Pizza-budget game development and textlogs for Parasite
Well, SIGGRAPH was last week and I missed, which sucks big time, but at least I managed to keep up with some of the news (just a few of them). I watched some of the Autodesk streams including one about Middleware. They showed Beast, Kynapse and HumanIK. The one I’d definitely like to test is Beast, followed by Kynapse. They did mention one can request a free demo, so I may try to get my hands on one of those just to see how they work and maybe even write about them (as I usually do every time I get a new piece of software or equipment).
I also had the chance to see what Skyline is about, and I have to say I hope they come up with some sort of product based on what they’ve been developing.
The title of this post has “pizza-budget” because I was sorta inspired by another one of the talks. There was this guy working on machinima, and he was talking about all the different “shortcuts” he was taking because he didn’t have a big budget to work on (and he actually used the words pizza-budget production). As you can imagine, as the somewhat-creative director for an indie game, I’ve been reading a lot about other indie games. I saw budgets that go well over $100,000 and I found it amusing that we’re spending a lot less than that on Parasite (due to different reasons).
Some indie devs may find themselves having to build their own technology (and also happen to live in more expensive countries), but in our case, since we’re using UDK we didn’t have to spend a lot of resources building a complete engine from scratch (then, since you’re using a triple-A engine, you only need to deal with the guys bitching about your game not being as graphically eye-popping as Gears of War 3, or Battlefield 3).
So, even if UDK is not free, you only need to pay a small fee to use it commercially (although you end up paying higher royalties later, but you have to recognize Epic doesn’t start charging you unless they know you’re really making money, meaning you’re serious into game development).
So this is just a small part of what’s pizza-budget game development. I will share the rest when we are ready to post the Parasite postmortem (but to do that we need to finish the game first).
In other news… we have working textlogs!
I wanted to keep it simple since it’s not like you will be navigating the textlog window, or moving data in it. It’s basically just a medium to display information so we don’t need much. There are 3 different windows basically, this one, the one that shows “communication messages” (like when you find a computer and you read a message or whatever that the owner was reading before dying), and a third one that I am not discussing right now. They are powered by the Scaleform middleware, obviously, and the text can be edited via UnrealScript or directly in Kismet via a custom text-editing node, meaning I only need one class and that node to change the text to whatever I want. That also means you can randomize some of the text messages. More on how the system works in a future developer diary post.
See you next week!