Author Topic: Generator, why so long to make it?  (Read 3323 times)

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Offline kat

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Generator, why so long to make it?
« on: April 03, 2014, 09:31:30 AM »


One of the main issues modders face making their projects is the amount of time they take to produce; visual quality, asset production, general construction etc. For instance Mages Skulls took about eighteen months to produce, Relic Hunt nine months and Castle Keep roughly three (largely due to it being relatively simple). They all pale in comparison to Generator being on the back-burner for about ten years! That's a long time in anyone's book! So why does this happen?

In both a general sense and specific to this single player project, the reason for such protracted develop times was due to the way the hard coded limitations of Return to Castle Wolfensteins are conflated with the use of Q3Map2 and the complexities possible using that tool to compile levels; the notorious shader overflow bug in particular causes big problems that don't usually show up until a level has had a 'final' quality compile done to check appearances, shading, shadows etc. Unfortunately it's quite typical at the point this happens that a lot of work has already been done which forces the developer to pause for thought. It should be noted that this is not to say that Q3Map2 actually causes problems but rather the combination of both RtCW and the compiler exacerbating issues that are not always easy to work around.

This was the problem encountered during Generator production; the first level had terrain related shader issues; the second and third were originally part of the same larger level that had more complex gameplay, but had to be split and simplified a great deal to fit within the limitations discussed above. These types of adjustments are never simple operations because the resulting sections need to have continuity, and when removing content, this can cause some pretty major headaches that might mean having to rebuild, entirely. It's at these points that production is often halted. When that happens other things tend take over and before you know it a lot time has passed.

Some screen shots can be found here - in-game and in-editor


 

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