Remember when I promised to launch at the end of April? Wait, that’s today?!
Most of the core infrastructure is finally set up (which for someone like me was no small task apparently), and all the remaining major tasks have a solid plan laid out. Now it should simply be a matter of implementing those plans over the next few weeks and we’ll have a platform ready for release.
Learning React, Next.js, Express, and all the systems that come along with them was a lot more difficult for me than I expected, and I’ll admit there were times I desperately wanted to just stick to what I know and build the site in PHP like the existing ones to meet my promise of launching this month.
A huge part of the work is not even visible on the front end of the site – things like internal APIs, databases, the admin section where we upload and manage assets, file storage systems and CDNs, and how all of these things connect to each other.
But now that the worst of it is complete, I’m super glad I didn’t chicken out. I can see now that the potential new features, and the ease at which they can be implemented, is definitely worth all the effort up front.
The current todo list is pretty large, mainly because we have the expectation of, at the very least, having feature parity with the existing sites. But rebuilding the site from scratch is also a good opportunity to add some cool new features that would have hard or inefficient to do before, such as more advanced download options that remember your resolution and map preferences, and much more powerful client-side search, so naturally these things are on the “must have” list too.
The other thing we’re working on for the launch of the site is some new eye candy – a render for the home page to show off what you can do with some of our assets.
We’re still working on composition and layout… and everything else… interior scenes are always challenging, and it’s going to be fun to see how Blender handles several dozen sets of 16-bit 8k PBR texture sets from all our assets.
Rob just returned from a trip after many months of not being able to cross borders.
Meanwhile, Rico and Dimitri are still on a roll:
Things are getting super busy now with the launch of the site imminent. If all goes according to plan, next month’s Dev Log will be about how smoothly everything went 🙂