Project Sulphur

A new challenge(r) approaches!

Merlijn van der Kamp

”Grand” return

Although unlikely, you might have missed us for the last couple of weeks. This was due a break after the end of the first block (out of 4) this academic year. That means we're a quarter ways through our time. Fortunately, that also means that we have pretty much completed our research and pre-production! Of course, we will still research some topics along the way, but this does mean we can start production! We are currently in the middle of setting up the project, starting with implementing the very basics of every component and generally just working really hard to get things going.

Strength comes in numbers

And to get this done sooner, we have received a gift from the higher-ups. Stan no longer has to be a lonely tools programmer as Maarten ten Velden has joined the team!

Image of Maarten

Look at that magnificent smug bastard. What a hero.

Maarten will mainly assist in the Tools department, but will also help on some parts of the core engine programming. Welcome to the team, Maarten!

Role changes

Now that our pre-production is done, we have shuffled around some roles in the team. Most importantly, Riko is now a full-time product owner. Unfortunately, that means that he had to drop his role as Vulkan graphics programmer. This means that Vulkan is on the backburner for now. We might still implement it later on in the project, but we can’t make any promises at this point in time. It also means that Raymi is now no longer Product owner and can focus fully on the core of the engine.

Secondly, I (Merlijn) am now in charge of handling scrum. That means less time for the website and QA, but the website is at a reasonably functional state where I don’t have to put much more time into it (although it would be nice). Stan is now relieved from this duty as scrum master, giving him much needed time to work on tools.

Finally, a minor change where Timo is no longer enslaved by the asset pipeline but will also work on tools and graphics.

Download when?!

On the engine side of things, the one we are making is intended to be open source down the road. Now, since we’re also dealing with PS4 here we have a strict NDA to adhere to. It’s going to make it a bit more complicated when building and sharing the engine. From what I’ve heard it should still be possible, so keep an eye out on the download page.

Squashing bugs

I realise this post isn’t exactly on one topic anymore, but there is so much to tell!
Regarding QA, the bug tracking software that we were planning on using, MantisBT might get replaced by JIRA. Our University has obtained licenses which allows us students to use JIRA for issue tracking. It’s a bit unfortunate that my hard work of setting up Mantis might go to waste, but since a large chunk of the game development industry also uses JIRA it’s not too much of a let down.

The benefits of working with JIRA certainly outweighs the hassle of setting it up. It will be worthwhile to become experienced with JIRA as this will likely be a valuable skill to possess for our future careers. Furthermore, it will blend in nicely with our workflow. JIRA has support for integration with Perforce (software we use for version management). This will allow us to spend even less time on tediously filling in forms and fields, and leaves more time to make this project a success!

Goals this block

We at least want a working demo this block, but we’re still working out the milestone planning. We’ll post that (hopefully) next week. Keep an eye out!

And that’s it for this week. We will attempt to post at least 1 blog every Friday (time might vary), even throughout our holidays. Thanks for following the development of Project Sulphur.