We're working towards having a playable prototype of our combat mechanics by the end of October. To that end I've been trying to nail down our content pipeline as much as possible to get Todd and Ryan to the point where they can start producing assets and getting them into the game.
I'll update a bit of that later - but first I wanted to rant a bit. If you're only interested in the technical bits then feel free to scroll down. I won't feel bad, honest.
I'm not one of those developers who think big studios and publishers are evil. I fully understand that they are business and most often they have investors that they need to keep happy. Keeping them happy means making money. In all honesty - we have the same goal with Fractured State (no I don't mean we have investors that we need to keep happy). While our two main goals are to 1: make a game that we think is fun to play and well executed and 2: to create a world that we think is interesting and fill it with characters that are compelling. But ultimately, at the end of the day we would also like to make some money from it. We have no budget for Fractured State and we work on it in our free time between our day jobs and our families. Our dream would be to make enough money off this game to not have to worry about the day job bit anymore. Hopefully, if we succeed with our two design goals, you folks can help us with the that.
My first forays into game design was making mods for Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun. I spent the summer before 9th grade tweaking INI files, making voxels, and hunting down WAV sound effects on the internet. At one point I thought the pulse rifle sound from Terminator 2 was super cool but we only had the family desktop computer which was in another room. I took a cassette recorder and held it up to the TV and then held the cassette recorder up to the desktop's microphone. I'm sure it sounded horrible but I thought it was awesome.
Command and Conquer is a franchise that has always been important to me. Oddly enough, the first C&C game I played wasn't on the PC. A friend and I used to play Red Alert: Retaliation on the Playstation with 2 TVs and a link cable. I guess you could say it was my first LAN party. Later I made mods for Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 and my final year of High School was spent playing Generals over LAN. The fulcrum of my gaming existence has been Command and Conquer.
It's because of this that I have serious issues with the way EA is treating the franchise. It first started when producers from EA said that they were treating the Tiberian and Red Alert universes as two separate entities that did not cross over. There's just one small problem with that...
What else do you need? Does Kane need to shoot Stalin in his mustached face himself?! Does he need a sticky on his blazer that says "Hi my name is....Kane and I totally want to take over the world"?
I have always contended that the greatest Command and Conquer title would be the game that spanned the time between Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn. Bridge the tech between the two franchises and documented the fall of the USSR and the rise of Nod and GDI. It could be amazing, but it'll never happen. It's a slap in the face to the original Westwood folks who created the universe and spent years developing the canon. And now we have word that Generals 2 is going to be free-to-play and completely online with no campaign. What we have now is a C&C that is C&C in name only. It is a shell of its former self. Unfortunate only begins to describe it.
On the State front - like I mentioned at the top of this post, I've been working on getting our content pipeline together and working on our combat mechanics. A lot of that is spending time on loaders and caches which don't lend themselves to screenshots and interesting posts. A few days ago I finished up our sound effect cache. When the game requests a sound to be played the cache checks if it's already been used somewhere else and if it has, it uses the cached version. If it hasn't it loads it off the disk and places it in the cache. I've also been working on an exporter for 3D Studio Max since that is the application Ryan prefers to do his models in. I'd like to support as many applications as we can but since this is what we're using it takes priority right now.