Filed Under: Journal - Development - Game Development
I got started working so late tonight I decided not to even try to decipher any C++, OpenGL or anything else that required structure or precise syntax. Still, I wanted to try to accomplish SOMETHING. With that in mind I launched into actual game design for the first time in ages. I've become so caught up in details of implementation that I've sort of lost track of where I was trying to end up. I guess it's a good thing I've looked ahead a bit.
For a long time I've had some rough ideas of what I wanted to accomplish for my first game. A lot of those ideas have been trimmed off for the sake of getting something done. Of course, I've still got 'pong' to write, but it isn't really so much of an achievement as proof that I can actually write something from creation to completion. It sort of sucks to have a great idea in your head, and to have to start cutting big pieces of what makes it cool off just to make it realistic. Not realistic in a 'reality vs. fantasy' sense. Realistic in a 'this will take me 2 years vs. 10 years' kind of way. What I really hope is that I can build this thing in such a way that when I'm done, I can just launch right into the extra stuff I wanted to begin with. Hopefully the structure it's being built under will allow for something as simple as that.
Anyway; the whole point here is that I may be looking at a lot more trimming. The original Nova-2 that spawned this whole silly library, and jump into SDL was going to encompass an idea that I think is really going to take off in the gaming world. That's right, I'm going to put down a prediction here in psudo-writing so I can look back when I'm 40 and say, good lord, if I had just finished ANYTHING when I was younger, I'd be rich now.
Convergence. That's what it's all going to be about in a few years. Taking that wicked-ass 1st person shooter 3D engine (who's technological merits alone will no longer sell) and joining it with a MOO style RTS, and connecting that all to a Starfleet Acadamy type combat space combat simulator. Then shake the whole thing up (a la shake and bake) and stick it on the net; where thousands of people can be playing in any of those modes, and seemlessly switching between them, all affecting one another. Order your starship to sector X, then run through your ship from the bridge to the hanger bay and hop into a shuttle, then fly the thing down to the surface of planet Y and hop out and drive transport Z to city K to sell cargo C that you bought in sector T from planet L.
Ahem.. Yeah. You get the idea (I).
The point is, people are getting sick of just doing one thing, and that one thing not having lasting, useful consequences. For ever and ever that has been the two routes a game has to follow. Either I'm going to be online and have some psudo-tripe story line in which I get killed 50 times a night accomplishing nothing but building experience I can use to die 45 times tomorrow night - or I'll play a single player game and drive to New Reno to run drugs for a crime lord, while solving a murder case and saving the world as we know it.
Not to metion that in either of the above cases I'm doing it within a strict and ridged framework where all specifics are shoe-horned into an interface that doesn't suit them, or specifics are left out entirely. I mean come on, we've all used the same dialog window to talk to people, operate computers, pick locations and buy items. It just doesn't make sense.
The first company out there to create a comprehensive and cohesive game world in which people can actively and intelligently interact with all of the important aspects of that world, is going to be stinking rich. A framework where people can live out a life that's close enough to real life to visualize ourselves in and remain sane, and open enough that we can do all the stuff we want to do in real life but can't. Largely because mistakes result in horrible (and rather permanent) death.
Well, as much as I'm enjoying this particular rant. It's now almost six in the morning, and there's a great deal of things to do tomorrow that I really should have done today.