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DEV BLOG :: SEPTARIUM

Title: Engine Completed!
Date: 2013-11-15


The End of engine's development.

ENTRY


Particle Editor, Framework The carte blanche mentioned in previous entries and news turned out to be quite a tricky bastard. There seems no point in hiding from inevitable but the dream expects the dreamer to face up the challenges. Perhaps, it might be obstacles that prevents some individuals to become something they wish to be – it is much more easy to yield up than to go through hardship to the stars. During September & October, Septarium experienced a lot of difficulties from technical side, mostly because of low experience in required field.



This project is a study. Here, the study is an elastic conception which covers almost everything. I did not expected to read so much and acquire tons of knowledge essential for game development. You hit render state - you study OpenGL. You hit game physics and motion – you regret about not paying attention, rather sleeping, during math class and then study math. And so on, a never ending evolution of a game developer goes like that. This is the romance of developer's life.

Yes, indeed – the first major obstacle was pure absence of basic geometry. I found a wonderful tutorial about vectors and game physics: The Nature of Code. With charged knowledge, it makes a vast difference. For those, who are in same situation as me, it might seem silly enough to bother. Big deal, XYZ floats packed in one structure sounds unconvincingly. It makes life easier and more comfortable this way. Have a look at first chapters of that e-book – you can see a proof of its power via demonstrated examples.

Another resource worth to be mentioned is a wise article regarding time steps: Fix Your Timestep!. Author's point of view grants productive results concerning project's efficiency.

Somehow, SPARK integration wasn't as fluent as I expected. This lead me to write particle engine from scratch. And you know what? I did it! For inspiration I took Game Maker's particle engine and managed to imitate it in my engine. This saves a lot of time because I can use my handcrafted particle editor in GM for Septarium's sake. Best virtues of such practice are as following: complete power over particles (possibility to do whatever with it unlike GM), particle individuality, better performance and some sweet stuff like texture crossfading. I might use CUDA/OpenCV for enhancements but this means spending yet another month for it. What I mean here is complete time dedication which will result successful mastery over it. Running for perfection is good, I agree, but it's nearly impossible to reach the Ideal. So, engine is done! I had to move some possible changes/improvements and new ideas to Future Todo List. Development of the engine took me about 4 months which was based on zork prototype engine.

As programming moves aside, the ring meets resource development. Now, I will cover 3D GFX, SFX and soundtracks. Can't say much about 2D GFX. Frankly speaking, I'm a lousy drawer and for that I had other dudes working on. Unfortunately, Septarium team turned into one man army at this very moment. From one hand it is awesome cause of more fun, but from other hand – it delays release date.

Alien Space Fighter For 3D I use Cinema 4D and latest versions offer its users most kick-ass features. One of the prominent virtues in Cinema is new Sculpting workflow. Thanks to this it is more easier now to produce required models of hostile spaceships. Alien technology is planned to be more organic and resemble those pesky insects . Duh! Aliens are called Beetlenoids, who, as you might guess, resemble beetles. Well not exactly beetles but something more buggy. I can't describe how they look but soon will show you model (a picture worth thousand words, heh?). Screenshot number two gives slight overview about alien weakest fighter. Sure, model awakens thoughts like "Dafuq is this?" but nevertheless i'm happy with it. It looks nasty and reminds an insect.

Soundtracks and sound effects are done in Cubase. It's a matter of taste but I still think Steinberg's child sure is superior DAW. Recently, there was inner debates about which tool to use for sound design. I thought cube will suck at this because it's cooler to do music in it. In search of ideal editor decision ended with sticking to Cubase. I was wrong with Cube's inability to deal up with sound effects. It does perfect job and rewards with decent sounds. I hear a lot of people complaining that this DAW is too difficult – it's not. The greatness lies on its simplicity. Another worthy editor worth to be mention, of course, is Audacity which most of you might be aware.

Well, there are some things that must be uttered but i'll leave it for later dev blog entries. Cya fellaz!

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