Several previous final project groups have had a load of trouble getting animated models into torque. After browsing over Danny Ngan's DTS documentation everything seemed pretty straightforward as to exporting models into TGE. Granted, it does seem a little wierd at first all the little hoops you have to jump through when creating your scene - but if all the little rules are followed properly then the process goes over just fine. After all, there are alot of TGE projects out there without the default Torque Orc ( whom i have grown to hate with a passion )running about.
So the question now is, with an a full asset team of animators that graduated from the same school i will be getting my degree from, why do these previous GP groups have so much trouble getting animations into thier games?
The conclusion that I have come to is that it must be a communication problem. While I do feel that the asset team should learn how to use the exporter properly, for whatever reason, they are not required to. What ends up happening is the asset team finishes a animated model, hands the maya/max/whatever scene file over to the programmers, and from there it is the programmers responsibility to get it into the game. This is usually not a problem if you have a robust exporter.
However DTS has several requirements as you build your scene, and your model. For example, you must have at least three nodes somewhere in your model that have specific namings; these nodes are used to cast rays when the player dies, so that the model conforms to the terrain properly. Without them the game will crash when you die. This is just one example, but you can see how not communicating something like this to the artist can start to introduce problems later on.
So for the past couple weeks or so it has been Mich's job to completely own DTS. Hes building comprehensive documentation, exporting various test models, and preparing to elimate the asset issue associated with Torque here at Full Sail.