It's been a bit longer than I'd hoped for my next post on the development of my new engine; however lots has been going on with my personal life; anyhow let's touch base with what I've been doing.
An important thing to leverage, especially when you've been doing game development for a while (like me =/) is to recycle. Chances are if you're like me, you've written a lot of code, a LOT of code; if this is the case chances are a lot of it is still good, even if it's only fragments, and the way I look at it there are some very good reasons for recycling code:
- Saves time in not having to rewrite certain things
- You benefit from code which has potentially been well debugged
- The less new code you write the fewer bugs you're likely to have
Of course the key is determining what is usable from your big digital scrap-pile. Chances are a lot of it is 'junk', great canditates for recycling are ususally stand-alone systems which do a small number of things and do them really well.
For me, I decided to take the entire S3Engine (The engine that was being used for Malathedra), scrape it down to the bare metal and use it as a starting platform for my new engine, why?
Because it's got some damn-fine code in it!
When you stop to think about how many hours you've poured into certain systems; you get the urge to recoup those, and for me recycling the S3Engine was a no brainer.
At it's heart the S3Engine contains basic systems for window creation, Direct3D initialization, basic message handling, graphics device mode selection, save-game serialization, windows user profile based settings storage and retrival, audio streaming, resource caches, radial menu UI system; and the list goes on...
So with a little bit of work I managed to scrape away all of the S3Engine specific parts, e.g. 2D Entities, C-style scripting with LUA, etc. and I'm left with a system that starts to a blank window, with all of the neccessary underlying little details that tend to be forgotten when starting a new system.
I easily spent two months developing this code, it took me about a day to get it all cleaned up and ready for new engine components to be built on it; this is some major savings.