Didn’t make it this time…

Posted by (twitter: @yezu)
August 27th, 2012 8:18 am

Well this time I failed to create a game in 48 hours… Although I tried to prepare, too many things went wrong. By Sunday evening I was so far behind I accepted defeat. I mean I could create some kind of a game, something far away from what I have planned… But my heart wouldn’t be in it, so I decided to let go.

What went wrong?

1. My map management library works fine, on which I have placed big bets for this compo. However creating assets from total scratch takes ages. I was hoping to have basic testing map assets in 2h. It took me almost 12… 12 hours!

2. It would seem that a physics control intended for walking characters in jMonkeyEnigine does not handle collisions between them (WTF?). So I spend a couple of hours trying to find a solution, unsuccessfully.

3. My model editor had still more bugs, that I couldn’t find earlier. Which essentially made it impossible for me to create animated models for the game. I had to improvise, so I took Blender and started experimenting with skeletal animation there. The problem is I am a total Blender noob. I had to learn from scratch which took a couple of hours.

4. After I finally created the animation in Blender exporters and importers failed me. Both the Ogre exporter for Blender and Blender importer for jMonkeyEngine couldn’t handle my modest animation.

By 22:00 on Sunday (5 hours till deadline) I got a test map, a not fully functional control mechanism, a animated model which imports into the game, but without textures and no more energy an patience left…

Conclusions? Test your tools extensively beforehand!

I was so enthusiastic about jME 3.0. However after this weekend my faith in the engine got strained. I’m doing some more research and maybe I have to do some more reading to be able to prepare and import assets correctly. However if it’s not the case I will have to consider switching (again). But to what? Unity would be nice, but it’s a no go until it’s possible to develop under Linux. CrystalSpace, Ogre, I tried them and didn’t like them all that much… I could return to my framework, but I’m so tired of writing tools and libraries I want finally to focus on making a game…

Anyway, what I have done this weekend is thankfully not a waste. I learned doing animations in Blender which is something of an achievement, I found some more bugs in my code I intend to reuse, I figured some ways to improve the tools I use also I learned more about my engine of choice but most of all I decided to continue developing the game I have imagined for the compo. It won’t be a big project, I want to complete it in a month or two… So maybe before the next LD I will have something to show.


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