We're forming a think tank. I know, I've mentioned this before but a game engine think tank means programmers and have you ever seen programmers argue? It's vicious man... more vicious than that badger on the Youtubes.
Back in the day when I was actually gainfully employed I worked as a financial analyst for Wells Fargo. What that meant was watching over budgets for technology projects and making sure that we didn't stray too far from what suit clad people thought was "reasonable expense". Yeah. Funnnnnn job. But it did get me interacting with a large number of programmers and in spite of their nerdy stay at my desk and code my heart out public image, these people are are fierce.
Programmers believe in their structures and codes. Ask any C++ programmer what language TerraX should be built in and they'll swear C++ is the ONLY code that should be used and for that matter forget the graphics cause scrolling code is so smexy who would need images to enjoy a game?
Um... I do. I really do.
So here's a bit about game engine design as it stands. A game engine is the structure that takes input from the player, translates it into something the game software understands, takes the response from the game software and translates it into something the player understands. At the same time it handles load distribution and documents what goes on within the game. Yes, that's a gross simplification. We're talking rendering systems, anti-collision programs, database reference, scripting, storage, audio, AI and a host of other tools needed to make a game actually run.
Right now most games reuse the same game engines and add ins, and that is indeed why new games seem to run along the same paths. We're aiming to build a new game engine for TerraX, mainly because the game goes a waaaaayyy bit more than your standard mmorpg (ok so it's way outta bounds... ) and our erstwhile Group of Ramen (yes, that's a nod to OSC) does not think that current game engine components will support the level of interactive play we want TerraX to have.
So. Think tank for the game engine. Funding is slowly rolling in for it and right now we're aiming for a March or April start to the actual "meet via skype/vent and harsh each other's faces while Pamela tries to keep people from flaming each other" think tank.
Maybe if I buy them all cool hats? TerraX T-Shirts? BBQ? Add a super cool programmer NPC to the game?
Sigh. I think I'll just invest in some serious body armor and take my chances.
As always, if you have ideas, comments, suggestions or want to be a part of the creation of TerraX please drop me a line or post below.