I venture that the primary threat to this project's success right now is a lack of clear direction and progress in that direction. We can talk grand vision all day, but at the end of the day there's no code committed. A lot of ideas have been thrown out there but few have been settled. So I'd like to push things along the path to clarity.
The first step is to establish, in a single sentence, what the guiding purpose of this project is. For example:
The Mobius Engine will enable the community to create the games they dream about in a specialized environment built around fluid Sonic-like platforming.
Then, in a paragraph of a few sentences, explain what the vision for fulfilling that purpose will look like from the outside. Another example:
Building a game in the Mobius Engine will be as easy as possible. You can download collections of standard Sonic art or create your own. Build a level with blocks you place from the control panel. Create obstacles, enemies, and gadgets by defining their behavior in Lua, assigning them art, and dragging them into the level. Hit Go and watch your creation come to life.
And then figure which parts of that vision you'll pursue first. For example (this is something I threw out there on IRC):
For the Spring 2012 engine build, let's focus on scripting badnik behavior, so we'll have an infinite featureless flat surface on which you've got a single badnik. You can script how that badnik responds to the character, whether it tries to eat you or run away, on which surfaces or when it'll damage you or otherwise interact with you, and so forth. Polish this, put it out, and then on to the Summer 2012 build, focusing on [...?].
Establish a master vision for the project, get consensus, make decisions, chisel them in stone. And then you can focus on the technical details for how to achieve those goals without getting lost in the technical details. Get these few early wins in, start demonstrating progress, start drawing in more developers, and you get a virtuous cycle of compounding success going.
Any thoughts or suggestions along these lines?
edit: also worth noting that I have no idea what the plans are for an IDE, or if an IDE is even the plan, so my examples are definitely not intended to be canonical.
This post has been edited by Rolken: 11 April 2012 - 01:02 PM