Mailbag: Civilization and ContentRefs

Sometimes, there are questions. And sometimes they happen to be in e-mails I receive through this blog. I usually take the time to answer them if I’m not too busy and occasionally, these answers can get very long. This time it’s about Civilization and referencing content in Duality.

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Prefabs: Implementation details

During my time at Limbic Entertainment I mostly worked on a project that was using the Unity game engine. In my eyes, Unity is a great piece of game authoring software, but nobody’s perfect; there still were some missing or imperfect features. Take the Prefab system: Its great to have something like this and it works flawlessly in most cases. Want to use a specific enemy type over and over again? Just make it a Prefab and re-using it boils down to a single dragdrop operation. When changing the Prefab later on, all instances are affected properly. But here’s the imperfect part:

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GameObject Doublebuffering

An interesting idea occured to me last evening. I was thinking about how to split the engines logic into multiple threads to fit better into the modern multi-core environment. Of course I would stream audio data in separate threads as usual. But that’s not at all an equal workload divide. Where else are there opportunities of parallelism? The rendering optimizer (automated batching, culling, ..) maybe? Again, I don’t think it would pay off. So I thought about what the video card’s secret of parallelism might be: Data independency.

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Prototypin’ around

Time for a new project! After strolling around in the realms of potential development headlines, I finally seem to have found something worth doing again.

It has been quite a way to figure it out; the only thought that came into my mind after finishing Nullpunkt was “God, I really hate content creation”. But maybe it was just one of these days. The following weeks I chewed a lot on the how’s and where’s of procedual content generation but didn’t quite get to actually design or prototype something. It turned out to be just another mind experiment.

However, I’m currently pretty interested in game engine design, so I’m doing just that: Designing a game engine.

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