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And now... for something completely different!

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It's my daghter's seventh birthday today. Kids are so funny. She got up before the alarm bell, and knocked on our door saying we had forgot about her birthday. Normally, we have to drag her out of bed to get to school.

Then, while we're still singing and bringing in the cake, she descends upon the presents like a ravenous horde of locusts on a single cob of corn. Shredded paper flying everywhere.

Compare that to her older brother, who is nine. He'll save some presents for a rainy day -- literally. Opening them maybe a few months later when he feels he needs a pick-me-up.

Anyway, among the engines I've looked at (and even purchased) is the C4 engine, which recently came out with build 135. New builds come out with some frequency, for that engine; a refreshing difference from some competitors (*cough*torque*cough*). I've decided not to use it for my game because the hardware requirements are way too high for my target market, and it also has no outdoors capability right now (slated to be added end of this year, if the roadmap is to be believed).

Anyway, playing around with it is interesting. The C++ code engineering is like a breath from the early '90s. There's no XML, no composition, very little templates, and a lot of switches on fourcc values instead of virtual functors or string hash look-ups. I won't say it's "fresh air," because I think it's way too code centric, but it's different. Different is always good to some extent, so you don't fossilize or get in a rut.

I think the worst part about C4 is that you have to define a fourcc in code for each mesh that you want to use with animation -- he calls them Entities. This makes data driven additions somewhat hard to accomplish. On the other hand, perhaps this is a conscious choice to force people to license the engine (c'mon, it's only $200) as opposed to taking the free demo and modding it to a total conversion.

Anyway -- it'd be cool to build something where you just blast the hell out of stuff. Loud sounds, fancy graphics effects, adrenaline action. Maybe with some upgrading/salvage, a la Interstate or MechWarrior, but that would really add too much. If I took a pause from the large (ten-year) project, how quickly could I get something playable?

That way lies madness! And not finishing.
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I'm not sure if you have looked at Nebula 2, but I really liked working with it and built some smaller projects on it. It suffers from some of the same 90s code that you were talking about, BUT it is fully data driven (and even has a full data-driven component oriented game framework) so you don't have to worry about defining FourCCs in code.. ew :)

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