New Beginings

We have had a rough 3+ years. A lot of personal tragedy, weather-related disasters for some of our team members, and too much of a personal nature to list in this format. We haven’t given up though. We haven’t quit. In between the trials, turmoil, and sorrows, we are still trying to use our gifts and talents to make games for the Lord, to reach the world with a message of hope and truth.

We are still working on Visions. Our team is much smaller now, but still working. Please pray for us that our developers will have time, energy, and enthusiasm every week to work on the Visions project. This is not possible as a one or two person project, we really need the full team. Every person is important, and when they are missing, we all feel it.

The middle of last year (don’t remember what month off hand) we started working on a couple of VR projects. We had hoped to get them out quickly, but due to complications associated with moving out of state that didn’t happen. We are still working on it though. These are smaller projects that can actually be done by just a couple of people. We’re hoping they will have big returns though. We’re keeping the game titles and concepts under wraps for now, but they are two completely unrelated games and we’re hoping that people will have fun with them.

Our newest project is meant to be a tiny little project (though feature creep could make it explode) that will bring people together to pray for one another. We got the idea for Prayer Battle back in November 2016, and started working on it right away. The holidays slowed us down a little, and 7 weeks of snow slowed us down as well. But this week (the 3rd week of February) has been fantastic for making progress in game development. You can read about our new application, Prayer Battle, on it’s own website at http://prayerbattle.com and you can find us on Facebook as well. Please pray for us that we will get this project finished quickly. We’re really excited to be offering this opportunity facilitate prayer in a mobile application.

Our development team runs on blessings. Pray that the Lord meets our needs through game development (or however He wants to meet our needs) so we can focus on this work and not be distracted by other things that demand our time and resources. Thank you for praying. It helps!

Thank you for taking the time to read our news update. It’s been a while since we posted anything here. We apologize for that. life kind of threw us for a loop but we’re picking up the pieces and getting back on track. God bless you.

 

 

 

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The year of chaos

Mat 10:22
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

This has been one of the hardest years of my life. As the year has progressed, it hasn’t gotten much easier either.  We’ve experienced the estrangement of a son, financial difficulties, a home remodeling project that never seems to end, a checkbook being stolen, a 500 mile journey (1000 miles round trip) to see our fathers who were deathly ill, then losing both of our fathers in the same week, soon followed by an identical trip back to attend the funeral and mourn with family members, opossums attacking our baby chicks, guinea keet eggs that didn’t hatch, a cat that has an incurable illness that makes him drool (the Lord has provided funding for him to get a surgery that is supposed to help! PTL!), strain on relationships related to all the stress, and all this overlaid by chronic health issues that have been part of my life for many years now. Right about the time we were leaving for my father’s funeral, the Visions game server crashed, beyond repair, and we discovered that our backups were corrupted, so we really lost the entire server setup and have to rebuild the server. For six months I held the role of Producer on the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen MMORPG project under the leadership of my friend Brad McQuaid.  (Yes, I was simultaneously producing both Pantheon and Visions at the same time. That really wasn’t nearly as hard as losing my father, or some of the other struggles that I face in life.)  I had to resign from Pantheon this month because of a conflict with a newly introduced policy against posting religious things of a controversial nature on my personal and public websites. I had to choose God over the game.  I have experienced many losses this year. Pain, debilitating fatigue, and sorrow have been a daily existence for many months now, with no end in sight. I am enduring. I am persisting. I am persevering. I have not given up.

I share these things because I hope it will give you some insight into what it means when someone says, “I’ve had a rough year.” I know that a rough day, or a rough week, or a rough year means many different things to different people. Everyone has struggles. I don’t pretend to believe that my struggles are the worst anyone has ever experienced, I’m well aware that there are children being kept in cages in India who are abused in unthinkable ways, and I know that their existence is far worse than anything I have ever experienced. They need to be rescued. I get that. I donate when I can to Gospel for Asia, and I pray for them regardless. I am hoping that by sharing a glimpse into my life however that it will encourage all my readers to be more compassionate when encountering others. Sometimes sorrow doesn’t look like sorrow, it looks like irritability or apathy. Sometimes pain looks like anger and sounds snappy. Sometimes fatigue and despair looks like carelessness or sloppiness.  Be gentle and offer kindness to others, they might just be going through trials that are more difficult than they are able to talk about.

There are many scary things happening in the world today. Many trials, terrors, and tribulations of all sorts, some just being hinted at, some marching in full force. Prophesies of things to come seem to be starting to be fulfilled right in our lifetimes. We should not be amazed at them, because we were warned that these things would happen, but sometimes it is still amazing to see it happening so very fast. Our job right now, while we are still here on this earth, is to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus with everyone who will listen, all over the world.

That is what we are trying to do with Visions. We are trying to make a game that will be a safe place for people to log in online and talk to others around the world about the Bible. We have created a place where people can meet online for prayer meetings or Bible studies, even now before the playable content is finished.  We are working on creating content that will give players something fun to do while waiting for their friends to log on. Eventually the content will be so interactive that many players will be able to collaborate together in a variety of different ways to create player made items and to complete interactive quests that are meaningful, educational, and fun. This is all taking a lot longer than we like, because we’re doing it with an entirely volunteer team who have only a very minimal number of hours to work on the project each week. And we have all these other life-stresses that pull us away from the work on Visions that we would rather be doing. But we have not given up, and we are making progress. We’re putting together another server to use for development (we still need money/resources to be able to put together a play server). We have some plans we are working on for some new items to use in the Christmas event this year. We are hoping to make this Christmas a memorable experience in game in Visions. We hope to see you there!

ChristmasTeddy_Green_red-collar

Please keep praying for us. Please keep sharing our Facebook posts when you see them. Please keep telling your friends about us. Please support us financially if you are able. And as soon as we get a play server back online again (we will announce it!) please come play with us!

God bless you.

-Laurene Wells

 

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Come play with us! Visions summer patch is live.

Just in time for CGDC, the summer patch for Visions alpha is live and available for play on the test server. If you have am account already please update and log in. There are about 21k files in the patch, which includes an entirely new zone and 2 working tradeskills! Anticipate less than 2 hours (maybe as short as 1 hour) for the patch on high speed broadband. (As usual, if you get disconnected, just start it up again and it will pick up where it left off.) If you don’t have the alpha client yet, you can get it from our store over here:

http://store.tinyzoo.com/visionsalphadownload/

For those who are installing it new for the first time, there are 67k files to download and it takes about 3 hours to patch a full install. Your download times will vary depending on the speed of your internet connection.

shot_005

The Olive Press and the Still are both working now. The Still works with multiple recipes. Both tradeskill tools use a bottle or amphora of some sort in the recipes. Since the Pottery wheel is not working yet we have provided the bottles you need at the Master’s House available to be picked up. Other ingredients will need to be collected from various locations around the world. Look for green olives, frankincense resin, myrrh resin, and corn for the recipes. They are needed in various quantities depending on the recipe.

Have fun! And thank you for your support.

God bless you.

-The Visions Team

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Join the Visions game development team!

Be part of the world’s first Christian MMORPG game development team! Help us create Visions. Gain valuable industry experience working with the Bigworld game engine, an industry standard engine designed specifically for massive online worlds. Visions is an historical game set in the Ancient Roman empire. It is a quest and skill based game with three primary quest tracks: Professions, History, Scriptures. Players start out as a slave and earn their freedom by learning a Profession. There are history quests relevant to the 100AD era. And there are scripture quests for players to collect all the verses to compile their own Bible. It is heavily tradeskill oriented where play characters will be able to make almost everything that they use in the game. Because it is skill based, and not level based, veteran players will be able to share meaningful gameplay with new friends just joining the game. Use your gifts and talents for God’s glory. Get involved and help us finish this game!

INDEPENDENT SALES PEOPLE!

We have an opportunity for Independent Sales people to come along side us and earn commissions from selling our games. Earn 20% from every referral from your site. No sign-up fee! You can sell from your existing Blog site, or create a new store site, whichever works best for you. When you sell our games, you are helping us fund the development of Visions. We do not have outside corporate funding, so this is our only revenue. Do you have a gift for sales? Come help us! Learn more on our store website. http://store.tinyzoo.com/affiliate-resources/

WORLDBUILDERS / LEVEL DESIGNERS!

We are creating a massive game world to include a majority of the Mediterranean basin, so we have a lot of work for worldbuilders to do. This is a volunteer position. Apply now! http://www.visionsgame.com/volunteer

PROGRAMMERS / PYTHON SCRIPTERS!

Visions is currently in the second Alpha state of development, meaning the core functionality of the game mechanics are not implemented yet, so there is a lot of work for programmers to do as well. This is a volunteer position. Apply now! http://www.visionsgame.com/volunteer

3D ARTISTS!

We have an ongoing need for artists, and occasionally for researchers working in tandem with artists, to create the buildings, items, and various visual elements of the game. We especially need artists who are comfortable with building 3D models of ancient Roman buildings with nothing more than a floor plan, or pictures of ruins to go by – historic artistic interpretation is a must. Artists just joining the team will not gain game editor access immediately, as we have a limited number of seats. This is a volunteer position. Apply now! http://www.visionsgame.com/volunteer

PLAY TESTERS!

Players interested in testing the game can buy access to our alpha test server for just $30 to access the download client. This is a rare opportunity to grow with the game and see it like the developers do. Get it now! http://store.tinyzoo.com/visionsalphadownload/

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Free ACK color overlay pack for Indie game devs

Are you an Indie game developer?  Do you use the MACK or FACK pack from Broke Ass Games in your game project?  If you answered yes to both of these questions then you may be interested in a FREE skin overlay pack that we are offering!  Check out the details on the Visions website.

http://www.visionsgame.com/b-a-g-skins

This is a free download of 95 texture color overlays for the MACK and FACK Advanced Character Kits.  We think you’ll like it!

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LAST DAY!

Have you registered for the CGDC Winter Retreat?  The theme this year is “Keeping the Light shining in the darkness” and TODAY Feb 6th is the last day to register.  Don’t miss your chance for this elite Christian Game Developers Conference event in the Oregon mountains just outside of Portland.  CGDC Winter Retreat is Feb 25-27. Hope to see you there!

http://cgdc.org/conference.asp

Come meet fellow Christians who are passionate about game development. Speakers, workshops, round tables, and networking opportunities and the chance to get face time with CEOs, developers, and artists of other game development companies.  The only conference in the world where you can talk about game physics, game mechanics and spiritual ramifications of game content all in one conversation. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Register NOW!

-Laurene

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You can do big things!

The concept behind the Kickstarter program is for a lot of people to contribute a little bit to make great things happen.  Artists, musician, writers, explorers, even game developers all find a warm welcome in this community of aspiring creative minds. This is your opportunity to help with the final push to get Visions to open beta!  We just launched our very own Kickstarter page today.  Check it out!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1799801709/visions-a-christian-mmorpg

Thank you for supporting us!

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Visions on Mt Dew Cans!!! Make it happen!

My contest entry was accepted to the DEWmocracy competition.  Please vote for me!

http://apps.facebook.com/dewdesigngallery/?ref=nf

HBTZEngine 2009-09-27 01-49-14-17

Look for this image on the cans when voting!  I used a screenshot from Visions as the backdrop for my design. A vote for me is a vote for Visions!

http://apps.facebook.com/dewdesigngallery/?ref=nf

I made the design by myself, this was not a team effort.  But it was my hope that if I won the $10,000 grand prize, I could use some of the funds to buy some development software, specifically Ecstasy Motion for 3D art and animation, (as well as pay for braces for my son, and get Dentist and Eye Dr. appointments for the whole family).  I am thrilled about the recognition we’re getting and hope you all will vote for me!

Thank you!

-Laurene Wells

EDIT: Here’s a screenshot from the voting page.  Wouldn’t it be cool to hold a can like this in your hand?

MtDew_Dewmocracy_page2_ss

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And God said, “let there be trees”…

New screenshots from Visions development. Can’t see the forest for all of the trees! 😉

Would you like to get in on the action? Help us make Visions! We are working to grow our development team and we need Manager level leaders as well as dedicated developers in Programming, Art, Quest team, Marketing, Research, Administration, Music, and Worldbuilding. If you’re interested in volunteering as a game developer put in your application online today!

http://www.visionsdev.com/adminforms/Volunteer-Application.htm

We are developing a Christian MMORPG. Make the dream come true! Many said it could not be done, but “with God, all things are possible!”

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Free applied Programming classes online!

We have new programming classes!  George Garman, a Visions team Senior Programmer, has offered to serve on our team as a Programming Instructor for our new developers who are learning, or need to brush up on their skills.  He will be developing a series of courses to teach specific programming concepts in C++ and Torque Script.

Membership on the development team is required for participation in the class as many class projects will be directly related to our game development projects.  Currently there is no fee for joining George’s classes, but assignments will need to be turned in on time and in completion to stay in the class. We will be working on delivery methods as technology becomes available. Currently emails, IRC, Teamspeak and videos are anticipated to be the primary delivery methods of information, as all classes are online. Live instruction will be recorded and used for future classes as well.  George will be working closely with the Director of Programming, Mark Dynna, to coordinate his class instruction to the needs of the game.  Class Assignments will be geared toward needs of the development project whenever possible, thus meaning that students will be working directly with actual game code much of the time.  As students attain a level of proficiency that they can engage in self-directed learning, they will be given more independant task assignments on the game project to work with. It is expected that the students will ask questions about issues they have with their project assignments to advance their knowledge.

A minimum of a 1 year commitment is required for this programming internship/apprenticeship opportunity. If you are wanting to join George’s programming classes, please send in an online volunteer application to officially confirm your interest and note on the application that you are interested in the Programming Apprenticeship classes. Apply online here:

http://www.visionsdev.com/adminforms/Volunteer-Application.htm

Thank you for your interest in our game development projects!  If you would like to learn more about our company before applying you can visit our company website here http://tinyzoo.com.
-Laurene

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