Another nasty issue that I’ve been putting off for too long concerns the delivery software. Currently I am using the Java version of SWAT, which was built six years ago to meet a complex set of requirements. It’s a huge program, comprising 186 separate java Classes (files). It does everything: editing, running the storyworld, logging activity, debugging — it’s quite a piece of software. And I don’t understand it. I know the storytelling parts intimately; I wrote them all. But the parts that permit the engine to reside on a server and a client-side Java program to communicate with it are completely beyond my comprehension of Java.
Here’s a possibility: keep everything in Java. Modify the Java SWAT code so that it displays everything using Java, so that the whole thing remains a standalone Java application. Don’t deliver the game over the web, deliver it as a Java standalone app. Of course, damn few people would be able to play it, but I could get it done that way. Once I’ve gotten it working, I can then use that as the springboard for the next step, whatever that may be. Perhaps I could get some crowd funding to convert the Java code into a proper browser game, although this violates my rule against putting my future in the hands of others.