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And an excerpt from the latter:
New Team Members!
We have added 4 new Developers to the team this month and so far, they have hit the ground running! Many of you have met Scott Jennings, our resident Web Guru, in the new and improved SotA IRC Chatroom, and he's not the only new Scott! Scott Jones, former Art Director for Ultima 9, has also joined us as an Environmental Artist. Rounding out the new Devs are Bill Kirkman, Content Designer, and Michael Hutchison, who will also be working on Environmental Art as well as level design. If you want to get to know them a bit better, just watch this week's SotA Developer Roundtable.
Our members-only Dev Forums are getting ready to enter internal testing and should be open for the Developer+ backers to move in by the end of the month. And the best news is, after we've had a chance to do some more (hands on) testing, we will be moving all of our forums over to the new, robust, feature-rich forums!
Game Development Update
As far as actual Game development goes, we've been busy laying the foundations for several vital systems, and have made great progress! The tech is now in place for both the combat and the housing systems, and were completed ahead of schedule. Bob has already started the process of getting all of Stephen's amazing housing concept art into the game engine, while Scott and Michael are sculpting the epic landscapes that will be home to heroes and monsters alike.
In addition to the foundational work we've got in place, we also doubled the map size, as promised in our $1.5M Stretch Goal! Taking advantage of the vast new world, Richard Garriott and Tracy Hickman have been busy defining the new locations and have wrapped up the backstory, which Tracy is now preparing to serialize for his Shroud of the Avatar Prequel Novel!