Office hunting

Bah humbug. The new office on Rutland Square was looking better and better, and we were days away from signing the lease. Sadly though, delays in organising things amongst the three companies to be involved meant that someone else has seen the place and signed the papers all in the space of a week, and now we’re back to square one in our search for an office. Boo hiss. On the bright side though, the new office would have been a tad smaller than the current one, so at least now we’ll have the potential of finding somewhere with a bit more room to grow.

In other news, our prototype games on WiiWare are now looking like actual games, although I’ve left it in the capable hands of Pete and Tim while Charlotte and I have been taking care of our clients. So as not to be left out of all the fun though, I’ve taken on a bit of hobby coding and am converting our somewhat ungraceful build process (a combination of Lua scripts, makefiles for Wii/PSP and Visual Studio projects for Win32), and am converting it over to use JamPlus. There has been a lot of debate on the sweng-gamedev mailing list and elsewhere about getting build systems which cope with the rigours of game development. Jam had the most potential but development of the main version of it has pretty much died off, and the patches and work required to get a Jam build suitable (performance and flexibility-wise) for games development is enough to put everyone else off.

The helpful Joshua Jensen however has done some sterling work in putting together all that existing work in a practically off-the-shelf tool called JamPlus. I’ve been most impressed with its speed and flexibility so far, and thanks to Josh I’ve learned enough of the scripting logic to convert our quite specific build needs into Jam logic. Once it’s done I’ll publish our scripts to serve as an extra example for folks (minus all the Wii and PSP stuff that’s covered under NDA of course), hopefully that will help others and get it to be a well accepted tool. As always, I think anything that helps efficiency of games developers in general is good, but really it’s because as our prototype games have grown, it’s become clear that we need a proper dependency-checked build tool to manage our asset->game toolchain.

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Black Company Studios Limited, The Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PR
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Last modified: February 06 2020.