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What's Guild Up To?

Hi everyone. Some of you have been wondering what we're doing, and I'm here to shed a little light on the projects currently under way.

1) The Great Mission Editor. This is coming along well. In fact, it's pretty functional, but isn't yet doing everything we need it to. It isn't particularly pretty, but you can see a screenshot of the development version here:


Anyway, much of the work going into the mission editor has a much broader purpose than simply adding new missions. As you can see in the screenshot, the entire editor has been implemented within the game engine. Much of the development time was spent creating the new UI system, which while currently very unattractive, has loads of configuration potential, including the ability use user-configured skins, etc. It's our intention to open up much of the UI functionality to the userbase and let people create their own HUDs, menu interfaces, or whatever.
It's also our hope in the longer run to allow people to directly access subsets of the mission editor from within the game. Possibilities including hiring users/NPCs to trade for you (even while offline), or mine for you, or defend your personal station, or perhaps even hire mercenaries to attack other players and NPCs. All of which are entirely feasable with this new development work. User-defined missions are a very old design goal for us, and one that is hopefully now drawing nearer.

2) The Hive. This has been announced for some time on the wiki design doc, but not much has been seen as far as actual gameplay. The underpinnings of a whole new rule-driven AI system, written in Lisp, has been created by Andy and Michael. They've been making pretty swift progress on this, and the first real tests of the Hive as a whole are going onto the development server this week. It's likely that you'll be seeing Hive appearances in the next couple of weeks.

So, in conclusion, there's a bunch of new stuff on the way, and you'll be seeing signs of it shortly. Thanks for your patience, as always. We're excited about everything we have planned for this summer, and we think you'll love it. It's our intention to make up for the last few months of inactivity. Additionally, I'll be making an effort to post here once a week from now on, since the whole "design wiki" thing hasn't quite been the center of unbridled activity that I hoped it'd be. But, new info will be showing up there as well. Thanks again everyone.

John "Incarnate" Bergman
Managing Director, Guild Software Inc.