Reconsidering the Project Plan

My worklist has mushroomed into a tangled mess. Here’s the current version:

Write software for the aura-animation to display moods
Rewrite the novel to simplify nomenclature and better characterize the species
Write the software for interstitial stories
Write more interstitial stories
Improve the face editing software to include expressional animation
Add facial display to the front end
Write the software for dream combat display
Test and refine the performance of the current story world
Expand the current storyworld to include beads, lies, and… ?
Recruit and organize volunteers
Prepare a crowdfunding campaign?
Set aside all Siboot-specific work and built old SWAT version first?

This is just the stuff that’s on my mind now; I’m sure there are a million things that I haven’t even considered yet. Looking at this worklist daunts me; how can I possibly get all this work done in any reasonable period of time? I was hoping to get this project done by the end of 2015, but this list suggests that it will take much longer than that. 2016? 2017? Even 2018? These dates bring into question the viability of the project.

Clearly I need to reconsider my overall strategy. I cannot complete this project alone, yet my call for volunteers has not yielded sufficient response. There are a few promising opportunities, but volunteers are a shaky foundation on which to build this project. I need a more practicable plan.

Here’s the alternative I’m thinking about: I revert the Siboot storyworld to the original SWAT format so that I can edit it using the original, fully-functional SWAT. This permits me to take full advantage of all the great tools in SWAT, tools such as LogLizard that are broken in the Siboot version of SWAT. Moreover, by building ONLY the raw storyworld, without any considerations of graphics, I concentrate all my energies on the one thing that only I can do. 

I develop and refine the storyworld until it’s ready for prime time. It will look like hell, but it will play like heaven. It will have no consumer value, and will not impress anybody — except experienced game designers who have learned to look underneath the skin to see the bones and muscles.  So I privately pass the result around to old pro game designers, gathering their opinions on it. I expect that some of them will see no value in it, but I am certain that some will be enthusiastic because they can see how revolutionary this technology is. 

Next, I leverage that enthusiasm into favorable PR. This will require, I’m sad to say, a lot of PR effort on my part. I’d rather focus my energies on design, but I suppose that I have no choice here. Once the PR is established, I resume work on the Siboot-specific programming: all the graphics and animation stuff that will give it consumer appeal. But for this I will need paid workers. I will seek crowd-funding to accomplish this, but I don’t think I’ll take the typical KickStarter or IndieGoGo route; that’s still entirely commercial in nature. Instead, I think that I’ll use Patreon to present this as a world-changing technology that I intend to give away by making it open-source. The Patreon money will pay for the people who make Siboot commercially viable, and then we’ll give away both the game and the source.

This is a big change in direction; I need to spend some time in my mulling-cave.