As you well know, 2008 has come to a close, and development is starting to speed back up again after a week of hangovers and too much holiday food!
Firstly we wanted to let you know about 1.9.5. Yes, you heard right. Slice, one of the teams modellers and apparently a closet coder decided to give himself a challenge with the current 1.9.4 and see where he could take it. Unfortunately there isn't much work available for the teams artists currently, due to so much of the art style having a dependency on some of our gameplay decisions and so whilst coding and design still powers ahead, the art team have been looking a bit abandoned recently!
It's been great to see what Slice is capable of and give him some more practice, while also making some interesting changes to the 1.9.x series. So far there are a couple of bug fixes, some small balance changes (requiring more testing) and a number of aesthetic changes, especially with the player models.
Now, onto what you've all been waiting to here. The next version of SF is still under heavy development and I must apologise for the great delay in getting you more news of it. A combination of the festive season and some really heated design discussions have caused some timing problems and some last minute change ups in the design document.
We'll be looking to announce the new name for the next version soon, but in the meantime we'd love to let you take a look through one of our current general design documents and see what you think. It of course goes with the normal disclaimer that nothing is final, many small things get changed often and many parts remain untested. The current document for release is also heavily limited in scope, it's a milestone marker for a solid testable build and doesn't contain much of the flair of a polished product.
There is still internal disagreement over a couple of aspects of the design document, but we thought we'd throw you one idea and see what you think of it and if anyone has any other ideas for it.
You'll find the design document in the Ideas and Suggestions section of the forum and we'd love to hear some debate on the issues presented. We'll likely post a revised design document once we've heard the communities thoughts on the ideas.
Thanks, and from the SF development team, have a happy new year, and check out the gift we've left.