Project Sulphur

The Second Production Phase

Riko Ophorst

I want to start off by saying: my sincerest apologies! It’s been a while since our last blog post, but we’re back now! Last week we’ve started our second production phase. This blog post will give you a run down of what we did so far and what’s to come in the coming 8 weeks!

Dank meme banner

Our sprint timeline for the second production phase. Also, that's where we'd be if we posted this blog on time. Just imagine the dot further to the right.

Sprint 05: “Boron” - wrapped up!

Last week tuesday, we started our fifth sprint. Our goal for this sprint was plain & simple: fix bugs! We had identified that stability of the project was quit poor: lots of bugs, crashes and unexpected behaviour. We decided to go into what I like to call “soft feature lock” - meaning that we didn’t completely lock down new feature development. In total, we squished a staggering 47 bugs over the course of a 1 week sprint!

An accurate representation of our bug fixing process

Targets for our second production phase

This is the more “meaty” part of this blog post. I’d like to show you a few of the targets that we’ve set for ourselves that we want to achieve at the end of this production phase!

Delivering a Vertical Slice for a game

This is actually one of the targets that was set for us by the project brief. The “main” deliverable at the end of this block is to deliver a vertical slice of the game that we wish to showcase at the Dutch Game Awards.

We’ve had a few brainstorming sessions to figure out what this will mean for us. We are essentially free in deciding what game we build, as long as we build a game. Using yours truly Project Sulphur, of course.

Having reviewed our options, we will be building a vertical slice of a game quite similar to Jak & Daxter. We want camera controls, character movement and a simple level similar to Jak & Daxter. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be sharing development progress of this. In the meantime, take a look at this cool Jak & Daxter speedrun.

Sulphur Rewinder

Ooh, this is an exciting one! As you may or may not know, Sulphur Rewinder is our main Unique Selling Point (USP). This is a feature that will exist in the Sulphur Editor, where it will drastically affect the way you debug the games you build with Project Sulphur.

Sulphur Rewinder is essentially a timeline tool that can rewind your entire game. Did something happen a little bit ago, but you don’t know why that something happened? No problem! Bust open the timeline window in the editor, and you’ll be able to scrub back the state of the entire world!

We’re really excited about this feature, and we are really pushing to have to baseline functionality for this ready by the end of this production phase!

Sulphur Editor: Game Ready

As it stands currently, the Sulphur Editor is nowhere near ready to be used to create games with. We’re planning to integrate a lot of new features into Sulphur Editor to make it ready to create games with. The functionality we’ll be focusing on mostly is:

  • Transform manipulation tools
    Currently, there’s no way to move anything in the scene. Making it possible to move, rotate and scale objects is going to be top priority. Yay gizmos!
  • Hierarchy Window
    A window needs to added in which you can see the full hierarchy of entities that live in the world. It should be possible to create & re-parent all of these entities to whatever is your liking.
  • Inspector Window
    This is a big one. We need to be able to inspect entities: allowing you to see what components the entity is made up of. Of course, it should also be possible to modify the data in the components. Next to inspecting entities, we need to be able to inspect assets as well. As I said, this is a big one.
  • Sulphur Worlds
    Let’s not forget about this. Sulphur Worlds are our equivalent of scenes. You want to design your worlds, but also be able to save them!

Scriptable Sulphur Worlds

Another one of our USPs! This is a major thing we want to do during this production phase. We are not going down the route of scriptable components, we want you to be able to script entire worlds! Every Sulphur World will have its own unique main Lua script file.

Some of our team members are familiar with this style of scripting, including myself and our tech lead Daniel Konings. It’s really handy for quick iterations and rapid prototyping. One of the biggest downsides is that you need to be more technically adapt to fully make use of the power that this type of scripting environment will enable for you.

Nevertheless, this is something that will also set us apart in the end!

Plenty more goals

We have plenty more goals throughout this block, but I won’t list all of them here, otherwise you’re going to fall asleep reading it all. Instead, you will be kept in the loop through future blog posts!

You can expect more blog posts around the times that our sprints end. So, since this blog post was ridiculously late, you can expect the next one in around a week from now (March 15-16) hopefully!

Cheers, Riko out.