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JCL, the mastermind behind Gamestudio, has kindly taken the time to answer the questions for the anniversary edition of Aum.
Q: It's been quite a bit of time since you've started developing Gamestudio. Looking back, what would you do differently if you'd start over?
A: Being a member of a small team, it's sometimes not easy to decide how to distribute the manpower and development resources. We did many things right, but some things wrong. Three things come in mind that I would do different when I had to develop Gamestudio again: Not putting the focus only on game development in the first versions; not implementing the ODE physics engine; and not developing the A6 and A7 templates, but going from A5 right to the A8 templates.
Q: What is the most precious advice you would give to a beginner to game development?
A: Set a realistic goal and pursue it relentlessly. Embrace all opportunities to learn something new, even if it's a scripting language.
Q: Do you think that we are missing some opportunities by only focusing on Gamestudio's "game" component? What other types of non-gaming projects that make use of Acknex's engine power would you recommend?
A: Developing games is still the most fun. However from a commercial point of view, teams developing non-game applications are making vastly more money. Despite its name, Gamestudio is a general application development system, just with some focus on multimedia and simulations. At the moment it's even used for a large project to extract money out of the stock and commodity markets by means of a trade simulation.
Q: What important Gamestudio features are planned for the near future?
A: OpenAl support, improvements for lite-C such as a DLL generator and an improved debugger, and hopefully RPG templates. The not so near future could bring a new WED, and a Gamestudio version for mobile phones.
Q: What are, in your opinion, Gamestudio's unique advantages over its main competitors?
A: The ability to create a project on the fly in very short time, especially small projects. And the ability to do anything, not only games. Recently someone asked me if I could split a large image file of him in 100 small files. 3 lines of lite-C did this in 5 minutes; I don't think I would have
done him the favor if I had to look in the Internet for a solution, or program this in C++.
Q: Can you tell us more about the USB I/O functions? How can we use them in conjunction with the relay modules? Please give a few practical examples.
A: The USB functions were implemented for an advertising game with the goal to open a safe - a real safe with an electric lock, controlled by a relay module. One of our developers is using a small Gamestudio app at home for automatically opening and closing awnings dependent on time, weather, and sun light. In short, you'll need the USB and the new NETPORT modules whenever your application has to control something in the real world.
Q: How do you see the future of PC-based game development? Will Windows continue to solidify its position as the PC gaming platform in the future?
A: As the PC gaming platform, sure, as there are not many alternatives. However, new platforms are emerging, such as phones and tablets. We think Android is an interesting system.
Q:Did you start planning A9's feature set?
A: Not yet. A8 is still in its childhood.
Thank you a lot, JCL!