The last few weeks AirlineSim have been quite a bit of fun again and it almost feels like the good old times. With the definite decission taken that we want to roll out an English version of the game before the end of the year a whole lot of things have happened. Let me summarize real quick:
First of all, the yearly team meeting which took place at a classic location in Stuttgart was a great success in any sense. Besides the culinary part of it we thought a lot about AirlineSim and how we could improve it. The bad thing: We've got so many nice want-to-haves on the list now that I have no clue when and how we're supposed to realize them. But oh well, we'll find a way...if you happen to be an experienced Java programmer and have an interest in helping us out, please let me know ;-).
As mentioned on the forums we decided more or less spontaneously that AirlineSim deserves a major overhaul. So I've been spending a whole lot of time lately building up a new foundation based on an awesome component-based Java framework called Wicket. Although the learning curve is quite steep for my taste I've come to love it over the past months I've spent working with it at my day job. It most definately is a pleasure compared to the current Struts 2-based setup and it allows for far more up-to-date features while keeping development time for these gimmicks extremely low. So to keep it short: It's been fun to work in AS lately and I'm really looking forward to our new major version...it's going to be a milestone in AirlineSim's history.
But that's not all. As you might know, AirlineSim is published by 4players so far. And while it will stay that way for the German version we need to build up everything from scratch for the international launch. First question was: What's going to be our domain name? Nobody (us included) thought of reserving airlinesim.net or another non-German and well known TLD when the project was started 6 years ago. Now all of the good variants are taken by other entities. Well, almost. One team member came up with the idea to get an .aero domain. This sponsored domain is only available to "members of the aviation community" and because I liked the idea of such a domain a lot I handed in an application for a .aero ID on Sunday. Monday I got a response saying that more information on our request was needed...we had to prove that we actually deserve such a domain. I was kind of scared since I really wasn't sure whether this was going to work out at all. So I wrote a short text about who we are and what we do, that we're very interested in a realistic simulation and that many of our players and team members are actually aviation professionals (which is true, btw). When I opened my mailbox this evening the first thing catching my eyes was a heading which looked very promissing...and in fact it was the confirmation that we're now authorized to register .aero-domains! Wohoo!
So now everything's about paving the rest of the way to our international launch...registering the actual domain, getting a server, setting everything up and, oh yeah, program a new version of AirlineSim. I almost forgot. So dear reader...I'm back in the code. I'll keep you updated!