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When and when not to have expandability

posted Jan 16, 2013, 10:27 AM by Skyler Kistler   [ updated Jan 16, 2013, 10:27 AM ]
As the modeling system becomes more and more advanced, and I push Avin more and more to use it, I'm sure many people are going to be wondering why I decided to make my own rather than load in something like .obj files and make models with Blender. There are two reasons for that, one I think is a good reason and the other not so good.

From the start, Forest Sword has been about being expandable, and will continue to be for the rest of its days. I want people to be able to mod, create, and live in its code like I have had the joy of doing. However at the same time I want Forest Sword to be concise and collected. 

The first reason is that I don't want to waste time making sure high poly models work well and are optimized with the engine, there are other more important things to attend to. That's the not so good reason, because in a perfect world the engine would work well with everything and that's what we should ultimately be aiming for (compatibility and stability over many possibilities).

The second reason I made my own modeling system is that I wanted a really easy way to make the models that we have in mind for Aequor and whatever else we make. High quality models would be out of place and it's just faster for us to make models with my way then it is to learn and use Blender just to make a couple of cubes. We also have more control over loading models this way, and they're all auto-sized to have the texture units look right in the game and not have some pixels bigger than others (everything currently has each pixel represent 1/32nd of a world unit).
I find the second to be a good reason because promoting aesthetic is really important in making a game feel collected and not just a bunch of pieces scattered around everywhere.

Well anyway, now I have a long explanation to send to people who ask me why I'm not implementing a .obj loader.
P.S. it's worth noting that an .obj loader is really easy to implement and if you really want one you can always mod one in yourself! :) In fact I made one compatible with the FS render engine a while ago that I may post one day if enough people ask for it.