It's time for an update on the state of the game and answer a few often-asked questions.
1) What is the release date?
Right now it is impossible to determine for various reasons, but as we progress the narrower the release window will become. Probably the biggest problem we face with this is that we are relying 100% on volunteer work to get things done and while this is a wonderful thing in many ways none of us can be sure just what time we will be able to offer from month to month.
In addition this project is as ambitious as any other game you might find on the shelf with its own custom game engine and some really innovative features, at this time it is still important that we don't limit the potential features that we could develop into the game. Bridge Commander is an excellent example of a game which was originally intended to be so much more (walking around and interacting with the bridge, none linear story line etc.) but was ultimately cut short because a deadline was looming.
With these reasons in mind our planned deadline (we do have one) could be some way off the mark and given how understanding members of the public can be (a good example) we want to avoid disappointing anybody.
2) Is the project still going strong?
We've been working on this for a fair while now and people often expect that things should be slowing down as Excalibur gets older. I'm glad to say that the opposite is true as we have continued to gain more talented team members and we are generally hitting the deadlines we set ourselves for project milestones. The team has a very professional attitude to the work and while there may be quiet times our passion for the project is continually rejuvenated as the game grows and takes shape.
3) What is the team working on at the moment?
The team is currently a-buzz as we now have a fully featured version of the Evolved engine to get to grips with, artists are busy converting all of our ships across to the new texture standards and the technical team are beginning to flesh out the high-level features like Decals, Hardpoints, AI, Mission Handling etc. At the same time Johannes is making progress with the Music for the game and the search for a lead Screenplay Writer to take on our plot is nearly at an end.
4) Fan projects never see the light of day. What if you all get bored? What if you're deported? What if you're hit by a car?
Even if every member of the team spontaneously combusted today we are already in a position where we could release an amazing amount of content (forty ships completed in comparison to Bridge Commander's fifteen) and in the Evolved engine, a piece of software which replicates the core functions of Bridge Commander's Quick Battle feature which, given the advanced visuals from the NanoFX Renderer, could also be used by fans to create their own Star Trek machinima.
Grab yourself and shake yourself by the shoulders, this isn't a dream, this is real!