2662 - The Year of the Conflict
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Q: How big is your team and how long did it take you to create “2662 - The Year of the Conflict?
A: Our team consists of one modeler, Ronny Leonhard “Leoman”, and two programmers, Fabian Staacke “Fenriswolf” and myself, Gernot Gardinowski “Gordon Shumway”.
The basic idea of the game was done by Ronny on Christmas in 2005, but our team, in the beginning Ronny and I, started working on the project in June 2006. This was the birth of “2662 - The Year of the Conflict”. Then in April 2007 Fabian completed the team. We think we can finish the game in 2007, so the project will take us approximately one and a half year from the early beginning to the end.
Q: Do you believe that Acknex is a good tool for RTS games as well? What engine feature did you miss and would like to see implemented in the near future?
A: I think Acknex is a good tool for any kind of game, as well for RTS. It just depends on the programming skills of the programmers. Some helpful features like OOP (object-oriented programming), Render-To-Texture for the Commercial version, the number of parameters you can send to a function (only 4 in A6) and different types of variables were missing in A6, which makes programming a RTS more difficult, but not impossible. Some of these “problems” are solved by lite-C. One feature which we would like to see implemented in the near future is geometry instancing for faster rendering. With this feature lots of identical entities can be rendered at the same time and not one by one.
Q: What is the most difficult task when you are creating a game such as yours?
A: Because of the complexity of a RTS and the number of models acting at the same time programming an AI, the creation of a pathfinding - obstacle avoidance system and lots of work for the modeler are in our opinion the hardest parts.
Q: How did you create those great looking nebula effects?
A: The nebula consists of multiple models, in our case 3 or 4. Every model has multiple bones with a mesh of two polygons mounted to them. The models rotate around the z-axis and the bones with the meshes are turned towards the camera. Furthermore, a fixed function effect is attached to the models. This effect does a movement of the texture on the mesh which leads to a continuous color change.
Q: How big is the frame rate on a regular PC? From what I can see, you are using shaders and you’ve got quite a few units on the screen at the same time...
A: You’re right, we are using a normal mapping shader with specularity and luminosity for our ships, stations and planets, but the frame rate seems to be no problem. On a typical 2-3 GHz PC with 512-1024 MB RAM the rate is in the range of 60-80 FPS, even with lots of units on the screen. In our opinion taking care of the frame rate is very important for RTS games and you have to be very careful, making sure that the frame rate is in an acceptable range.
Q: What tools did you use to create the game (excepting Acknex, of course)?
A: We use Wings 3D for the modeling and MED for the animations. For creating textures, buttons and sprites we use Adobe Photoshop CS2, and last but not least Cubase for the music.
Q: Did you start looking for a publisher?
A: We are very interested in publishing the game, but we haven’t started to look for a publisher until now. If any publisher is interested in “2662-The Year of the Conflict”, please contact me and send me an E-Mail. My E-Mail address is: Gernot.Gardinowski@gmx.de
Q: Please give us a few tips for beginners.
A: Beginners should start with something for beginners after reading some tutorials, like making a small and easy game, for example “finding a key in a labyrinth”. After such first projects, they can think of something bigger. Some tips:
1. Making a concept for a game is very important
2. It should be realistic, in order to allow them to finish the game
3. Making a game takes lots of time and persistence
4. Don’t think in hours for finishing the game, the timescale is months and years
5. Plan first – script second, especially when you are creating the artificial intelligence
6. Build a small but effective team
7. Don’t be shy, if there are any problems contact the community and read the AUMs.
Please visit the “2662 - The Year of the Conflict” website:
Thank you, Gernot.