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Frequently Asked Questions (11.10.2001)

Q: What is the current status of the Myzel project?

A: The project’s funding situation is the worst one possible. That is at the moment NOTHING AT ALL. In addition, most members of the team are busy with other things. Gupi is doing community service. Martin has a new job. Jörg is at present working on music projects. And so on…..

That means that at the moment the project is frozen in its current state. The game world is fully set up and people can log on without more ado, but support is not available.

We are negotiating new sources of finance. But we all know that the “new economy” is not in particularly good shape. That means that internet companies are fairly careful about what they do with their money. We shall see.

Q: Why is the network protocol so slow?

A: We haven’t devised the network protocol on the basis of efficiency. We wanted to have optimum support for testing and to spend as little as possible on the protocol, since the whole thing is at present a proof-of-concept. The protocol is extremely flexible but not very fast. Its performance seemed to us to be acceptable. Many changes to the server and the client are only possible because of the flexibility of the protocol. We didn’t have to devise a complete protocol at the start of the development process, but have been able to add to its functionality bit by bit.

Q: Why does the client look so awful?

A: We have tried to economise on the client as much as possible. It was originally going to be only text-based. The whole game would then have been run via a terminal window where commands would be typed in a command line. We realised ourselves that that was unworkable. We therefore decided to go ahead with AWT, which runs on all platforms without problems. It seemed to us that there were difficulties with Swing, because Apple computers only support an older version of Swing, and one which would usually be an extra download. We wanted to have a client that could be used with a minimum of download and (installation). For those who aren’t familiar with Java (a programming language) - AWT – Abstract Windowing Toolkit – and Swing are program libraries providing functions for graphical user interfaces.

Q: Why have many of the promised features not been included (3D client etc.)?

A: Well, we simply ran out of money (see also answer 1). You can be sure we would have preferred to have a flashy 3D client with fancy colour and see-through effects. But we simply haven’t been able to get enough money together. In addition, the Myzel project in its most minimal form was only planned as proof-of-concept, and as such it has fulfilled its purpose very well. But it is still a pity about the see-through effects ….