Post news RSS What is so great about pyrogenesis? Weighing up engines.

Alive. Engine considerations. Pro and contra. Future. RTS RPG co-op Hybrid consequences. 0 B.C.E.

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Yes. It's true. We are posting many general news since quite some years now. But we post news. The project is alive. Behind the scenes a lot is happening constantly.

We have had a huge transition to Arch and Void Linux which turned out to be a good decision. These are the OS that will first see packages after our first releases.

Releases. Because the fantasy project also is continually developed and shaping in the background.

Which engine? Never ending story

We have seen many engines come and go.

We have seen quite some commercial engines be renewed.

We have seen engines being recreated openly.

We have also seen many game projects come and go.

And we have seen even more games switch engine.

So why is 0 B.C.E. using pyrogenesis?

(Apart for its appealing name, creating fire in the eyes out of joy and fascination. :-))

Is the engine perfect?
- Nothing is perfect.

Are there alternatives?
- Not really for RTS, i.e. 0 A.D. But also not really for 0 B.C.E. (an RTS, RPG hybrid).

and what will future bring?

Now that blender game engine (BGE) is being replaced by an interactive mode. And that Unreal engine is available open source for little?

But really - that's not what matches the UNIX philosophy that the developer company (worlddevelopment) shares strongly.

This is the major reason pro pyrogenesis. It has been created mostly self-relying, defining code that is quite clutterfree and does what it should: a single thing at a time.

For bare metal developers that tackle such a big game project like a virtual time machine a bloated engine that allows to create games using graphical user interfaces instead of code is not an option. Such guys and gals do not need GUI wrappers for each and everything. Those people dwell in the command line realm.

That's why we are not building on Unity, Unreal or the retiring BGE.

We prefer a straight forward minimalistic approach. Just like pyrogenesis uses base technologies like:

  • XML and JSON for data files and
  • uses COLLADA instead of a custom mesh and animation format (one file: one mesh. another file: one animation -- modular, simple, highly moddable)
  • a proven scripting engine (SpiderMonkey) with strong developer backing (Mozilla|Firefox) competing with V8 (Google).
  • focus on RTS and
  • yet very appealing graphics (compare e.g. to OpenTTD or OpenRCT)

Many commercial engines have introduced their custom formats - and those not even were compatible from one version to another (sure, not at last due to restricted time to developers when approaching the point of release ;-).

Our future engine

Let's face it. We'll have to create a custom engine. (And that's what's happening in the background these days at worlddevelopment in parallel to capability system debugging which still happens on the old modded engine pyrogenesis.)

It is a huge task. It will take a lot of time. But it is what wildfiregames did back then themselves.
Since the inventory system brought first RPG features it is apparent that the current approach is not suitable. RPG like features require a different kind of engine.
No less the campaign system we outlined in the previous post that requires a dynamic cell system instead of the fixed map system of pyrogenesis.

The new engine is designed to support things like cell streaming and inventory and walkable meshes and bullet physics out of the box (i.e. structures can be entered which is a must have feature for an RPG).
It will be a minimalistic system with only a handful of libraries, no stand alone scenario editor (other than a framework and bare artist blender).

While the new approach renders most art assets obsolete the new engine also will use the same base technologies like XML, JSON, JavaScript and DAE (including B rep support).
PyPy, Go, Lua were considered but Python got under stress since unfortunate python 2 vs. 3 controversies and last but not least the capability system is coded in JavaScript - and it is a huge beast. Much more complicated than the inventory stacked entity system we coded.

Also new art has been required anyway as the time machine starts as early as 200 000 before common era (B.C.E.). You can already tell that it will take us years to even reach the time frame of 0 A.D..

Yes. We'll start in stone age. It will be fun. We will encounter ice ages. (-:

RTS RPG co-op Hybrid consequences

The new engine will be built around primarily first person view with the option to change to third person view and to zoom out to control other citizens of the civ of the player (overruling HybridAI groups).

Of course cooperation with fellow adventurers or mercenaries - either AI or human controlled - will increase realism and the "we" feelings. It's already a work in progress (HybridAI).

For the attentive reader

0 B.C. is now also referenced as 0 B.C.E. (before common era) to weaken religious terms like "before christ" or a bit worse: "anno domini" (year of the lord).


  • Android related (from our experience writing Android apps)
  • More about the new engine, maybe features we've already created will be shown - once the GUI leaves the WIP state.
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