My A.G.E. Awesome Game Engine

I’ve decided to write a game engine.

For those of you who don’t know what a game engine is, it’s the part of a game that actually does all the “stuff”. It’s like the engine of a car: take it out and car not move. Put it back in and car move.

Many games are indistinguishable from their engines. Most Flash games (the ones you play online in your browser) are made with just the particular game in mind. Most big-budget games are made with engines that can be used on multiple projects. For example, the Source Engine is used by Half Life 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.

So I’m finally taking the next step in game software development beyond starting from scratch every time: I’m making my own engine. The name Awesome Game Engine has probably already been taken, but it’s what I’m calling it for now.

So what does A.G.E. do? Not much right now. In fact, it doesn’t even display anything on the screen yet, though that should change by tonight. It’s going to be a text-based, Savage Worlds-based(probably), Roguelike engine that I’m going to use for at least one secondary project, possibly a Half Life roguelike similar to the Doom Roguelike but based loosely on Half Life. Possibly something else. Hopefully at least two things, because that’s the whole point of making an engine in the first place.

What makes A.G.E. particularly different from usual Roguelikes is that I’m working on adding tabletop-style dungeon-tiles (like in Warhammer Quest and Space Hulk) to the usual mix of procedurally generated rooms and pre-designed levels. Also, I intend to eventually add procedurally created NPCs that do more than be your slave or sell you stuff like in Nethack.

Anyway, that’s what I’m working on today. Vid tomorrow.

EDIT: At the time, this was always intended to be more of a long-term project. What was originally conceived as the A.G.E. has mutated into what I’d later call the Trope Engine, the specifics of which are still in flux as of ’09. See more recent posts for what I ended up doing.

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