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Joining the Magicosm Team
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2001

There were two projects "Dimensions of Xith" and "Magicosm" which merged July of 2000. We are a small team and this marks the first time any of us have built a game of this nature. David Yazel is the primary client programmer, Bobby Martin is the server programmer, Julie is our artist, Peter Ryskin is modelling/animation, Pablo is a modeller, Zak is sound/music and Tim Beaudoin is the world designer. We also have several people on the team which at this point contribute to gameplay discussions. Most of us have been involved in RPG's for 10-20 years.

Magicosm is a project which is owned by the participants collectively in some loose proportion to contribution and effort. We had originally wanted to do the entire project open source, but that didn't work out very well. We do plan to release a huge amount of the project as open source once we have established Magicosm commercially. We always have difficulty explaining the "business" side of Magicosm, but mostly that is because we are focusing on the creation of the world, and not on who owns what. To simplify things, each person holds the copyrights to any tangible contributions to the project, like a source code file, a model, a texture, animation, etc. If anyone leaves the project they can take their contributions and do whatever they want with them, including any commercial endevor, but they cannot take any of the media/code/etc that others have produced on the team. The Magicosm team also gets to retain a copy of the contributions and use them for completing Magicosm.

The loose plan is to * NOT * sell off the game to some company, nor seek funding in any capacity that would remove our creative control of Magicosm. We are first and foremost building a dream. For this dream to be a reality it will need to be self supporting, and thus will need to be commercial. At that point we will all sit down and hash out ownership and form a Magicosm specific company. None of us are in this to become rich, although many of us would love to have be Magicosm be successful enough that we can work full time on it without the need for second jobs.

We just added a new client programmer and he is coming up to speed. That takes a while considering we have been in development since July of 2000 and there is a lot of material to learn. Even more important is the need for each new member of the team to "mesh" with the rest of the team. This assimilation works both ways, as each person brings their own concepts and ideas which effect the development and vision of the project. So we are slow and careful in adding new members. We are also very careful regarding the division of work, since each person "owns" a piece and is free within limits to develop that peice using design and methodology comfortable to them. Thats why we work with interfaces a lot, so the actual implementation of the interface can be flexible. So the actual client core engine (animation, terrain, geometries, etc) is something David Yazel is responsible for, while Bobby Martin is responsible for the server design and implementation. We all contribute to design in an ongoing, collaborative manner, but the details of implementation is up to the person responsible for each piece.

The biggest place we could use a programmer is in the world building tools, which right now David is handling. There is a huge amount of work that needs to be done in that arena. We are also in need of people who can do textures, models and animations.

Team members are expected to

Discussion Read the two e-mail groups and participate regularly in the message threads. (New members should read the archives to get caught up)
Gameplay Help make gameplay decisions using our documented process of game design resolutions.
Test Test new releases as they become available.
Contribute Contribute material (code, models, animation, textures, world building) to the degree they are confortable with.
Archive Install and use our CVS archive to contribute material to the project.
Fun Have fun, get to know the team. (Most of us are on ICQ all the time)

The most important thing is not to think of the project as a short-lived endeavor. This really is a massive undertaking and it will take "as long as it takes" to get done. We don't have millions of $ $ (and as EA has proved by cancelling UO2, money does not a MMORPG make) and we don't have an army of volunteers (because an army is impossible to manage effectively). We are looking for dedicated core contributers who understand that this is a long process and who can appreciate both the journey itself and the end goal as well.

If you are interested in joining the Magicosm team, send an e-mail to David Yazel at wizofid @ or Bobby Martin at bobbymartin @ Please include some information about yourself and why you are interested in the Magicosm project. Please also include a history of your RPG gaming experience and a description of how you feel you could contribute to the Magicosm development effort.

Copyright (c) 2000-2002, Inc. All rights reserved. "Magicosm" is a trademark of, Inc.