Man, look what happens when I get too nose-to-grindstone and forget a workblog update! So I missed my usual monthly-ish target which is definitely my bad, but that means this update'll be packed, but man we've been crunching on stuff.
Well, you know what? Lets get that taken care of now then!
I figure i'd preface things now by saying that the Preview build people have been graciously beating on for testing has worked as an absolute gem for spotting issues and us doing pretty rapid testing on. And that's the important part. While we are bringing T3D up to modern snuff, the Preview builds have been line a 90% focus on bugfixing and catching stuff that's needed to get the work done. Almost nothing that's gone in it so far has been a random off the wall 'hey lets add this because it'd be cool' bullet point - especially not in an attempt to blow-for-blow match AAA funded engines.
It's important to understand that this line:
Perhaps Torque 4 need to shift goals from trying to grow as big realistic 3D engine, to small but very usable and customizable engine.
Is very much the point. I've made it pretty clear on the discord that I angle at things from a "does this actually help people get their games made" and all the extra cool doodads are just bulletpoint fluff. Yeah, it's NEAT to have a full augmented reality, realtime cinematic blending of prerendered movies and game render and all that jazz. But 99.99% of people aren't ever going to use it for their games. We're not in the business of making movies. I'll leave that to hollywood and 3ds max, maya, blender, and all that.
We're here to make games, so we're going to implement stuff that facilitates that, and that alone.
Which I think is part of why 4.0's going to be pretty neat. Sure, you've got your obvious stuff like getting PBR implemented to bring things to modern standard. But other things, like the asset pipeline which leans on a smart importer to try and streamline/semi-automate bringing assets in and other such tools are designed to help people just get their work done. Technically, for a wider audience outside this community, because we've focused on those low-level usability/refinement improvements, we have less flashy stuff to show off to draw attention.
But there's time for loading up on cool art and demos as 4.0 nears release. For now, adding stuff to make getting work done faster, easier and more reliable, and fixing issues and polishing everything to a mirror sheen is much more important. In the discord a HUGE focus has been getting bugs squashed, what problems people run into when trying to import/convert assets and resources, how to get levels and scenes and gameplay working. All of this to create a very open and crazy flexible platform, and with this workblog update, hopefully you'll get a whiff of that.
Plus, if you can/are inclined to, should nerd out in the discord with us. Great place for testing and feedback of stuff very quickly
Regarding the builds, I should have the next build up tomorrow to coincide with the workblog tomorrow. It's a pretty long one so it's taking a while to get put together.