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Back On Track!



After a whole summer of working on the LEX template, and learning new things about the engine, I'm happy to say that Vectronic will soon be back on track in full development!


Before I go into full detail, I wish to mention that the Vectronic Demo has been updated with Josh's optimization edits, and the VecBall has a new effect I've made during the development of LEX. If you had sluggish performance before, I recommend you check out the update!


Now that I've got a nice foundation with a menu, a precache system, now what? I was thinking I would just be "upgrading" the Vectronic project to use the LEX template, but looking back on it, I'm not really happy how it is. Back in May, I really just ported textures, sounds, and models from my Source build to Leadwerks to see if a game like Vectronic would work on Leadwerks. Of course, I was still pretty new to lua scripting, and very use to pre-built lighting and such so I did struggle a bit, the demo map was not optimized, and most of my code is a mess. To wrap it up, I mostly did not know what I was doing. I still to this day see that demo map as a map from hell; I've had so many issues with it, but I'm happy how it turned out.


Now 6 months later, I feel like I've learned a lot and ready to get back onto my main project again. I decided the best way to start is to start a new project based off of the LEX project, and redo most things. I've restarted this project many times over for the past few years, but this should be the last time.


Back when I was developing this project on the Source Engine, I've felt like I needed assets to make a game. I thought if I had everything, textures, models, sounds and other assets done, I could build levels like a LEGO set; having all the pieces, and knowing where everything goes. It's a good theory, but it never really worked.



A old Source build of Vectronic.


I only had a few maps per build. The last build had 3 maps, and the build before that had 4 maps. There was never a set of interesting and fun levels, just a

. Thing was, I was so worried about how things functioned and looked that no build ever got more then a few maps, I was distracted by other things that are not important in the pre-alpha stage of things, and so were my testers, which did not help move the project further ether..


Learning from my mistakes, this time the project is going to start blank almost like the past few years never happened. Doing the reboot this way will force me to worry about scripts, and the actual puzzles. This will also make it easier to optimize the maps when it is time to bring in the assets, and not have what happened with the demo map. No lights, no models, just CSG and a few scripts. If the game is fun with just that, it's easy sailing from there!


Now, that does not mean I'm gonna waste more time by re-scripting, re-modeling, and re-texturing things that are already done. There are somethings I think that can be better, and I do have ideas I wish to try, but not everything needs to be scrapped, somethings just need a revision. I eventually want to give Vectronic a look that only Leadwerks can give as the demo does look like it's running in Source. But right now, the basics need to be done!


I hope to update every week on progress, I'm feeling this Friday I'll talk more about how I'm doing things and short term goals.


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What I am interested in seeing more than anything else is game mechanics. I've seen a few puzzles and they are very interesting. I think this is the right approach because bigger maps are just a sequence of small puzzles.


What other vec balls are there? How can they be used together in new and interesting ways? I think that is the core of your game, and moving that forward moves your game forward.

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I'm stuck on the same dilemma for my game. It's so close to a portal clone that if you add portals you would never know the difference. Differentiation and exploiting the game mechanics in a fun, meaningful, and memorable way is a hard thing to follow through on.

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Justify your existence. The rest will come. With "The Evaluation", I think three boxes will make for some really interesting puzzles, somehow. That's what people want, some cerebral puzzles. Prove your worth. Justify your existence.

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