Uni – End of Year 2 (Now to get on with some real work!)

Finally university is over for this academic year and I can finally get on with some of my own projects and produce something a little bit more worth while and impressing, and start to post on this blog a little bit more often.

I have to say though getting all the work done and handed in, in time this time round was a bit of a nightmare. It somehow worked out that we had 2 weeks left and 4 assignments to get handed in.3d Modelling final Castle Animation, Maths no.2, Torque 3d AI 2 and OOP&D(Object Orientated Principles and Design). The main reason however that it became a struggle to get all the stuff completed probably comes down to the 3d Modelling and Animation, I mean seriously it took up the first week alone just catching up with all the work that I had neglected to complete already. Modelling is by far one of the most time consuming things that I have ever done, it takes countless hours to model things and that’s only the half of it, if you want to render it and near HD quality a full scene with a good amount of lighting and particle effects scattered throughout the scene, on your average gaming PC this is going to take the best part of a day to produce a render only a few minutes long. So I must say the rendering alone sponged up a lot of time.

<— About to go off on a tangent about Torque 3d

The other big issue of course was Torque 3d, a piece of software that many of you may have heard me saying that I’m indifferent to. The kind of software that I can work in if I try but really don’t like to. And so here is my list of 7 reasons why I don’t like working with the Game Engine Torque 3d at university. Why seven? because I was planning 10 but got tired of thinking about Torque.

  1. At our university were using an older revision of the engine and so it is literally littered with bugs, some of which I have researched how to go about fixing the bugs which as I though requires the engine source code something that we aren’t presented with at university, not like we have time to go through the engine fixing all the bugs anyway .
  2. The uni is very inconsistent with the versions they give us, so rather than being a bug here then there’s a bug then instead and its a bit confusing and rather annoying .
  3. Torque 3d is naturally frustrating to work with, this is probably a combination between the amount of bugs and bad design decisions implemented in the engine, Unless your making a generic FPS without the source code making other games becomes quickly excruciatingly painful.
  4. We get given very little to work with by the university just some stock assets and some poorly written scripts, That and all the assets we do get feel very dated. Games are a constantly evolving, changing and Initiative media I really think we should be working with things a little bit more up to date and naturally sexy to look at, the torque assets make me die a little inside, Could’t we make things a little bit more interesting.
  5. This leads onto my next point Torque 3d feels very dated, behind the times. I played there demo on there latest engine and I wasn’t overly impressed my thoughts exactly were if they can’t even make a good game on their own engine, how can they expect me to seriously.
  6. Its about the only Engine that I don’t actually have fun working with and I’ve worked with a lot of tools, apis , frameworks,engines and languages. I dabbled in things such as Playstation Suite SDK, Source SDK, UDK, NeoAxis engine, Cry Engine, XNA,c , c++, c#, basic, SDL, Unity 3d, Javascript, html, php, Newton Game Dynamics, JigLib physics, Torque2d*, python and a lot more just all I can think of on the spot.
  7. I don’t see many benefits in the future of knowing the ins and outs of Torque 3d, Its outdated and barley used in the gaming industry, from what I understand most employers will be looking for good underlining programming skills and experience in industry standard tools as-well as of course experience working in the industry(Catch 22 when I’ve been checking out jobs in the gaming industry in the past a lot of employers want experience programmers with so many years in the industry having worked on so many commercial games in the past.). Anyway I feel it may be better just to get a core language under your belt and get to grips with underlineing game and game engine architecture and design principles. It may even be worth studying an engine such as unity 3d for one main reason it’s a very robustly built engine and has a lot of documentation which can start to give you an idea of how the engine functions as a whole. Its also got the benefit of being incredibly easy to work with so you can really get a lot of ground covered when working/ studying with it and get a good overview of a complete development life cycle of a game.

 

Its a shame really part of me feels my grade at university is going to be affected by the fact we are using this engine, I feel as though if we were working in something better I would put so much more work in. It really would make a difference all the assignments so far me and pretty much everyone else has pretty much just been handing in virtual crap. Having talked with some of the other people in the class I’m not the only one that seems to be disappointed by the choice of software and the module structure, in fact I haven’t talked to anyone that doesn’t feel in someway indifferent to Torque 3d or dislike it in anyway, although I haven’t talked to everyone in the class. My comments are those of my own opinion and experience with torque 3d and nothing more please feel free to comment on any thoughts feelings you have towards this software, I understand that there are people out there that enjoy to work in torque 3d and i respect you for it I’m not here to start a debate or war I’m only hear to express my opinion but feel free to do the same but keep it friendly. Please may I remind you this is only related to the software Torque 3d and not any other software created by linked with garage games or partner company’s.

Anyway as far as the other 2 assignments were concerned they were pretty much a breeze the maths only took a few nights even though there was a lot of dossing in-between. The OOP&D really was a shame though I was literally running out of time and I produced nowhere near what I wanted to produce and had to skip out on some of the coding, one of the assignments I was looking forward to and might enjoy working on and I ran out of time a real shame really.

Nether-mind there’s always next year Hopefully I’ll get my first. My next post will most likely be related to my final year project as I start to get the ball Rowling ready for next year. Posts should be a little more frequent now that I have nothing to do.

Thanks for reading, Please feel free to Comment, critisize spelling and grammer’s”?!.

comments

2 thoughts on “Uni – End of Year 2 (Now to get on with some real work!)”

  1. Personally I think they really should use Unity its such a great engine to learn off. Obviously just to teach principles of game design and development. Then obviously a core software engineering module. And include subject areas on.
    -OOP&D
    -Compilers
    -Linkers
    -subsystems
    -Using libraries
    -Why we should use UNICODE
    -bitwise arithmetic type things
    -STL
    -history of the language
    -optimization
    -Memory management
    -Cross platform
    -Programming pitfalls

    And on a games development side of things.
    -Engine architecture
    -Script interpreters
    -A look at commercial tools, engines and software –> Unreal, source sdk, hero engine, neo axis engine, orge 3d, marmalade, Torque 3d if you must
    -typical game terminology, Discussion, Implementation.

    Just some ideas

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