Okay so here is the first prototype of a simple game that I am working on:
Wow, it's been a long time since I put anything here on my blog. Well I suppose I should start off explaining what the hell I've been up to, which unfortunately isn't a lot in terms of programming.
I have been in the middle of a move, my old landlord sold the property and so me and my flatmate were forced to find somewhere else. Since February 11th until now I've been out of a proper home/not had any internet, thankfully I'm up and running again now. I still don't have my desktop set up properly but I can work on my MacBook for now until everything is sorted.
I haven't been doing completely nothing, for an interim period I was staying at one of my friends houses I did manage to do a bit of playing around with various commerical game engines. This is a preliminary step as me and my friend (Ash: https://ashleighthomas.wordpress.com/) are hoping to start developing a game together.
First of all I tried out the trial version of Leadwerks as it was C++ I thought It could potentially be a good solution with hopefully a short learning curve. The trial version only featured the LUA integration of the Leadwerks engine which proved a bit of a pain as it did mean I had to spend some time getting used to LUA, although most scripting languages are fairly similar and it didn't really take much time.
The main pitfalls I found with Leadwerks is that the Editor is not actually that easy to work with and there doesn't seem to be as large a user base as most of the other commercial engines out there. The one aspect that I did like about Leadwerks is that it was a one off payment which I have always preferred to a subscription based payment method.
Next on the cards was unity, I mean how could I not try it out. I have played with Unity before just after leaving University but at the time I found it difficult to work with and a very large and confusing piece of software. Over the past few years I have had to learn how to use 3DS Max and other large scale software which has made Unity much less of a problem. As an added point I think that my work with my own Entity Component System has given me a much better understanding of how to use Unity and how to develop in such a style.
One pitfall I did have with Unity is that there were a lot of featured that were not readily available to "Free" users. Features such as Deferred Rendering, Variance Shadow Mapping and Post Processes. Okay so I could probably live without all these but it just felt as though the real potential was taken away unless I wanted to fork out $1500.
So quit my yabbering on as this has now changed! As of a few days ago Unity announced Unity 5,
which now features it's same $100,000 or more profit and you have to pay for a licence. The difference is that you now get all the engine features which I think is an absolute game changer (mind the pun). Unity has proven to be one of the leading game engines, but with this new full engine for free and it's massive user base I believe there is a good chance they will be running away from the competition.
I think me and Ash have decided that Unity is going to be the way to go for our game, mainly for it's massive amount of online help content and the fact that it has proven to be an effective game engine for many indie developers.
Unreal Engine has also recently released a new licencing scheme that does very put it on a level playing field as Unity. This news has made me think a little about playing with UE4 as it has some very nice features. The fact the Unreal is C++ based does really make me want to try and make a case for switching to it for this game as it would be one less thing to learn. The advantage to using Unity is that I will have to learn C# properly which is something I've wanted to do for a while, mostly to ensure I stay as employable as I can. Although UE4's 5% profit licence isn't quite as good I believe they are definitely taking a step in the right direction. I will definitely be downloading UE4 and having a play with it even if it is justin my own time as it is just too good to pass up.
As a conclusion I think that it is amazing that the commercial game engines are finally adapting fully to the indie market. It will really open the door to a lot of aspiring developers and give them the opportunity to create some amazing games that could potentially never have happened before.
Okay so I haven't really spoken much about my ECS and JBEngine project. I will still be carrying on with that project and am hoping to soon get the re-altered ECS and messaging system fully integrated into the engine. I think the project my suffer a little due to this gane idea but I don't think it will ever be put away for good.