It often shocks me how modern game engines are primarily built around their graphics pipelines. Now I understand modern AAA games must look good, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What bothers me is the fact that gameplay is relegated to a second class citizen in the process. For instance, in your game & engine of choice:
Is it possible for you to load the game quickly without having to wait for other systems to initialize?
Does your engine support automated testing in accelerated mode — without graphics?
Can you keep on the cutting edge of the AI and gameplay code without having to sync. all the latest graphics assets and code?
Is all your gameplay related logic easy to reload dynamically on the fly without having to restart?
Can you build the rest of the engine’s libraries in release mode and only keep the AI and gameplay in debug?
Screenshot: AiGameDev.com’s upcoming sandbox. Video below.
Now, there are certainly studios that support such features to reduce turn-around times, but I’ve always been curious what would happen if one would build an industrial strength prototyping environment around these ideas. Specifically:
Entirely designed for prototyping of gameplay, AI, animation, and physics.
Ignores eye candy when it has a price, but tries to have style otherwise!
Designed for fast turnaround times, compiling, loading, etc.
Based on existing libraries, but Lipo-Sucked™ where possible.
Combined in a modular way using en elegant shared model.
Anyway, that’s something we’re working on. The basics are in place, the results look good, and the code comments will follow shortly! In the video below you’ll notice our lightweight but stylish assets & visual style, as well as the quality motion capture (no blending yet).
This bodes very well for the next few months in my opinion! If you have any questions or comments, post them below or in the forums — as usual…