I am finding my run up to the holidays a time for backing up, sorting out my desk and generally getting all those loose ends tied off. Part of that is to assign some jobs to my team mates before I swan off to hotter climbs in a few days. I wanted to let you in on some internal inspiration material I have passed about which should give you an idea of the quality bar we are setting ourselves:
Just to be clear, this is not another preview of Reloaded :) It is a game currently in development and set to be released for the XBOX ONE. Having created our tracer and explosion prototypes, we confidently moved onto pastures new. Having seen the above video, we promptly decided to backtrack and see if we could not make our tracer, explosions and fire modules a little bit better.
Bearing in mind the above production took hundreds of talented dudsters and probably tens of thousands of person-hours, you might think it quite insane to even dream of getting near this level of quality. I believe that having a mentor is a good thing, and if you're going to be mentored, it may as well be the best you can find.
Apart from cleaning, packing, thinking and delegating, I will be cramming in some Reloaded work this evening when I attempt to build up the ODE replacement to the physics engine. Using the all powerful Bullet Physics, I am hopeful to add enough commands to the 'Bullet Physics Plugin for DBP' to be able to add terrain physics and character controller physics to the prototype you saw in the video yesterday. I think it makes sense to do this as my return in 2 weeks will see me start the terrain module of the engine which will add deformable terrain geometry and variable vegetation to the level system. In order to be able to test the result of this, having a physics system in place to allow my player to walk around the terrain would be a great benefit and also tick off one of those grey area boxes that asks 'can I generate terrain on the fly, and also generate the physics element of the terrain as well'.
A Head Full Of Oculus
I finally found time last night to unbox and set-up my Oculus VR headset, mainly to tick it off my list and see what the fuss was about. Now I know what the fuss was about and it deserves to be fussed about. I have tried VR headsets before and even have a product out right now that uses what I considered the best consumer device for VR. Well the script has been permanently rewritten with the Oculus Rift. I will not wax lyrical over it as you can find plenty of that elsewhere on the Inter-web, and I will be putting it back in it's box now to prevent myself from being too distracted from my mission to complete Reloaded.
What I can say is that combining this hardware with Reloaded would be momentous! As I sat there, wearing the device, now standing on a balcony overlooking a Mediterranean sea with the soft wind blowing sugar stealer's around my head, calling up an on-screen HUD which magically floated there in front of my eyes, I started to imagine a product that allowed you to create worlds with a wave of your hand, the sound of your voice and a gentle nod of the head. For the first time I saw how a real holo-deck could be built and it was good.
Alas, I must put aside these flights of fancy and get my head back in the game. We have a killer product to produce and it won't write itself (yet)!
As an aside to my regular blog and sign off, you will find over the next 44 days an extra section which you will find below. As you may know, the Reloaded project owes a lot to the Kickstarter concept, which indirectly breathed life into the idea by finding us a champion investor and we are now knee deep in development goodness. My colleague who now runs the AGK Development effort needs a similar boost, and we have chosen Kickstarter to fund that acceleration. If you can help him get those early pledges, even if it's just £3, it should put us on the Kickstarter radar and get some good exposure during the campaign.
Our Kickstarter Campaign
Rather than a banner and a link, I thought it better if I actually say something about what this evolved AGK product is about. But first, here is a banner and a link:
As you can see, thanks to a strong AGK community, we've already pushed past the half way point and we only launched it this morning :) I think what makes AGK so special is that it has all the ease and friendliness of Dark Basic, combining some of the best cross platform technology and made accessible by it's relatively low price and awesome community.
It ain't no toy either! The last thing I made in AGK is now charting across multiple platforms, is battling healthily in the Educational paid top ten on iOS and is raking in a truck of money every week (admittedly for the publisher, not us poor impoverished developers) :) We've already had number one positions in the free charts, and that was before V108 added over a hundred new commands. I am looking forward to seeing what Paul does with this accelerator funding, and especially keen to see what the AGK community creates with this awesome development tool, especially on the new platforms such as Ouya!