Lostcast 92


  • Patron

    I’m curious if you ( @richtaur and @geoffb ) would consider writing a game in C++. It is extremely cross-platform. You frequently complain about HTML5 performance. During tools discussions, it seems your mentions are either a JavaScript-based framework or Unity (which makes available JavaScript).


  • LDG

    We definitely would consider writing a game in C++. In my teens I made the overworld bit of an overhead RPG in C++, wasn’t too bad, but I struggled with pointers and memory allocation. And moved drastically slower than in other envs like QBASIC.

    Right now I think what’s preventing us from looking closer at other approaches is our ability to produce in those environments. The other day I designed a simple game, and it only took me about 4 hours to prototype a playable experience. In that same amount of time I might be able to compile a C++ application and, say, draw a sprite to the screen or something ;) So there are lots of upsides but it would slow us down considerably, and we’re probably not at a point where we can afford to do that. AWL sales are continuously decreasing, and our runway isn’t that long, so we need to move quickly.

    To this day I think it’s HTML5 and its many supporters (Pokki, Ludei, Intel, Google, Apple, many startups…) that kept us afloat those first couple years. If we’d gone with some other tech initially, we’d probably have crashed and burned. But it can be frustrating to constantly being bumping up against limitations, so we often ponder the best approach.


  • Patron

    If you find yourself at a lack of revenue, your extreme HTML5 game dev skills could always be used to develop advertisements. Don’t laugh too hard. We’ve all been there. Something needs to replace the flash-based ads that can’t play on mobile devices.

    Anyway, I don’t recommend writing the C++ game from scratch. That’s both impressively hardcore and very silly. 5 years ago, I wrote a 3D trading card visualization tool for Magic: The Gathering. I used C++ and OGRE 3D. That engine is MIT licensed, so I could do with it as I pleased.

    You can see my tech demo of the tool here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzS-4WKk6Ck

    The tool was used in a promotional video for their Worldwake expansion (as narrated by my brother):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWseMK9MWXA

    The experience wasn’t too bad. You might could find a purely 2D-focused engine to help you. Then again, I suppose you may as well go with Unity since there is far more help, and the cost is not unreasonable. “Free” tools are sometimes only free if you don’t value your time. My budget for the visualizer tool was literally zero, and I did not care about polish since the tool was internal-use only.


  • LDG

    @dannagle said:

    If you find yourself at a lack of revenue, your extreme HTML5 game dev skills could always be used to develop advertisements. Don’t laugh too hard. We’ve all been there. Something needs to replace the flash-based ads that can’t play on mobile devices.

    Yeah sometimes ya just gotta follow the money! I think we’d be able to stay afloat with just HTML5 game licenses/contracts for quite a while, but we want to be pushing hard on our own IP…

    Anyway, I don’t recommend writing the C++ game from scratch. That’s both impressively hardcore and very silly. 5 years ago, I wrote a 3D trading card visualization tool for Magic: The Gathering. I used C++ and OGRE 3D. That engine is MIT licensed, so I could do with it as I pleased.

    I’m sure we’d use an engine down the road but I think initially we’d both need quite some time to get comfortable before jumping into a big project.

    You can see my tech demo of the tool here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzS-4WKk6Ck
    The tool was used in a promotional video for their Worldwake expansion (as narrated by my brother):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWseMK9MWXA

    Very nice!

    “Free” tools are sometimes only free if you don’t value your time.

    Haha that’s a great quote, very accurate. Unity is looking better all the time, but… I’m not sure what it is about it, but it’s not getting me or Geoff excited. I think maybe part of it is we both have that kind of “path not taken” syndrome, where we (maybe subconsciously?) don’t want to do what everybody else is doing, and Unity is the default choice ATM. There’s also something romantic about low-level programming on your own, like you’re trying to defeat a deadly dragon…

    maybe I’m just tired ;) NEED COFFEE


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