We are due for a State of the Underlight (KoiWare's vision) address. It is important to communicate that our team understands that the biggest part of Underlight is not the software, but that it is the community itself. It is thanks to you, the player(s), and to all whom have been part of the KoiWare team now and in the past, that we are where we are at now. We have managed to create a fantastic place where imaginations run wild and where characters of all backgrounds have had their stories told. It is a beautiful thing!
Underlight has gone through many patches and changes over the past several months to the point it feels almost like an entirely new dream. A large credit to this is due to Tary/Macobas. It is true he is no longer on the team and we know this is a concern to many in the community. Please rest assured that there will still be development on KoiWare's vision of Underlight, the only difference is it will not be every month patch releases. I mean lets face it, Macobas is a coding genius and can pump out code like nobody's business! We certainly wish him well on his future endeavors. However, please note, and I do not speak alone on this, we disagree on his handling of community interactions.
With that, we segue into KoiWare's new mission, vision and direction:
- First and foremost, respect and professionalism: We all want it and deserve it. Nobody wants to be treated in a lesser manner. Just because the game provides a free (non-paid) service does not give us the right to treat the community with disrespect over criticism. No matter how frustrated a member of the community is with a feature of the patch, our team needs to be level headed and keep our cool. We must engage in civil discourse. Continuing down the prior path would have brewed a lack of trust and respect towards KoiWare and its developers. On the flip side, we take pride in making the decision to make this part of our motto and the realization that the past was an unhealthy direction to maintain for our team. --- If you exert positive energy to others, you will receive positive energy back.
- Second, preservation of a historical game: Rather than placing all our ducks into development, the gears will shift focusing and improving the in-dream experience by growing our player-base. That is, expanding the PR team to help focus on advertising to help bring in more players to Underlight. Will we reach the player base of Lyra era Underlight? Anything is possible, but as we all know, that is in the past. We must move forward by getting the word out and embracing our newly awakened to mold the future! With more players will come more GMs, naturally.
- Third, non-participation of open source: While we believe open source is great for specific types of software, we believe that Underlight, a game, is not a fit for this model in its current code state. Doing so risks damaging the project (increasing risk of razor chickens and other types of griefing) as the code is not primed for this as-is. We are aware that a previous developer, with the permission of Brent Phillips, has posted the client source to the public. To be clear, we will not be taking part in the open sourced code implementations and progression of the client. KoiWare's project will remain closed source. However we will leave open the option to vote in features from the talented coders over at the OpenUL project. Something to keep in mind is, not every OpenUL feature will make it to KoiWare, LLC's vision of Underlight. ((Edited 10-11-18 - JorK))
Now from a more personal note from JorKyrin, or Ducky as you all used to know me (DiscoWay);
It has been five years since Wishbringer physically handed me a USB key with the Underlight source code while proudly displaying a license from Brent. It is difficult for me to put into words how incredibly honored and grateful I am to be part of this project. I have had moments where I think back and remember that this project, from a development perspective, would not be here today without the help of Lycaon, Macobas, Hawk, Ajax, Seeker, Bearclaw, Citadel, Donut, Phoenix, Spark, Dragados, Clandestine, Ghazgkull, Koi-Tus, Liamus. There are many moving parts to this game that it took a team of present and past developers to keep this old boat moving. But that’s not all, equally it took the following GMs to keep the dream flowing with rich creative content: Drama, RavenXR, Cipher, WishBringer, Comet, Citadel, Owl, Anise, Dusk, Cricket, Alastar, Wake, Palloi, Cryptic, Echelon, Shadow, Siren, Legend, Frost, Ember, Silence, Rhododendron, Dragados. And we must not forget those who help spread the word, our Marketing / PR team: Scribbles, Copyright, Cipher, Fish. (My hope is that through all my documentation and double checking with Wish and Drama that this list is indeed complete. If I missed anyone, I apologize and will gladly add you to the list.) That is a lot of people who have contributed many hours of their lives to make Underlight what it is today. It would be a shame to stop here, even with the latest unfolding events outside of the team. We owe it to these people to keep the ship moving, otherwise all that dedicated time was in vein.
Another thought I just had is this, I think a lot of players tend to forget as the days, months, and years go by, we are all here for the same reasons: we love Underlight. Yes yes, I know, the re-occurring theme in any State of the Anything address but hear me out. The team and I hold that torch up high as we all move it forward into the future. The hard part is doing this in a fashion where we are all in agreement to. The KoiWare team has had some serious internal debates (justifiable and to the heart type debates) about how new features, removing of features, and modernizing an aged game should progress. We all experience this because of the love for the game and the different interpretations of how this wonderful dreamworld should proceed. I would go out on a limb and say, this is all something we agree on. I ask that we remember this even during times of discord (not the chat client, the word =p). Before anyone picks up a pitch fork and starts jabbing, just remember, this incarnation of Underlight is what we have now. We can play this. So enjoy it while it is alive and well and running! *Quacks* - DW