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November 14th, 2017

TAGAP 3 launch thoughts

First things first. In case you somehow missed it on this site, TAGAP 3 is finally out today:

Download TAGAP 3    Get TAGAP 3 soundtrack

"Kept you waiting, huh?"

Thoughts on TAGAP 3 release

It's been a long road – over six years long, in fact – but we're finally here. And I have to admit, it feels more than a bit weird. For six year, there have been only a handful of days that I haven't worked on the game and only a fraction of those were by choice.

And by the way, I truly mean that. Just in case someone ever accuses us for lazying about, I took four breaks from TAGAP 3 development over the years, two of them were due to illness (curse you, appendix!), one was the visit to London for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary and one was the release of DOOM '16. Otherwise, every day, I worked on something for TAGAP 3.

One part of me is delighted that I got to see this through. One part of me is sad that its over. And one part of me is already scheming what to do next!

I can't stress enough how happy I am about TAGAP having found its own niche audience.

Thank you, everyone who supported us over the years!

Long live the penguin apocalypse!

TAGAP data comparison

Since we've kept you updated on this over the years, time to complete the comparison table:

TAGAP 3

TAGAP 2

Executable:

1.31 Mb

1.07 Mb

Art assets:

5047 files (506 Mb)

3983 files (196 Mb)

Scripts [1]:

427 files (9.31 Mb)

590 files (5.5 Mb)

Entities [2]:

3843

2924

Level scripts [3]:

32 (12.2 Mb)

113 files (16.8 Mb)

Sound effects:

1286 files (27.6 Mb)

728 files (20 Mb)

Soundtrack:

88 files (144 Mb)

70 files (107 Mb)

Size:

710 Mb

245 Mb

New stuff:

1581 animation scripts (6.17 Mb)
11 special effect shaders (44kb)

Base files:

8476 files

5419 files

  1. This huge difference comes down to new engine tech; Almost all cut-scenes in TAGAP 3 consist of a single script file, while TAGAP 2 had almost every cut in a separate file. Where one cutscene could be up to 18 script files in TAGAP 2, it would be one-to-three in TAGAP 3.

  2. "Entity" is an in-game object with (dynamic) properties (everything interactive and/or moving).

  3. This is pretty incomparable statistic; TAGAP 3 has large, sprawling levels, whereas TAGAP 2's levels were split into multiple short segments. Plus TAGAP 2 has a separate co-op variant of EVERY map. So, no, TAGAP 3 isn't a shorter game.

What's next?

Now I'm taking a break a small break. Not too long, hopefully, but I need to 'unload' TAGAP 3 from my brain and start planning on the future.

We have started very early conceptualisations for our next game. Right now nothing is set in stone, as each of the ideas we have require very specific things from our engine. I will start to work on nudging the engine into these directions. Which ever of these ideas works best with our framework will likely end up being our next project.

I know I'm being vague, but that's simply because even we don't know what shape our next project will take. I can say, however, that it'll be a 2D action game powered by the next iteration of the TAGAP Engine.

When will you get to know what this project is? Please, don't hold your breath. No, really. We're just starting the code base in the coming weeks – meaning we won't have anything to show you until the late 2018 at the earliest.

That is, of course, if my passion for video game scene hasn't been totally destroyed by that time by greedy corporations and their CEOs with a hard-on for that sweet Loot Box money. For us high-end single player game fans, things are looking freakin' dire. But hey, that's enough ranting, this is supposed to be a party, damnit!

Playlist

Playlist is a regular feature in our Penguin DT blog; A chance to highlight cool games both old and new that I've been playing. As always, I believe that in order to make games, you need to play them, preferably with a broad scope when it comes to genres, so each day I dedicate at least an hour to actually playing games. The rest of the free time? There is no such thing, it all belongs to TAGAP!

Since the last update, I've finally caught up with my Resident Evil marathon by completing Resident Evil 6. In case you're new here, my quest began earlier this year when, in anticipation of RE7, I wondered if my fondness for the original 90s Resident Evil was just nostalgia. So, I played the RE Remake... and loved it. One thing led to another and I've since played every single main series RE title that is available for current systems – well, except that RE7. I will get to you yet!

So, the infamous RE6 – I have really conflicting feelings towards it. In case you didn't know, it features four distinctively different campaigns; Leon Kennedy's campaign is atmospheric horror romp, Chris Redfield goes about things all shooty-shooty-bang-bang, Wesker's son Jake centres on QTE's and chase scenes, whilst Ada Wong's adventure is all about tying the plot together.

From these, Leon's and Ada's campaigns are actually really darn good. In Leon's campaign in particular there are brilliant horror set-pieces. Seriously, the armoured car trip through the C-virus-gas filled Chinese streets is a brilliant atmosphere builder. Wong's campaign is a great solo wrap-up that almost makes the story make sense. However, Chris' mission is monotonous shooting range and the excessive stick waggling garbage of Jake's story is enough to break your Dualshock (and nerves).

In the end, I was glad I played it, even though I absolutely hated the experience at times. I really like the story and the way it was told from the multiple perspectives, though thanks to the QTE overdose, I was left wishing it was a TV series instead. Seriously, make a TV show based on the Resident Evil game universe already!

Luckily, these conflicting emotions were washed away by my next game, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. I've already gushed over the previous Machine Games Wolfenstein titles before and The New Colossus is every bit as great a ride. The world building is spot on, you actually care about the characters, it isn't dulled by silly censorship and blasting Nazis away with your massive arsenal is a blast.

My favourite part of the previous titles – how you can play them the way you want, from stealth to full-on dual-wielding mass onslaught – is still the main part of the experience. And the game doesn't force you to stick to one path, either – if your sneaking experiment fails, it's not a fail-state, but simply change of phase to dual-wielding shoot 'em up goodness.

If you haven't gotten yours yet, buy Wolfenstein II now. And while you're downloading it, you have plenty of time to complete TAGAP 3, eh?

So... that is that. Now for a while I sit back, relax... and wait for the bug reports to pile in!

And once more;

Thank you everybody!


Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin

Blog history

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