MV3D 0.42 released today! Check out the release notes or download the MV3D Windows Client! In this release, the core systems were made ready for tool building and content creation. This included a redesigned persistence mechanism and a cross system GUI layout.
- New persistence system is pretty awesome.
- For the first time ever, you can export or import sections of the game world!
- Pretty cool start to a new way to build UIs which should save tons of time and allow for quicker iteration as well as reusability.
- Made an unreleased play in browser app for MV3D.
- New persistence system may have some performance issues.
- Tons of bugs still need to be squashed.
- Didn’t get to any tools which was the original focus of the release.
- No visual features added– nothing cool to show off really.
What’s next? Well, the next release will focus on the content pipeline. This means upgrading Ogre (since it’s long overdue) and tools, tools, and more tools. The one major unknown is how the content pipeline will actually work. Ogre has a lot of half functional or very basic exporters for various 3D modeling packages, which is an unfortunate start to the pipeline. That’s not so much something that MV3D can or should solve, but it’s fairly disappointing.
After exporting the raw files, they have to be added as assets in MV3D. Currently, RED can do this in a very basic way. It does include the ability to SFTP the asset files to the server that will be distributing them which is handy. This will need to be extended and made smarter and easier to use. RED should definitely get in app previewing of assets. It’d also be nice to add a preview image to assets in general. This could be displayed in RED, in the IGE, or on the web editor. Speaking of the web editor, it’s completely busted more or less. That’ll need fixing, which may come in the way of guide (the GUI framework which also supports web GUIs). What’s awesome about fixing it with guide is that the same GUI can be used in IGE or RED without any modifications.
With the assets imported, the real fun begins. RED will need a plugin that lets you add and arrange objects in a vacuum (i.e. not anywhere live in the game). Then you can use Freeze (the importer/exporter built in 0.42) to save off pieces of the game world. An additional RED plugin should be able to connect to a server and edit existing areas. Here you could import the stuff you created before and place it in game. This should also have the same functionality of the other plugin so that you can edit anything you want.
One other missing piece is the collision volumes. These need to be manually placed (or generated from static geometry in some cases). This means the other required tool will be something which is able to position colliders for models.
But wait, there’s more! There needs to be a way to edit bodies of water, and in fact, the current ocean object should probably be made into a water volume since right now it’s just an infinite plane. Similar to water, the sky should be editable, and if you are editing the sky, physics properties of the realm need some love too.
Finally, it’d be nice to be able to have more than one area in the game at some point. Part of the RED area editor should include connecting areas together. At this point, it’s been so long since this was tested, that it may not even work any more.
Sounds like I have quite a few tools to write. Any volunteers to help?