What do you get when you have years of experience in developing 3D simulators and trainers and couple it with the desire to take gaming to a whole new level? FPS Creator Reloaded is what you get, and Developer and Co-founder Lee Bamber was kind enough to chat with us.
We recently did an article informing you that FPS Creator Reloaded, a first person shooter game development environment, is headed for a beta release this month on Halloween (October 31st), and to answer some of the quests we had on the challenges and direction of the project, we got in touch with the fine folks at The Game Creators and they did not disappoint.
1) Can you introduce yourself and give us a little background on how you got started on the FPS Creator project?
My name is Lee Bamber, lead developer of the FPS Creator Reloaded project and veteran programmer for over 20 years. I'm co-founder of a company called The Game Creators (www.thegamecreators.com) and we've been developing game creation tools for well over a decade now. FPS Creator Reloaded is the culmination of years of technology development and hard fought experience. We're a strong believer in community led development, and the recent trends in crowd-funding has allowed us to set the bar very high on our latest game creation product, cutting no corners in the pursuit of the ultimate game making experience.
2) Creating a FPS game is quite the monumental task in itself, but making an editor so anyone can create a game has to be at least an order of magnitude harder. What were the most challenging aspects you had to overcome?
Writing a games engine is no picnic, and not for the faint hearted. We had the benefit of a rather large war-chest of game technologies that we've created over the years, and so we already had a solid platform from which to start. The most challenging aspects came directly from the feature requests of our community. They wanted a creative experience where the game could be played instantly, no waiting to build light-maps or scene geometry. They wanted to create massive worlds, with real-time terrain and stunning visuals. They wanted the latest shader effects and they wanted it to run fast on their mid-range hardware. Users know exactly what they want, and co-incidentally, what would cause the developer the most pain. Rather than evade the feedback, we essentially tore up the script and decided to deliver on all these requests, and Reloaded is the product of that ambition.
3) You are working with the Oculus team and Intel on developing VR for the creator. How is that going?
Our priority right now and throughout Reloaded development is performance, stability and user friendliness, and these pillars will remain our holy grails until the community give their approval on these aspects. We have, however, allowed ourselves the indulgence of peering into the future and daring to imagine what the future of games creation might look like. Having experienced a virtual world through the eyes of Oculus and the hands-free magic of Intel's Perceptual Computing technology, I see that future being akin to wandering your own personal Holodeck, conjuring game elements, characters and stories as easy and natural as having a conversation with your computer. Moving the creative process from crude interfacing to intuitive immersion is one of our longer term goals, and it's not just pretty words, we have a few really amazing ideas to explore using these new modes of human to computer interaction. I must stress though that we are a disciplined team, and our immediate focus is in making the foundations bullet-proof and strong enough to build a skyscraper on!
Having been in the industry for most of its existence, I've seen the old familiar dance play out. The tune changes and we're happy to sing along, but at some point you bump into yourself when you come full circle. If you disregard the favorites such as graphics, audio, game dynamics and gadgets, you'll often find yourself looking at the same game you saw twenty years ago. I see the 'next big thing' as the utter demolition of this plaster mold we call a 'game', and the emergence of an interactive experience that is equal parts play and create. A format that evolves from moment to moment, and offers the participant an endless stream of experiences, delivered at the speed of thought. Imagine users returning from this experience to the 'traditional game' (linear progression though predictable surroundings). They might find it an unsophisticated and confining effort compared to the endless possibilities of the connected imaginations of thousands of play-creators. To find out what all that meant, keep watching the evolution of the FPS Creator Reloaded Universe :)
That's easy, Double Jack Daniels & Coke. For best results, use small sized Coke can, fill whiskey glass to the brim with hollow 'dry' ice cubes, pour J.D so that 50% of the glass appears full. Allow ice to chill the bourbon for five seconds. Only then, crack open the can and pour from a distance of three inches so that Coke can breath. Wait until the bubbles cover the surface then take a healthy swig - perfection!
We'd like to personally thank Lee for his insight into his passions and beliefs on both the FPS Creator Reloaded project as well as his candid thoughts on what he feels is the future direction of gaming. We also greatly appreciate that the project's Director, Meash Meakin, who after selling his software and publishing business in the UK and coming out of retirement to work on the project with the team, was willing to hook us up with Mr. Bamber to answer our questions. Our hats are off to both of you gentlemen, and we look forward to hearing more about the project.
We will keep you up to date on all that happens with FPS Creator Reloaded as the project continues to develop, mature and moves into what is in store for us in the future. In the mean time, you can use the links in the article (or the source link) to visit their site and keep an eye on the progress of FPS Creator Reloaded.