Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tuesday's Child

Cleaning Up My Brain

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.

Reloaded Work

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)!

Signing Off

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!


  1. I'm pretty sure that Battlefield 4 is also arriving for PS4, PC, & current gen consoles in addition to Xbox One. Just a correction.

  2. Can I ask why you ignore Linux?If AGK capable to compile to MacOS and Android,I can't see a single reason why don't you included Linux at least in the kickstarter project.The big question? "Which Linux distro there are so many?".The third most popular desktop operating system on the planet is Ubuntu.Steam and Source Engine released on Ubuntu,Unity3D released on Ubuntu,Leadwerks ready to be released on Ubuntu.Dell,IBM,HP,ASUS,Nvidia,Valve officially supports Ubuntu.AGK - TGC why not?
    I would like to see something like DBP,AGK on Ubuntu.

    I mean there is already a similar (very nice) language which can compile to Linux,but it almost dead,only one person develop it and no update in the past 2 years only an instable alpha version :(
    I'm waiting for better 3D animation support but looks like the language don't get any closer :(

    In the next one year,Ubuntu is coming for mobile phone,tablet and Smart TV/box.Canonical says many manufacturers are interested, so I think it worth it.Only one FREE system which going to capable to run on 4 different platforms.

    Otherwise,nice job on Reloaded I can't wait to make something like BF4 XP

  3. You often find decisions are made from a commercial standpoint and when you get 99 people asking for Android deployment support and 4 people asking for Linux support, the majority carries. I think the whole Linux community is an awesome place to live, but it's relatively new territory for the traditionalists who make a product with the hopes of selling it to millions of potential users. Is there a market for selling Linux software? If you send me some compelling charts and statistics on this, I can pass them on to the powers that be. I used to be one of the powers, but my influence and existing controls are now confined to the dungeons at Reloaded tower ;) Just how I like it!

    1. Well,if you want to sell something to millions you have to release the product for as many platforms as possible in my opinion of course.

      I can't show you any stats except mine which is terrible but maybe because I'm a bad developer not because the platform :P
      Anyway the best market to sell Linux software is Ubuntu Software Centre and Steam.If you don't want to sell software through these markets,you can still upload a demo version of your product and redirect the people to TGC shop to buy.

      But I understand your point of view,all I want to draw your attention to Ubuntu.It growing fast as I mentioned ,it getting more support,it going to be released on all major platforms in the close future,so I think it worth to calculate with it.
      Thanks for your answer :)

  4. I am so happy to that you received the reaction I was hoping that you would with the Rift. It is a huge game changer!!! Reloaded would be (hopefully is going to be) simply outstanding though the eyes of the Rift! Coming from an individual that has no programming background (and struggling to create my own demos with the current supported engines), the thought of using FPSCreator to create Rift environments is very exciting!

  5. The Oculus Rift is a siren right now, promising a world of delights, beckoning me closer :) I will resist though. I will resist by being over a thousand miles away from my PC! When I get back, it goes in a box where I can no longer hear it. Maybe I will let it out at Christmas to have a breather. Once upon a time I would have let it distract me, but these shiny new toys cannot derail me from my obligations on this occasion. Plenty of time for Rift me thinks. The SDK is only at 0.2.2 which gives you some idea how far we have yet to go before the consumers get their hands on it :) It's time will come, and when it's ready, so will ours!

  6. The Rift really is a game changer. I have had 3D Vision for years with a high end 120 Hz 3D monitor and GTX 680, but even going back to that from the Rift has become dismal. Playing through HL2 with the Rift and being completely immersed is unreal.

    I was playing around trying to implement Rift support in DBPro recently. Managed to get the shader part semi-working, of course without the headtracking. It would be tremendous fun using DBPro/FPSCR for Rift creations. I'm part of several Rift communities and everyone is desperate for new content. Aside from Unity/Unreal, some smaller engines (including Blitz) also now support it.

  7. Stop teasing me, I have work to do ;) If anyone wants to knock up a third party DBP DLL to support the Rift, I'd be pleased to push it out to our communities and tweeting the smeg out of it. I am pretty sure this task will fall squarely on my desk in the not too distant future, but for the here and now, my circuits are irrevocably committed to Reloaded ;)