact that 20 newbs cannot kill 1 veteran. I didn’t like that I had to go kill boars in order to raise my crafting ability. I also didn’t like that when I went to complete the princess pig quest in the Brackwell pumpkin patch that there was a line of players already queued up waiting for the princess pig to respawn so they could also complete the quest.

When my first 30 days of gametime ran out, I didn’t renew.

Don’t get me wrong, I think WoW is a great game and I understand why so many people like it, but it wasn’t for me. I want to be able to attack stormwind and burn the place down, or to only play as a crafter, or to build a castle. I wanted a sandbox game, and wow is the definition of a themepark game.

At the end of 2004 I was pretty bummed about the lack of a good MMO to play. I had tried many others, but still couldn’t find one I liked. At that time I decided that I wanted to make an MMO.

I wasn’t new to programming by any means. I think my first programming experience was on a Commodore Pet when I was in gradeschool. I had also done some programming on my Commodore 64. I think my first “game” was a monopoly game I made in about 1992. I had bought a copy of Borland C++ my first year of college and I used the borland graphics library to make the game. Good times. I finished the gameplay for hte game, as I wrote that first. I didn’t ever finish the graphical front end.

In the late 90s I was playing around with directX and wrote a breakout clone (a pretty close copy of (Arkanoid II). Krumple did the artwork and sound for me. It was nearly complete and even included a level editor. It was a pretty polished game.

I’ve also worked as a professional developer at a number of software companies over the years including microsoft. None of it was game related. It was all very boring stuff. Back to games!

So at the end of 2004 Will, Krumple, and I (and a couple other friends as well) decided to make an MMO! We eventually decided to make a sci-fi game. I registerd the www.rebelfactions.com domain name. I even formed a corporation named “Trailer Park Software.” We spent some time looking after different technologies. We bought a copy of the torque engine. I spent some time talking to venture capitalists. After awhile it became pretty clear to me that it was going to be a long, uphill battle. I spent months just working on a design document and a business plan. I think the business plan is something like 50+ pages long. I think the DD is probably 100+. It was a lot of time to spend without actually making a game.

Early in 2005 I decided I needed to make a tech demo/mockup to show potential investors. I quickly got bogged down with how extremely difficult making an MMO is. At one point I started working on a browser-based prototype. Along with krumple and will it actually got to a point where it was pretty playable. It had very granular movement and even had realtime terrain updates! This was 2005 and all this was running in a broswer. I had written most of a UI system including resizable windows, drag & drop, etc. Pretty advanced stuff for css/dhtml/javascript. Eventually it was clear that I was trying to use the browser in a way it wasn’t going ot work and gave up.

During the next 5 years I’ve built a number of half-finished MMOs that have never seen a single outside player log in. There are various 2D sci-fi MMOs. Playable ones, but everytime I got to a point where it was just too overwhelming to finish without an entire team of people to get it done. I’ve given up many times. One of the last times I built a text-based mud. After months of working on it I showed it to will. His response was something to the effect “I think you should finish it, and I think people will play it, but i’m not sure if anyone would pay for it.” That was about the last time I looked at that code.

About 3 months ago, I had basically given up on ever actually making an MMO. I had been trying off and on for 5+ years and failed everytime. The barriers to entry for MMOs is getting very high now.

So about 3 months back I was chatting with Will and talkig to him about his browser-based MMO that he had been working on. It was a fairly simple top-down, 2D, tile-based game, but it actually had people playing it! I thought that I could actually make something similar in Java, so I set out to see what sort of MMO I could create if I simplified the graphics engine.

This is where The Chipped Dagger came from. As of this writing I started working on this project 97 days ago. At this point I estimate i’ve put about 1,200 hours into this latest project. I started letting players in on day 83. Actually that first day I think only 1 or 2 people showed up and neither stayed for more than about 2 minutes iirc. I just about gave up then. Both krumple and will said to give it time.

I’ve had a running joke with a another friend Tom — who’s also helped on my various MMO projects over the years — who would talk about “What if you build an MMO and no one showed up to play.” At least now I know someone showed up.

I think I finally have a game concept that will work. My plan is to work on The Chipped Dagger full time and see where it goes. It would be much easier and far less stress just to go back to work for a big software company where my paycheck always shows up at the end of the week. I would prefer to do what I love instead.

don

Build 118

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 118 patch notes:
[update] image updates from krumple
[bugfix] with chat tab ordering defaulting to the wrong channel
[bugfix] multiple login dialogs no longer appear if a player idles at the login screen
[change] add extra info to login dialog
[feature] ability to change account passwords ingame
[feature] ability to add email address ingame for account recovery
[change] chat window & event log are now positioned near the center of the screen on clients with extremely low resolutions
[bugfix] bug allowed players who ran out of premium time to remain in the premium area
[feature] added a /roll feature to chat. performs a d100 dice roll serverside and broadcasts the results to all players in the channel

Build 117

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 117 patch notes:

[update] images from krumple

[change] a greater variety of monster types can spawn for the world event

[change] the names are WEM are now shown in the event log when they spawn

[bugfix] adjusted all the old bugged +5 stamina regen gloves. existing gloves still have the modifier, but new gloves will have to work their way back up from +1 stamina regen.

[bugfix] small areas of the non-premium part of the world were incorrectly flagged as premium.

[added] ability to open bags inside the bank

[added] ability to drag items into/out of bags inside the bank

[added] ability to stack items into and out banks/bags

[added] ability to split stacks inside bags/banks/corpses

[added] ability to sell/trade items from bags

[change] bags containing items can no longer be sold on the market

[bugfix] ownership flag for items inside bags is now being correctly applied when the bag is moved

[bugfix] traded bags containing items should now correctly apply the ownership flag to the new owner

[feature] ability to name bags

[bugfix] rare packet out of range error

Build 116

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 116 patch notes:
[change] further tweaks to the loot drop randomness from mosnters.
[change] increased percent change of magical items aquiring a second prefix and a suffix in the name.
[bugfix] players should all have the same maximum movement speed now.
[change] increased stamina burn while fighting
[bugfix] lore typo
[change] increased chances that lengendary and world event monsters can have health & stamina regeneration
[change] most of the monster attributes were adjusted.  In general monsters now deal less damage.  To compensate they have higher defenses on average.  They will likely need further tweaking in the future.  Approach monsters with caution under you are comfortable with the changes.  Please note that higher meta level mobs (yellow, orange, red, and purple) can still end up with very nasty modifiers!  Overall though the changes should drastically reduce the chances of being one-shotted by mobs.  With their higher defenses however it might take multiple players to kill some of the more difficult monsters.
[change] drop rates for weapons/armor/cloaks/jewelry was increased by approx. 35% for all monsters.  With the new loot system higher level and higher meta level monsters should drop higher quality items more oftne now.
[feature] a mysterious traveller setup shop in town.  He offers a chance to reclaim essences from your unwanted magical items.
[feature] there is now a second route into the distant lands via the road to the south.  The monsters to the south are not as harsh as the monsters to the west and might provide a smoother transition for players wanting to explore the distant lands.
[feature] player lists in chatrooms are now alphabetized
[feature] enabled potion use notices in client

Note: all monsters were despawned.  The new monsters will have the new stats. The server will likely be slow for about an hour or so while the server despawns/repawns dungeons and populates the world with monsters!

Build 115

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 115 patch notes:
[bugfix] the item level of drops from monsters was not being correctly randomized.  Thus it’s now possible to get a much broader range of item levels (white, blue, green, purple, gold, etc) from monsters than before.  Previously a given monster would only drop a single level of items (IE a legendary ent would only drop purples).  This was not the intended effect.  The same legendary ent now has a small chance to drop anything from whites to golds or better.  This bug was also likely causing the maximum item level in the world (currently level 5) to increase slower than intended.
[bugfix] spelling error in death notification window
[bugfix] copper golems and goblins had short swords listed twice as a loot type
[bugfix] resolved issue where some windows were taller than the screen.  the titlebar would be pushed offscreen making the window unclosable.
[bugfix] resolved longstanding bug with server sending null packets
[bugfix] fixed bug where will was able to crash the server
[bugfix] resolved issue where some inventory/bank/corpse items would appear invisible.  The item existed and the slot was occupied, but the item couldn’t be seen or interacted with.
[bugfix] reflecting ponds could sometimes spawn on border lava tiles inside crevasses
[bugfix] resolved issue with players being teleported as criminals when they weren’t actually criminals
[added] admins can now unmute players
[change] combat now uses stamina

Build 114

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

114 patch notes:
[bugfix] resolved issue where some new users were unable to create accounts
[change] monsters grew tired of adventurers who hide behind walls of corpses to avoid being struck.  They have adapted.

Yesterday was also day 30 of alpha testing!  The game has come a long way in the last month.  Thanks to everyone who has been part of our growing community.

Build 113

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 113 patch notes:
[bugfix] removed multiple chat depart messages for players who exit the game unexpectedly
[change] lowered MTU for players who were having issues with truncated packets
[change] player corpse decay increased from 1 day to 7 days.
[change] new magical item attribute randomness was increased a bit
[added] beholders can now drop teleporation potions (and recipes which require 4 different ingredients)
[added] ancient ents can now drop death ward potions (and recipes which require 5 different ingrdients)
[added] an event message is sent to all players when a world event (WE) monster dies
[added] event log notifies premium players how much premium time they have at login
[change] the market window is now resizeable for better name/price readability
[change] partially fixed with where on rare occassions a dead players corpse would be invisible
[bugfix] tokens will no longer drop from bags on death
[change] increased chance that a new item recipe will require an additional ingredient type
[change] doubled the chance of potion and coin recipe drops. halfed the number of uses for the recipes

Notes regarding teleportation potions: you can bind them to any spot in the world.  Stand on the location you wish to set as your teleport point.  Right click on a potion in your inventory (but not in a bag) and choose “Bind.” If successful it will give you an event log notice stating where the potion is now bound to.  If you mouse over the potion it will also give the coordinates of where it’s bound to.  You can also bind a stack of potions.  If you split stack both stacks will still be bound to the same location.  If you combine stacks, the stack you add to is the binding that is used for the new stack.  You can also remove bindings by right clicking on the potion and choosing “Unbind.”  These are very powerful because you can teleport anywhere in the world.  As a result they are also very expensive in terms of ingredient costs.  The costs will likely need to be adjusted in the future.  Currently beholders are the only monsters who can drop the potions (and thus the potion recipe).  The ingredients are very common ones.

Death ward: the death ward potion bestows a chance of keeping all of your items upon death.  You can right click “use” on one of these potions.  It grants a 50% chance to respawn with all of your gear intact.  You can stack the effects.  If you use 2 it’s 75% chance, if you use 3 it’s 87% chance and so on.  Only ancient ents drop these potions (and thus the recipes).  The recipe requires 5 different ingredients to make.  Like the teleportation potion these are very powerful and are designed to be _very_ expensive.  If they turn out to be not expensive enough I will adjust their cost accordingly.

These are just 2 of the new potions in the new alchemy update.  Other potions are forthcoming!

thanks!

Build 111

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

patch notes:

[udpate] many terrain tile graphical updates from krumple.  Also some other item/monster graphics updates.
[added] your corpse locations are now displayed at login; corpses are displayed oldest to newest.
[change] removed destroy open for tokens
[added] essences (explained below)

There was a major addition in today’s build.  There are now various kinds of “essence” that can be looted from dead monsters.  Each essence has a given attribute (IE health, piercing attack, backstab defense, etc).  If you consume one of these essences you will gain a permanent increase in that attribute!  There is no limit to the number of essenses you can use.  They are rare drops however.  Also, the more of a given essense that you use, the greater the number of essences you will need to increase that attribute further.  For example, it might only take 1 essence of piercing attack to increase permanently increase your piercing attack up for the first 10 times you use one.  On the 11th time however, it will require 2 essenses of piercing attack in order to gain the +11 bonus.  It works similarly for all essence types.

This is a new system.  I added it because the game needed additional ways for players to customize their character.  Also, many players did not like the fact that the loot was the only thing that would affect their attributes.  Since all of your items drop on death, many were discouraged.  I added this system to aleviate those issues.

This is substantial change to the gameplay.  It might be too overpowered it could also be underpowered, or it might be just right.  We need to test it then get player feedback to see how it feels.  If everyone hates this new system, i’m not totally opposed to removing it.   If you do not like the new essence addition, or if you think it’s out of balance please don’t hesistate go give me your feedback!  Please keep the comments constructive however.

I also added another tab to the market for players who wish to buy or sell essences.

thanks!

Build 109

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

Build 109 patch notes:

[feature] added lore for all monster types (a big thanks to Rance for working on this project!)
[change] decreased each security zone radius from 200 to 100.  This means places more than 400 tiles of the start point is now an open pvp area (it was previously 800 tiles)
[change] criminals are no longer allowed in secure areas.  criminals are now respawned near a new lava town in the no-security zone.  Note: players are not allowed to create new accounts to avoid their criminal status.
[change] criminal status now occurs at -200 karma instead of -300 karma.
[change] some of the karma titles
[graphics] updated belt graphics, new club graphic, updated fur, updated hatchets, updated iron ore, 3 fixed terrain tiles, updated bridge tiles.
[added] extra security measures to prevent multiple account creation/logins from a single player.
[bugfix] resolved issue where higher level recipes would sometimes require stacks of the base type.  Since the base type wasn’t stackable the they couldn’t be crafted.
[change] recipes now have a small chance or requiring an additional ingredient type to craft.
[bugfix] private messages sent between players were being logged in the databse as chat messages.  Only public chat channel messages were supposed to be logged.  The bug was fixed and all private messages players sent each other were delete from the server.
[change] recipes now have a maximum numbers of uses before they are no longer usable.  Potion and coins recipes are very high.  Weapons and armor are very.  Note that recipes can be duped using reflecting ponds.  The remaining number of uses is listed in the recipe tools and lore windows. all existing recipes had uses added to them.
[bugfix] items inside bags were not removing the ownership flag of the deceased causing the new owner to be unable to remove the items.
[change] players will now respawn with their chipped dagger after death!
[added] number of world events to stats page on the website.
[added] current world events are now displayed at login.
[change] world event monsters now give more karma than others.
[change] legendary creatures now have a low chance of dropping a token.  World event creatures have a good chance of dropping a token.
[bugfix] player weights were not being updated after successful player to player trading
[feature] hotkeys can now be removed
[feature] hotkeys are now remembered between sessions
[change] player corpses now decay after 24 hours.
[bugfix] all old bugged player corpses were removed.  If you find another player corpse with inmovable items, please report the corpse coordinates!
[added] static tree and rock textures from krumple as requested by the world builders.

Please note that there are likely to be multiple restarts int he next couple hours for the typical post-patch bugfixes!

edit: if you have one of the old bugged recipes and it will not allow you to craft with it please bring it to me ingame and i can fix it for you!

I ask for your support

Filed under Chipped Dagger Development

I meant to make this post earlier, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time.

I didn’t make this game to get rich. I made this game because I love games. I live a very frugal lifestyle. I don’t need much to get by. Like everyone else though life costs money. The server isn’t free, and really we need two servers so the web/wiki/blog and testing can be on a seperate machine.

There’s also a matter of time. I’ve worked on The Chipped Dagger for 106 days now. Of those I took exactly 1 week off where I didn’t work o it at all. Beyond that though I work on the game 7 days a week. Yesterday I put in almost 19 hours of work.

I used to work for Microsoft. I left because I hated it there. I’ve also worked for a number of other software companies over the years. I never really liked what I did. Writing banking software or tax software or document management software isn’t much fun. The jobs paid well, but I prefer to be my own boss.

I believe I’ve put about 1,200 hours into this project. I’ve done it out of love for game and not for the money. As they say “it’s a hard way to make an easy living.” If i wanted a big paycheck I’m sure I could have my job at Microsoft back. I don’t want that.

I want to make games, but I cannot work for free. I can work for about minimum wage, but I simply cannot do it for free. I wouldn’t expect the guy at the grocery store to show up to his job everyday and never get paid, and I would hope others wouldn’t expect me to show up at my job everyday and never earn a dime.

I say this speaking for myself, and the issue is similar for krumple. He’s put a tremendous amount of work into the game, but he cannot pour all of his energy into the forever without at least a little compensation for his time.

Finally, the server admin will is a good friend of mine. Although you guys don’t see any of the work he does, he does a lot to keep the game running. I’m not a linux expert nor am I a systems administrator. If I had been paying him for all his time up to this point, the game wouldn’t be online because he would have broke me long ago.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. This is exactly what I want to do: games. I’m very happy to be doing this fulltime.

I know the game isn’t finished. It’s not anywhere close to being done. It has a long road ahead of it. It’s long enough though that I would not be able to work on it for the entire lifecycle without any supporters. I would run out of money long before then. I could go back to working for a big software company, and just do this on the side, but the game would never get the attention it needs or deserves.

So I have to make a choice. Either go back to working for someone, or trying to get some supporters. I don’t need much to survive, but I do need some. I know there are many high quality games out there. I know you have lots of choices of which games to play. I’m very happy that you are spending your time here!

My plan all along was to have 2 parts to the game. A free part and a premium part. For those players who don’t wish to pay for a game, or cannot afford to pay for a game you can play forever for free. For those who want to go to the more remote areas of the world, I hope you will consider supporting the game.

I’m not expecting anyone to pay. If you don’t want to pay that’s fine as well. I do ask one thing of you though: please don’t ask me to work for free. I don’t expect you to go to your job everyday and never earn a paycheck, and I don’t want other people to expect me to work everyday and no collect a paycheck. It’s only fair.

If you decide to support TCD your money isn’t going to be going to making my Ferrari payment, it will go to ensuring that I can keep working on the game and continue to make it better.

Also, as an extra special thank you to those who decide to support the game during its development there is a gift. I haven’t put it in game yet, but I will do that when I get a chance. The gift will carry over even after the game is officially released. It’s a token of my (and krumple’s) appreciation for your support.

thanks!
don