Posted by Data in Cortex Command - July 5th, 2006

All right!

This is a quick status update on what we’re working on at the moment. We are done renovating the data realms websites, including this dev log, so now we can turn our focus back to the game (CC) 100%.

As far as Cortex Command goes, we’ve been working on rethinking and revamping the data file loading system. A fundamental feature of CC is to have everything be completely data driven, meaning next to no data is hard coded into the executable, but instead stored in easily editable text files which can be modded by the player.

Up till now, this has been the case with the CC (formerly D.I.R.T.) engine, but with a kindof non-robust and unfriendly system and data format. If we added a new variable to any of the classes, we had to go back and update all data files as well – major obstacle and pain for both development and modding. We want to be able to put out new versions of the game very frequently, and we don’t want to break all the mods that players will have made for previous versions.

The solution is a property-based system, where varaibles in the code are indirectly mapped onto ‘properties’ which can then be matched when loading a file. If a property exists in the code but not in the data file, it is just handled gracefully instead of crashing things. Also, the order in which objects are defined in the data files won’t matter anymore, so references within one object can go to something that is only read later on. This, along with a bunch of other beneifits is going to make prototyping and tweaking a lot easier.

I have to warn the folks anticipating a new version of CC that it’ll take a while to get such a big change done, which includes having to rebuild and reformat all the data files that already exist. The good news is that after it’s done, it’ll be so much easier and faster to develop the game, so there will likely be far more frequent updates then.

That’s all for now; stay tuned as we intend to update with more details on developments at least three times a week, and possibly much more frequently!

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6 Responses to “Cortex Command status”

  1. Fat Zombie - # July 5th, 2006 at 11:25 am


    Not revealing too much, like?

  2. Owensworth - # July 5th, 2006 at 6:12 pm


  3. The Punisher - # July 6th, 2006 at 2:30 am


  4. Fat Zombie - # July 6th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Ooh. This is much better! Go DataRealms!

  5. ChaosMaker - # July 8th, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Good to see that the gears are in motion, like.
    We look forward to it I think.

  6. zalo - # January 31st, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    If only he had kept to that “3 times a week” update schedule…