last update: 17 May 2005
The first SunDog Resurrection pilot project will be to create the SunDog Navigator (SDN). This app will allow you to browse through the SunDog universe, roughly like a combination of the shipboard Pilotage/Navigate/Maps function, the in-city teleport map, and the inter-city/planet/system transport function from the original SunDog--but, I hope, much more slick.
I picked this project for several reasons:
It does not make heavy demands in terms of real-time simulation or animated graphics.
It helps lay out the underlying model for the physical setting for SunDog.
It can start out very simple (i.e., just the 3-D star map) and grow iteratively by adding successive layers of detail (system, planet, city).
Likewise, each layer can have detail added and refined (i.e. start moving planets around their suns, add in asteroid belts, etc.)
It will help to test assumptions and decisions about development tools technologies, team organization and roles, target platform, and so on.
It can be achieved in a relatively short time (relative, at least, to a full-blown SunDog game).
Project Tasks and Assignments
Here are the tasks that have already been assigned:
SunDog Art Design
. An individual/small team should work with the Graphics/GUI team to help create the graphical art for the SunDog Navigator. Assigned: Jake LaForet
Managing CVS on SourceForge
. An individual should take responsibility for managing CVS on SourceForge and educating the rest of the team on what they need to do. Said person will receive the necessary SunDog project privileges. Assigned: Bruce Webster
Here are the tasks that SDN requires. Please contact me to sign up for these tasks. Thanks!
. An individual/small team should pull together equations and software to help build solar systems. There are lots of resources on the web, including one site associated with a college class at Cal State LA; a search on "world building" on Google will uncover many of the others. Assigned: open
. An individual/small team should create the XML schema that defines the solar system and planet information required for the SDN. Same person/team should write code to read in and parse XML, creating corresonding Java objects. Assigned: open
Java Graphics/GUI Development
. An individual/small team should take the lead on working to design the SunDog Navigator GUI. Assigned: open
These and other tasks will be posted at sourceforge.net in the SunDog project itself. Please contact me to let me know which ones interest you.
Here are my current thoughts on the development and deployment technologies for SunDog Navigator:
* Development will be in Java (J2SE 1.4.2, for now). As noted, the Navigator will be compilable both as a browseable applet and as a stand-alone app and should have the potential of running on just about any system (w/a compatible JVM, at least).
* XML will be used as data persistence for the time being. That way, the system data can be directly edited and inspected by live humans. Also, those of you who want to write nifty creation tools can do so w/out worrying about a proprietary binary or ASCII data format.