This started as a comment in reply to Tripleskit but then I wanted to add a picture so...
Overall, the plan still looks like this although the actual dates are TBD.
I'm currently working to get to the friends and family alpha. That's where I give the game to a few close friends and willing family to install on their computers and figure out the biggest bugs I need to fix.
Toward that goal, I have been fixing a lot of bugs (and setting up a bug-tracker for the game in my spare time) but mainly I've been working on combat this last week. I had a couple of small battles and everything was working pretty well so I decided to see what a big battle looks like.
I quickly built two armies, one of 142 units (shown above,) one of 100, got both players in-game and set them against each other. Then the bugs showed up. A lot of those were little server crash bugs related to quantity, load and timing that I found and fixed pretty easily, but every crash bug takes a bit of time to debug, fix and reset, which really eats into a week.
The big one I'm still pondering is that the debug build's framerate (the one I play) is only 3FPS with 142 units on the screen which is somewhat unworkable for debugging. Fortunately, the optimized build (the one you play) runs around 30FPS (which isn't great, but is good enough for pre-alpha) so I should be able to improve things in my debug build with a little work.
The only design issue I've found with a big battle is that you can't really get enough of it on the screen at once, so I may have to allow an increased camera zoom or maybe make the units a little smaller. While it is really cool, Miranda is never going to have Supreme Commander style zooming, that just isn't feasible with the limited bandwidth available to an MMO.
Once combat is working well, I'll be adding in-game component vendors, then I'll be setting up the server and sending out codes.
So welcome Tripleskit, thanks for coming by. If you sign up for the mail list you'll be among the first to know when the game is ready to play.
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