Firstly Gimli thanks for the feedback, we were actually using Irrlicht to program in last time but dropped it when we lost our lead dev. A position which is still open by the way!!!
And DT I'm sorry I haven't got back to you but I certainly would have done if I got the message! Not sure what happened there but will check the email addy I gave you as that's what I use for a lot of project correspondence so would be good to give people the right one!!! Thanks for your post though and I'm reading it as I go so bear with me
Well, for development testing and debugging there will need to be a way to go straight to a preconfigured battlescape. That said, as I think development should probably START with the battlescape, you might just get this anyway as part of the project.
I remember last time the project was approached our demo launched directly into a battlescape starting with the equip screen as in the originals but that's all old code now so not much good to us now! I see what you mean though for testing and debugging purposes. Regarding where to start I was thinking there may be quicker results if we started with the Geoscape and related programming than if we went from the battlescape initially. The reason for this is that after last time it became very apparent that the battlescape entails a LOT more work to polish into a goodlooking demo or even for the sake of screen-shots. I'm sure everyone would understand it was in early stages but I was of the impression that starting with the Geoscape and such could give us some nice screenshots in a much shorter timespan than the battlescape portion of the game. That said it all needs doing in time!
This site gives an evaluation of 3D engines.
Thanks for the link will pass it on in our next discussion this afternoon!
[*]You really need two engines, a good 3D one for the battlescape, and another one for everything else.
Now while I can only comment so much on the ins and outs of languages and GUIs and such I know we discussed yesterday how the two portions of the game would relate so this is the sort of information I could really do with my devs having so they have a better idea of how the overall framework will go together and such. If you have any time to discuss any of this with us at some point I'd really appreciate any advice you can give to the team, my msn is linked in my profile here!
[*]Yes you can use an existing FPS 3D engine for the battlescape. However, if you want fully destructible terrain, the Quake and Unreal engines are not going to be satisfactory.
Thanks that answers one of my original questions! But yes we would be wanting destructible terrain so those first two wouldn't really fit the bill! Advice on those that will however is duly noted!
Just read ahead through all of your more engine specific advice and there's plenty of it so a big thankyou for all of that but I won't respond to each point individually! Instead I'll just say you've hit on a majority of what was discussed yesterday though the devs I was discussing this with were more fans of C++ than C# and the impression I got from them was that it would give us less than C++ not more but then that's just me not knowing code!!!
Also you mentioned both XNA and OGRE which have been discussed but didn't mention our front runner from yesterday's discussion which was the SOURCE engine from valve. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that one and how it compares to your other suggestions, most notably XNA and OGRE but CUBED 2 as well as you've given a lot of information about that engine.
Of course at the end of the day what will make the final decision for me as a leader will be the guys I have working on the code as I won't pick an engine that noone knows because it can do a better job of it in theory. So long as there are no significant compromises then I'd much rather stick with a code and engine that the devs we have are familiar with but I think all of those I just mentioned could probably be used based on team experience.
I have an msn chat log from yesterday's meeting which I'd be happy for you to go through if you'd like to but it's rather long and the timing was unfortunate in that I had to keep leaving but there was a lot of good discussion there. Further to the fact I never got your email I'd be interested to hear your current status on Xenocide as I recently downloaded the old demo client and was very impressed at the amount of features that were already in place at least to some extent! feel free to pm me here, email me at my yahoo account (also here I think) or add me to msn if you have the time but I'd love to hear more from you.
Thanks for taking the time to post here and I hope to speak with you soon!