Topic:Pikmin Engine by Espyo

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For archived discussions, see Topic:Pikmin Engine by Espyo/Archive.

Use this thread to discuss Pikifen. This thread will also cover updates.

Version 0.13 and a rename[edit]

Time for a new update! This one is a bit different from the others in that the project got renamed. Allow me to explain.

When I started the engine, I realized it was ambitious, but in the last few years, I realized it's actually impossible. Not because it's a long challenge, but because creating an engine that can make people's Pikmin fangames come true is not possible. No one software will ever be powerful enough for that! If it were, it'd be a programming language. At best, users can use the engine to create a fangame similar to what they envision, but still very far off. Whether it's because they want their fangame to be in 3D (which my engine is not aimed for), they want there to be features I have no way of customizing, or they want features that are just flat-out impossible (like some MMO mode).

Editing something like an enemy's name, a Pikmin's attack power, or an area's carrying paths is a matter of simply specifying numbers or words. But customizing the exact behavior the main menu should have, or how exactly the mechanics behind treasure collection work, or how a boss should manipulate the terrain or your leaders, wouldn't be possible in the same way you just write "max_health = 300" or drag a point around in an editor. It'd have to rely on some base logic that I program, but said base logic could never work for all sorts of crazy and diverse behavior ideas and sub-logics. Again, if it could, it'd be a programming language, completely defeating the purpose of the engine.

To add to this, adding story mode to the engine is going to be very hard. Ignoring things like the game's appearance and forced camera perspective, we've got enemy scripting, spray types, area geometry, etc. built in a very powerful and flexible way. But adding a cutscene system, a progress saving system, or a gameplay system capable of handling corner cases (extinctions, sprouts in different areas, wild Pikmin, etc., as well as specific and dangerous interactions between these mechanics) is going to be one of my hardest challenges yet.

So, I sat down and thought about everything. First of all, I really don't want to continue development under the premise that the engine can make fangames come true. It is impossible, and I don't want to continue in that lie. In addition, I want to spend more energy on making the core gameplay fun, instead of debating how to make a story mode that can define a game. Basically, I want my project to be a fan-made engine with which other fans can create and play areas, enemies, treasures, etc. Not a mystical software that can make dreams come true.

As such, I've decided to rename the project to Pikifen! (It's short for "Pikmin fan engine", but it also works for the old name, too!) More than a rename, this is a rebranding. Having the new name, and the new mission statement behind it, means I can actually follow through with creating a fun engine, that focuses on the gameplay first, and maybe later, on the ability to create fangames. There are other reasons for this rebranding too:

  • Not having "Pikmin" or "fangame" in the name of the project makes it slightly less likely that Nintendo will interpret the project as violation of their IP's rights.
  • Not having "engine" in the name also makes it sound less like I'm creating a remake of the canon games's engine, and more like this is just my own thing.
  • The new name is short and catchy, as opposed to the cumbersome "Pikmin fangame engine" name.
  • If I want to stop development, at least the core gameplay will be developed, even if there is no story mode support.
  • I can spend less effort deciding what's the most powerful, flexible, and friendly way to make a certain feature such that it fits most fangames, and focus more on making it fun, while still keeping it customizable.

In short, I don't want to give the idea that the engine can make your dream game come true. I still want to make it very flexible, so people can create their own content in it, like always, but I want to make it clear that the ability to create a fangame with it is an afterthought, not the main goal. I hope you understand my views on the future of this project, but feel free to ask me if you have any questions!

With all of that said, let's get down to the changes in this version! I've changed the default resolution and zoom to make everything bigger and better to look at. Let me know how this looks, but know that you can still change the resolution in the options, or in the all-new options menu. You can also make the window fullscreen! Speaking of menus, they received a general overall, and the title screen now uses an actual set of living Pikmin flowers to show the logo. All of the user data was moved to its own folder, which should make sharing content that doesn't carry personal things much easier. I've also added the Whiptongue Bulborb, which didn't get included in the previous release due to time constraints. A more detailed and complete changelog can be found here, and the download link can be found here. As usual, let me know what you think! — {EspyoT} 13:56, 11 February 2018 (EST)