First Feature Cut

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First Feature Cut

Postby BasiliskWrangler » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:13 pm

Well, we've been tinkering around with the Book III engine this summer. Since we're not really developing a lot of new content right now, it's a great time to fool around with the engine and test some ideas.

One feature that we said Book III would have, but now it won't, is widescreen support. Why? Well, after adding in a widescreen mode it became painfully apparent that we would have a L-O-T of work ahead of us to change all the menus around to support the new resolution.

See, Eschalon is a pure 2D game engine, so things like menus, interface windows, and sprites are all drawn pixel-by-pixel to fit a specific resolution. It was optimized from the start to run in a 4:3 ratio window...changing that ratio will require a lot of work. All these GUI elements would have to be redesigned for the wider format, and worse is that we would want to support both 4:3 and 16:9, so the game would have to be flexible enough to go both ways.

What this means is that to add widescreen support would increase development time more than we anticipated. And since the Eschalon engine will be retired after Book III, it just doesn't make sense to spend the time on this particular feature, at this particular time.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby MyGameCompany » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:56 am

Makes sense. I ran into the same conclusion months ago for Dirk Dashing 2. Even though my game doesn't use menus in-game (just the status box in the upper left corner), it still affects my level designs (like where I try to hide certain areas just off the edge of the screen), performance (how much of the tile map to consider during rendering, collision checks, etc), and more.

I think it's difficult to try to support both 4:3 and 16:9 and use the full space in both. Best to pick one, and apply letterbox-like black bars in the other.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby CrazyBernie » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:29 pm

Would have been nice to have a high performance mode that utilized the widescreen format to push the GUI elements to the side(s), but I don't see lack of widescreen as a deal breaker for this sort of game anyway. It's a noble sacrifice in the name of cutting development time.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby AXS » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:42 pm

Yep, i agree ,as BW says, there´s no point in that extra work if the eschalon engine is of no further use.

I have a widescreen , and don´t have any problem playing the game as it is.

Also ,i very like the idea, having book III a little sooner :)
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby Vroqren » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:10 pm

AXS wrote:Also ,i very like the idea, having book III a little sooner :)
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby ManusDei » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:21 am

OMG that's a gamebreaker for me I hate you I won't buy Book III and I'll trash my BookII DVD ! May you rot in devs hell for-like-ever and be reduced to use Windows95 unpatched !


Just kidding. Too bad it won't be done, but that won't keep me from giving you my money ! (sadistic laugh echoing far away in the moutains, cut by chicken screaming)
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby Zante » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:36 am

Look, I'll do you a favour and just tell you straight up that this is unacceptable. I registered just to post this.

I've been playing 2D games since the 80's and, as a content developer, I know that adhering to standards is the most important thing a developer can do. The standards established for 2D games so long ago are no longer applicable. Have you even polled your user-base to find out how many of them are using 4:3 instead of 16:9?

You won't find much resistance to your decision in your own community but just because you are dealing with an aged genre does not mean you have to keep releasing technologically redundant products.

Retired after book III you say? Doesn't matter, that's just a convenient excuse and you know it. If you'd started doing this with book II, you wouldn't be exaggerating the problems.

I'm one of this series biggest fans, don't hate for telling it like it is.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby CrazyBernie » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:53 am

Zante wrote:Look, I'll do you a favour and just tell you straight up that this is unacceptable. I registered just to post this.


Unfortunately a developer sometimes has to make difficult decisions based on his/her/its limited budget. It'd be nice to have an unlimited funds and an unlimited timeframe to complete a project (Duke Nukem, anyone?), but welcome to Reality™, where "Stuff Just Don't Happen That Way."™ BW made a decision to not support widescreen based on the design of Eschalon's engine (which is his first major foray into game development/programming) and the time/cost to rewrite said engine to support said feature. That's just how things worked out. If he had "started doing this with Book II," Book II may well have not been released anywhere near when it did, if at all.

You're not doing anyone a favor by calling BW's decision "unacceptable." As a matter of fact, if you're a "content developer" and have any idea how the indie gaming industry works, then I find your remarks quite "unacceptable."

Zante wrote:I'm one of this series biggest fans, don't hate for telling it like it is.

You'll have to excuse me for telling it like it is and calling BS. The fact that you "registered just to post this" speaks volumes against you. Enjoy the series for what it is, not for how you want it to be.

Oh, and welcome to the community.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby Zante » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:01 pm

Hi Crazy,

Don't take offence.

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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby SpottedShroom » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:57 am

Zante wrote:Look, I'll do you a favour and just tell you straight up that this is unacceptable. I registered just to post this.


Could this be the community's first troll?
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby blatherbeard » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:28 pm

You mean a 2-D, turn based, rpg wont be supporting my 28"--1920x1200 resolution!?!?!!?!


Meh, i can deal.

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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby TNoyce » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:30 pm

I personally have no problem with this feature cut. I tend to play games like this in a small window anyway, so
4:3 support is actually all I need.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby CrazyBernie » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:10 am

SpottedShroom wrote:Could this be the community's first troll?


Have you seen my post count? :mrgreen:
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby Vroqren » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:34 am

CrazyBernie wrote:
SpottedShroom wrote:Could this be the community's first troll?


Have you seen my post count? :mrgreen:


Having lots of posts doesn't always imply you're a troll... Having a high number of useless posts, however, does...

I seriously hope we don't get trolls here, as that is one of the main reasons I love these forums.
My Walkthrough for Book I is here, and my Walkthrough for Book II is here!
My Fathamurk Walkthrough is here.
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Re: First Feature Cut

Postby BasiliskWrangler » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:30 pm

Vroqren wrote:I seriously hope we don't get trolls here, as that is one of the main reasons I love these forums.

Trolls are tended to swiftly and quietly <nods to an axe hanging over the doorway of the pub>
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