Elsewhere at GarageGames' IndieGamesCon that opened with Alex Seropian's keynote
, officials of the network and Torque engine development team explained the inner workings and aspirations of InstantAction, and where all Torque products and tools are heading in the future.
The Future Of Web Games
After demonstrating a version of Marble Blast Ultra
running through the browser on InstantAction general manager Andy Yang explained InstantAction is an attempt to bring core gamers into the web space and provide more control over their entertainment and experience. It also hopes to reach third world markets where consoles will never penetrate, but where there's a "third for games."
"We want to leverage the network effect and keep it as viral as possible," said Yang, adding that the company wanted to take lessons from the web and work with developers to figure out what features and aspects GarageGames can build to take out of game developers' hands.
He said the company was working on building out a QA and community management team with a metrics perspective. 50 percent of players might sign up for any given game, but 80 percent drop once they hit level five, Yang posited, saying "we can help you with services like these."
Finally, promising royalty deals "much better than you'll find anywhere in the industry," Yang also said that developers would maintain their own IP.
The Future Of Torque
Looking ahead at Torque, engine development director Clark Fagot said that with five concurrent engines in the marketplace, the company was looking forward putting all engines in the same codebase. With that, 2D games get shaders and can combine 2D and 3D into the same game, and become a unified platform for future development. This also has the side benefit that Torque Game Builder Games can move onto the Xbox 360.
Looking far into the future, Fagot described Torque 2, which will have an open development process, which the company hopes will encourage partners to get involved. The component system developed in Torque X is expected to percolate up to the new engines and Collada import functionality is being added, along with upgrades to built in rendering systems.
The Future Of Tools
Finally tool development director Justin DuJardin talked Torque Tools, noted that the Torque family currently has no standard editor framework, so these are difficult to update and improve. Each bug fix and/or tool improvement must be done 4 times, and DuJardin admitted that documentation is also a problem.
Referencing GarageGames' recent acquisition
, he said, "The IAC deal actually gives us the opportunity to sit back and rethink the foundation on which the tools are built, rather than hot-fixing bugs."
DuJardin said the company is working on a unified editor framework for Torque 2 that takes care of boiler plate code not really relevant when developers are trying to fix games.
"It won't be a new red button tool," concluded DuJardin, saying GarageGames is looking to make as much of it a set of components that will include a rewritten GUI system and Editor framework.