Start Your Engines

Technical Design
Today, I’ve been working on the Inventory system. I’m thinking of it as two pieces. Take the Diablo 3 inventory screen and break it apart, top and bottom. That’s what I’m calling my ‘Active Gear’ and ‘Inventory’ respectively. They can be displayed together like in D3, or they can be displayed independently. I would like to be able to popup a selection list, like Breath of the Wild, for any gear slot. BotW allows four different popups, one for each d-pad button.

Ultimately, I want you to be able to select your most important pieces of gear, with the fewest required actions possible. I’m not sure how much that will matter, given that I don’t know the exact role gear is going to play in the moment-to-moment action. It will be interesting to see how inventory space, including the ‘vault’ or ‘stash’, plays into the feel of the game. I’m sure there is a balance between having infinite space and not having enough. My feeling is that you want to be able to make it through a play ‘session’ without having to stop and organize your gear. Session being some event, length of time, number of kills, etc… I’m positive that whatever I decide, it will not be enough.

Diablo 3Breath of the Wild Floating Inventory

Start your ENGINES!
I’ve had this thought in my head for a few days now: “Did I pick the right engine?” I’m not sure. Choosing to roll my own engine is a huge undertaking, which could pay off big time or cause the game to die a slow miserable death. I can honestly say that I’m totally happy writing my own engine, as long as I can confidently say that none of the available engines would be a better choice. Now, what has been eating at me recently is that I don’t feel 100% confident that another engine isn’t the answer. I have to stop for a minute and fix this. I’m going to rebuild my prototype in a variety of ways. These will be…

The first three in this list are unbelievably powerful, affordable, well documented, and suited for the type of game I want to make. They have assest stores, tons of tutorials, huge communities, and include every feature I need. I threw Godot in because it’s kind of a lite version of the first three, as far as I can tell.

I haven’t spent more than 30 or 40 minutes with any of them and for my own peace of mind, I need to give them a really solid look. I don’t think for a second that I can build anything to rival even the most basic time tested engine. Making an engine is very hard, and hopefully very rewarding. Before I start, I want to make sure that doing so will make the game better for the players as well as its sole developer.