Januray 1, 2006
So much for "I'll try to post more regularly again, next time with some info about the new engine and tech behind ketm" haha...sorry, but as you all know by now, life is keeping each of us busy. ^^
Anyway, after receiving numerous requests of finally updating this blog again...well, here I am... ;)
Ok, maybe lets start with some technical stuff...Last time I mentioned "... but while migrating, several weaknesses in the game's architecture became apparent ..."...
This basically means, that the C++ and NeoEngine based software architecture for the game that we built our first two internal releases('Aegis' and 'Sigil') on, was alot harder to port to another graphics engine than I had originally anticipated. Also the whole C++ game framework was clearly an overkill for KETM and required too much maintenance work and simply didn't fit into our plans of being able to rapidly implement new gameplay features that we want to try out.
So, yes, you probably guessed it, our tech-department(yep, thats me ^^) fucked up... =/
Although we could have pushed forward, stayed with C++ and NeoEngine and release ketm alot sooner, we decided that KETM deserved more than a kludge, and so I ended up rewriting the game in Python.
Yep, rewriting the whole game in a new language sounds like alot of work, doesn't it? Well, let me assure you...it IS alot of work...But ok, at least it removed some of the pressure on our artists, who were rather grateful to get more time to finish their tasks ^^
Ok, so now we're finally at a point feature-wise that's approximately where we stopped with the old engine.
Was it the right decision? I think so - learning from our errors in our first releases helped us create a game framework that is a lot more succinct and therefore easier to maintain. In the end, I hope that this will allow us to quicker fix bugs and more easily add new features, which is very important for our experimental development style.
Ok, so much for the technical side of things.
At the moment, we're looking for additional staff to work on KETM!
- Sprite artists
Primarily working on special effects
- Sound designers
For soundtrack and effects
- Gameplay designers
Will primarily be working with our formation and attack patterns editors to create challenging levels. Will also be responsible for balance issues - e.g. difficulty grades, weapon stats, damage resistance,...
If you're interested in one of these positions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Ok, that's it for now...I'll try to get Jon to write a blog entry soon, talking about KETM from an artist and designer's point of view. ;)
October 2, 2005
Well, long time no blog...sorry about that, but since we all've got jobs and commitments besides ketm that's probably unavoidable... =/
Anyway, no need to be afraid - work on KETM continues as always ;)
Well, so what have we been doing the last few months? As mentioned in my last blog entry, I was starting to port ketm's engine from NeoEngine to Ogre3D, but while migrating, several weaknesses in the game's architecture became apparent, and also Ogre3D - altough beeing a fine engine - didn't exactly suit our needs, so we evaluated several other options and...well...more about the technical side of things in my next blog entry... ^^
Here's the more exciting news: ANTHONY SAUNDERS joined our team and is now responsible for KETM's soundtrack!
You can listen to an early sketch - enjoy!
Well, that's it for now - I'll try to post more regularly again, next time with some info about the new engine and tech behind ketm...Stay tuned ;)
May 19, 2005
Shortly after last month's blog entry, we decided to switch KETM's graphics engine
from NeoEngine to
Ogre3D. NE has served us well since the beginning of KETM's development, but lately we started
rethinking our engine choice, especially after NE's orginal developers moved on to
NE2(with an for us inappropriate license).
Together with the current maintenance work going on, KETM's code base currently looks
like my lil' sister's sandbox - but it's getting better every week, and soon we should
be able to continue working on new features like the bosses' weapons. :)
Because of the engine migration, I can't release any in-game screenies of the new
user interface, so as compensation, here's a little present:
Prayer class gunship
The prayer class is a slow but heavily armed gunship, employed primarily in frontal assault
style attack formations. Armed with 2 frontal plasma emitters, this behemoth is best
attacked from the flanks, where it is rather vulnerable. Prayer class ships often operate
together with Holy Star class fighters(more about them next time ;) ), which provide
flank cover with a 360 degrees particle screen.
April 19, 2005
About 3 weeks ago we finished work on another internal ketm release.
Focus has been on countless minor improvements and fixes, and on the
strategy system, which I've been talking about in my last entry. Since
then, we've been collecting feedback from our testers, which was quite
postive generally. Still, there are tons of things to consider and
reconsider, much work waiting to be done, but we feel that we're moving
in the right direction.
Work Work Work
At the moment, we're working on a couple of things:
- First of all, there's alot of maintenance going on. After the long development time
that we've already got behind us, some cleaning has to be done. This primarily involves
lots of refractoring(both minor an major ones) in the codebase.
- Then there's work on the bosses's armaments (big "BOOOM"s). :)
(More on this next month)
- Additionally, we're working on a new GUI, expect a screenshot soon...^^
- Well, that's it for now, stay tuned for more!
March 11, 2005
Besides working on countless minor improvements, features and bugfixes over the last few weeks,
my focus has been on KETM's Strategy System. This system is responsible for managing the swarms
of enemy fighters trying to kill the player.
When playing the game, players will encounter terrifying amounts of enemy fighters, grouped in wings,
where they will follow paths of waypoints, gathering in formations to increase their dangerousness.
The key parts of the system are two editors, ape(attack patterns editor) and fed(formations editor).
These two tools allow us to create complex attack patterns, like flanking manouvers or ambushes, very quickly
and easily, resulting in an impressive amount of different strategies.
The enemy's AI will combine different strategies in order to create ever more exotic and powerfull
attack waves brandishing towards the player.
Wings of enemy fighters will follow their paths down the screen, either shooting when the player is
in their line of fire, or conducting heavy barrages. When sustaining losses, they will adapt themselves,
reorganize their formations and continue their assault.
Players will have to be able to adapt quickly to new tactical situations, and
always be vigilant not to be lured into a trap. (And that while keeping their fingers on the fire
buttons, annihilating an average 4 enemies per second [current stats; but we keep cranking up that number
with every new release ^^], and constantly dodging dozens of incoming projectiles.)
We will release the (platform independent) editors as soon as I've written thorough docs and polished
the source codes. Well, yeah, ok, as you might just have guessed, that means some time after ketm's
Oh, and please no questions about release dates - you know..."when it's done". ^^
But, what's pretty much sure, is that we'll conduct a limited public beta prior to release to iron out
last minute bugs.
Well, that's it for now; we'r planning to regularly update this site with more insights into
KETM's development process and KETM itself. Stay tuned ;)