The pre-rendering idea that Playfish uses has made me eager to get animation control and manipulation, as well as geometry instancing to reduce overhead. Since there are some obvious similarities between what I’m trying to do here and Prince of Persia, I tried to dig some information up on it. It turns out Jordan Mechner has his entire development diary online! And some of the reference footage of his brother David jumping around for him! Inspiring stuff. Anyway, in aid of that, I thought I would start doing some more practical motion stuff, which has led me to this:
Yes, I am aware that there are occlusion issues. I’m not completely certain how the 3d is going to integrate into the 2d environment, so it may prove to be unnecessary to do anything at all about it. I’m thinking that only dynamic characters need be rendered in 3d, though it depends on whether the camera view will have any aspect of dynamic-ness, and how well 2d / pre-rendered assets can integrate.
Re: the core game engine: I’m running up against a bit of an irritating problem with keeping the optical, mechanical and visual representations of polygons in sync with one another. There are a good number of advances since the last display, but unfortunately they’ll have to wait until this niggly issue is fixed!
I’ve also started making serious progress with Flash-PHP-SQL interactions, and vice versa, as well as beginning to make hooks into Facebook. Interesting times ahead!