While our Twitter has been more consistently active the past couple months thanks to #TLTuesday efforts, the blog has definitely dragged this year. So, with the recent completion of the new player camera functionality I figured now would be a good time to say a few words about it and where the engine is going.
It's no secret that engine development has been a bit of a disaster on this project. There's numerous reasons behind that, but one of particular prominence has been lack of direction. Difficult to work on something when you don't know exactly what you want to begin with, after all.
And yeah, we had an engine designed that you see the beginnings of in demo v0.1, but the more we thought about it the more we didn't see it working out well--for reasons beyond the scope of this post.
So back when Unity's Mecanim animation system was released and we figured the engine should be rewritten to make use of it, I spent a lot of time trying to design a better way to do things, which didn't go so well. I won't drone on about game design, but suffice to say no existing template from other games provided exactly what we were looking for, in either desirable gameplay or ease of development. Nor was I coming up with anything revolutionary (or viable) for our specific needs.
Anyway, this lack of direction and subsequent lack of progress had gone on for far too long, so last month fAB and I really dug into it, reassessed priorities and finally decided on a new engine (or more specifically, a new camera and how it affects the engine).
Bottom line: the camera is now controlled by the mouse. This greatly simplifies the engine and controls (which should benefit development time as well as playability), and we hope it also satisfies the mouse-inclined gamers who didn't dig the initial demo. We're hoping this will also solve the foreseen gameplay issues present in the old engine, among other perks.
I would give a full rundown on how exactly it works as it might not be quite as you imagine, but I think it would be better demonstrated over a video. I'll be making one when Tuttle's movement is up and running so you can better see it in action, but for now I just wanted let everyone know what's up with this new camera system and underline what a major hurdle has been cleared with the new engine direction; this means I have something solid to chip away at now.
I can't say if this will be a perfect engine for everyone, but regardless of how it turns out the most important thing is that this game gets done so that players can experience its adventure. Hopefully this engine will see that come to pass sooner than never. As always, thanks for sticking with us!
As an aside, we mentioned this on Twitter last month but figured it wouldn't hurt to mention again: Our chief composer Mr. 'Oni' Foetus is suffering financial difficulties (or Struggling-Artist-Syndrome, as I like to call it) and has put up a GoFundMe page. If you enjoy his tracks on our Music page and happen to have any spare change (or even social networks to spread the word), maybe consider helping him out?
* Note that this is a personal fundraiser and isn't related to TLT in any way.