New Gamestate 2020

Over the past weeks and months, two more important engine components of the engine have become ready to be merged. These components are the new gamestate and the new nyan converter.

The integration of both components marks the beginning of a new development phase as pretty much all major engine core parts will be set in place. We can now use this foundation to build all gameplay-relevant features around them.

What's the plan?

The first thing we will do is merge the new converter. In comparison to the older code, which mainly just dumped the assets into open formats, the new converter is able to create modpacks that use the openage nyan API. It also brings (preliminary) support for the other Genie games Age of Empires 1 and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.

Next up is the new gamestate PR. This replaces the lockstep implementation we have used in the engine until now with an event-driven system. Furthermore, it makes use of the curve-based simulation model that has been implemented for a while now. Another core part that is coupled with the new gamestate is the new low-level renderer/presenter.

With the integration of the new components, the old gamestate implementation will no longer work. However, this means that the gameplay features that were implemented along with it will no longer work! There might be a lot less visible features for a while. We have debated about leaving the old gamestate intact, but ultimately decided that having parallel structures in the engine is too much work and probably confusing to outside contributors. The old gameplay logic will also not be lost, but rather re-implemented using the paradigms of the new gamestate.

What's the next step?

Once all the code merging, refactoring and documentation updating has been solved, we will start to reimplement gameplay with the Entity-Component-System paradigm. With this approach a lot of features can be added in parallel (although we can't promise that it won't be complicated still). That also means that we do not have to tell new contributors the phrase "you can work on anything, except gameplay" anymore as implementing it is no longer blocked by missing egine core functionality.

For testing features, we will create a simple gameplay demo which will be gradually expanded with new systems. It is supposed to act as a testing bed for the implementation and will probably not model a fully-featured game at first. It's main goal is to give players and contributors an idea of what we are doing... because nobody wants to read long blogposts all the time, am I right? :D


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