I’ve been getting into the Source SDK and the Hammer editor and all that, and I’ve come to a decision.
I knew neither Game A and Game B were going to be easy. Both of them would have stretched the limits of the Dark GDK and Source, respectively. However, after a few weeks of intense research and trying out different things I came to the conclusion that Game A is unfeasibly ambitious for a one-year project at my level of technical knowledge.
Actually, I could scale back my ambitions for Game A quite a bit and make a pseudo-3D sprite-based version in Game Maker. It would still be one of the most graphically advanced Roguelikes ever, and I could even incorporate some of my ideas on procedural graphics. However, I really want to go for a proper 3D game for Game Design 3 & 4. Plus, I have precisely the same amount of experience making procedurally generated FPSs as I have making FPSs with hand crafted levels: virtually none.
So for the last couple weeks I’ve been very focused on the Source SDK and Hammer level editor in particular. If Game A is just not going to work out, then I better check how realistic my expectations are for Game B. With the new semester looming on the horizon, I better have a good plan, right?
With a few concessions to the limits of the Source Engine, Game B is totally workable. I have to cut out a few things, like the 3D skybox, and very carefully watch the number and types of entities I place, but the whole “one giant island” thing and most of my other ideas are definitely possible. So the tentative plan for Fall is Game B, but we’ll see if I’m allowed to do it first.
Now I just have to come up with a better name than “Game B”.