Official The Future of SMBC Development

Discussion in 'Game' started by Jay, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Jay

    Jay Level 13: ER Team

    I've been thinking about SMBC and its future... and also about me and Exploding Rabbit's future, and how those two things work together. I've worked on SMBC for about 3 years, and I'm not the type of person that likes to do the same thing for a long time. I like to always be trying new things. It's been great ever since I finished the update because I've been doing a lot of stuff I've always wanted to do but didn't have time to before.

    But then I remember... there's an awesome game I spent forever making. I want it to get better, but I still want to keep focusing on all these new things I'm doing. I've just been wondering if it's possible for the game to get better without me spending all my time on it.

    And just so people know, I've never seen myself as a programmer. I view programming games the same way I view editing movies. I only do it because I don't have someone else to do it. My favorite thing to do on creative projects is to direct. I like to be the person that holds the vision of the project and makes sure everyone's work comes together to make something awesome. It's what I've always been best at.

    So I was thinking... maybe SMBC could continue without me being the programmer any more. I think it would actually work better if there was a team of programmers. The game would still have to be exclusive to the ER website (for now) because if it wasn't ER would pretty much die. We barely have enough money to get by and SMBC keeps the people coming here. And I'd still like to retain creative control of the project (for now) to make sure the quality is consistently awesome. I'm pretty good at working with teams and treating everyone fairly.

    What do other people think about this? Is there anyone else that'd be interested in helping to program the game? Currently the game is written in ActionScript 3, but I am uncertain about the future of the Flash platform and I think it might be better to port it to a game engine like Unity or Game Maker. Unity's future looks pretty bright and is written in C#, and I've been working with it and I know it's possible to do everything we did in Flash (although the skinning system would be pretty complicated to port).

    I'm also not saying I'll stop working on the game. I'm just sharing some thoughts to see if there are some different possibilities. Also if I was working with a team of people things would be moving closer to my vision of Exploding Rabbit instead of it just being 2 people. I've always wanted to have a team. Of course people working on it would not be paid for now, but it could lead to something in the future. If this happens, SMBC could continue to get better while Exploding Rabbit is working on new projects and doing other things.
     
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  2. TheomanZero

    TheomanZero Level 9: Spike Top

    If you want to delegate, go right ahead. I'm glad to hear you're retaining creative control though, because I trust your judgement.
     
  3. sbq92

    sbq92 Level 9: Spike Top

    This sounds like a good idea. :)

    I would be happy to be at least considered for a team :p but unfortunately I don't have time to develop anything (including programming) beyond any graphical skills I currently have until around mid-April.

    I will say that IMO you should look for people who are not necessarily willing to just put anything and everything into the game just because it's possible. I think you have done a great job of adding to the game while being appropriately selective, and it would be great if the game could continue to be developed in this fashion. Basically, you would need people who understand the philosophy behind the game and strive to maintain that philosophy as best they can. If the project were to get too out of hand, all we'd have is just another Mushroom Kingdom Fusion on our hands. :p
     
  4. Rey D

    Rey D Level 12: Super Mod
    Patron

    That's a good thing you thought about it. ^^

    Too bad most people don't know how Flash works or haven't got the needed programs.
    But I know ReNeX is a Game Maker programmer. And you could see that yourself, as he's the programmer of Sonicboll (which is on its way to be rebuild).
     
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  5. TheomanZero

    TheomanZero Level 9: Spike Top

    Definitely. Quality control is needed.
     
  6. Jay

    Jay Level 13: ER Team

    Yeah before I was kind of afraid to add to the team because I thought things would get out of control. But then I remembered that when I used to make movies I'd do it with teams of like 10 or 15 people. I realized I could have a team, but I'll just be the filter that everything has to go through to make it into the game. You wouldn't believe how many times Zach makes a graphic and I tell him to redo it because I "know he can do better".

    I also feel a lot more confident with game development now. I don't think I would have had the confidence to direct a team before, but now I feel like I know what's up, and I've always been a strong leader. I'm also just tired of how long game development takes with only two people. If we had a slightly bigger team things could move along much faster. I really hope this can work out.
     
  7. Omicron

    Omicron Level 9: Spike Top

    I would usually come here promote Game Maker 8 but i know it is getting old. It's written in Delphi, and that is not up to the recent technology.

    At least version 8.0. Because the new version being developed is another story.

    "Game Maker Studio", how it's going to be called, will have the ability to compile a single source piece into binaries for PC, MAC, most of the iThings and even HTML5! I'm looking forward to obtaining my own copy of that piece of complete software awesomeness. And since they're not changing the language, starting to program in version 8.0 will not be a problem.

    But i do not recommend anyone to use version 8.1, at least for now. It is currently in development, and that makes it really, really unstable.
    I know that feeling.
     
  8. aliceandsven

    aliceandsven Level 9: Spike Top

    I just got off the phone with Kirby and he approves of this venture.

    Also I love watching your "short" incoherent rambling videos
     
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  9. Frozsoul

    Frozsoul Level 6: Lakitu

    I fully agree with your thoughts Jay, and would like to volunteer as a programmer for your team. I have a Major in Computer Science, enjoy working in a team, and have a keen interest in computer programming. Although it's been a few years since I last programmed in C or Java, it is something that I thoroughly enjoy and was pretty good at. Being part of the SMBC development team would be more than ample motivation for me to dust off my programming skills and help to make SMBC even better than it is now.
     
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  10. Dinospy_01

    Dinospy_01 Level 5: Spiny
    Exploding Patron

    This sounds like a really incredible idea/opportunity! I would put my name out there, but I'm just learning programming and don't have much experience. There's always learning as I go on, but I'd guess you'd like someone with at least some programming experience to work on the game proper. I do have about 5 years of experience in film editing though, I'm not sure that could relate; maybe helping select the features? "Editing" the game? I don't know, I just think this is amazing.

    I look forward to seeing what you decide! And I'm excited for your future projects.

    [seriously though, if I can help in any capacity, let me know :nerd: )
     
  11. aliceandsven

    aliceandsven Level 9: Spike Top

    I'm all for this, as long as the new devs understand it's still an ER game and it should be according to Jay's vision.

    However I would also like to see greater attention paid to smaller details that Jay never fixed / isn't fixing, for example a while ago I noticed Samus' SNES sprite has an alignment issue with the cannon bullet in relation to the cannon itself. And the mishaps that occur on the title screen with characters moving the wrong way, mario missing the mushroom, etc. Just stuff like that which adds to presentation and accuracy.
     
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  12. TheomanZero

    TheomanZero Level 9: Spike Top

    I agree, and fixing little stuff like that would be much easier with a larger team.
    As for the issue of changing platforms, I've heard enough criticism of Flash to know that it might be a good idea. However (and I realize this wouldn't happen right away anyway), I think you should wait for that major Flash update that improves C++ reading and see how that changes things before seriously considering new platforms.
     
  13. aliceandsven

    aliceandsven Level 9: Spike Top

    If the entire game is recoded (again) for an entirely different platform, I'm afraid we'd be here for another two years just waiting to get back up to 2.0's level of progress.
     
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  14. sbq92

    sbq92 Level 9: Spike Top

    Not necessarily. If there is a team of people who know what they're doing, the process could be a lot faster. It would certainly still take some time, but a good team should be able to do it in less than a couple of years.
     
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  15. Jay

    Jay Level 13: ER Team

    Yeah the platform is a tough choice. Flash was the right platform to start with because it allowed the game to get exposure, but most things online say that Flash is dying, and it's not even supported on Apple devices, and I believe they recently killed the Flash mobile plugin. It's also kind of frustrating to not have native gamepad support or fullscreen (although I read in their future plans full screen support is coming).

    Ever since I found out about Unity I've been in love with it. Although it has its share of problems, and I've reported a few bugs with their physics engine, it's always adding new features, it's easy to develop for, and it has a strong community. It can also read native C++ plugins, so it'd be able to emulate the music. It also has gamepad support and fullscreen, and it can export to a variety of platforms. It'd also probably be easier to find Unity developers than Flash developers.

    I'm always thinking about the future, and I want SMBC to survive a long time and to evolve with technology. Maybe it's too ambitious. I don't know. I'm glad we got this conversation started though. I guess lately I've had some time to think, and I feel that now is the best time to make decisions on this stuff.

    Both AS3 (Flash's language) and C# (Unity's language) are similar to Java, so it probably wouldn't take you long to get up to speed.

    lol I can tell you from experience that film editing has nothing to do with working on a game. It's a good skill to have though.
     
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  16. uglyrodent

    uglyrodent Level 9: Spike Top

    I'm pretty much useless in all facets of game design, but I should have a lot of free time...I might put some time toward learning about Unity, even if just for my own use.

    Echoing Dinospy though: if I'm any help at all, etc. etc.
     
  17. aliceandsven

    aliceandsven Level 9: Spike Top

    It also dispenses waffles with maple syrup and can materialize a Samus clone wearing a maid dress
     
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  18. Jay

    Jay Level 13: ER Team

    If I decide to port the game I did just realize something that should make people happy and forgive the time it takes.

    Porting it would mean that things that weren't built into the game could be added much more easily... like multiplayer.
     
  19. Crownjo

    Crownjo Level 7: Bloober

    And a level editor. And a better framerate.

    I am willing to help maintain the creative control and do PR stuff for the game. I share Jay's vision for this game.
     
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  20. Sniperassassinx

    Sniperassassinx Level 4: Buzzy Beetle

    oh... my... god...

    this just made my fucking day
     
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