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February 15th, 2019

Project progress & stress relief

The update for this month is slightly shorter, as there aren't many excited happenings to report on. On the plus side, after a few unsteady months our next project has picked up steam after and progresses steadily every day. Speaking of...

What am I working on right now?

More textures and engine overhauls!

As for the engine, majority of the brand new gameplay mechanics for our next game are in place, so on that front, the engine is almost ready. In fact, late last month I re-coded the very last run-time component that has remained as-is since the very first TAGAP. This was a recursive program that worked fine for the earlier, less-advanced engines, but in the new one it can cause page overflow.

Another engine component I've been re-tooling is the dynamic music engine. Whilst I've only just getting started modifying it, the aim is to make it way more free-form and dynamic than before. For example, the action/idle tracks tied together in TAGAP3, but the aim is to completely decouple them, allowing switching them separately on the fly. If this works as I'm intending, this should result in completely seamless flow of music from track to track.

And finally, when I need to rest my brain, I sit back and draw more of those base textures. You can never have too many of those before production starts properly.

While all that is going on, I'm prepping TAGAP and TAGAP 2 for the full x64 conversion. My aim is to have the full TAGAP trilogy fully updated and ported to x64 by the T-Day '19, July 31st. Yay!

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!

I've now finished with my Devil May Cry recap marathon. Well, almost; I still need to get PS4 copy of Devil May Cry 4 imported from Japan – because there is no retail western release – but I'm almost ready for Devil May Cry 5.

Whilst I wait the snail mail to get Nero shipped over here, I've been doing some therapeutic destruction in Red Faction Guerrilla: The Re-Mars-tered Edition by Volition and re-released by THQ Nordic. No matter what you think of THQ Nordic, they are real pun-inshers when it comes to the titles of their re-releases. The Penned Guin would be proud.

Anyway, Red Faction Guerrilla is almost every bit as good as it used to be on the older hardware. Considering the stresses I've had recently in my 'real life', taking the frustration out on an open world rigged with the best destruction simulation engine in gaming – Volition's GeoMod 2.0 – is a great anxiousness exhaust.

The only thing that hasn't aged well in the game is the friendly AI, which feels every bit as dumb as it used to. Or perhaps even worse, considering friendly AIs have developed significantly since the original release, leaving these chums look like lobotomy patients. On the plus side, apart from those prisoner rescue side-missions, you can mostly ignore them completely.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin