First things first – both the Classic TAGAP and TAGAP 3 have been updated, addressing the crash issue that has been plaguing some players. My huge apologies for not being able to track this one down sooner, apparently it was a rare memory leak which caused a cascade of other issues, resulting in a crash in a specific kind of scenarios. The fix has been applied to both releases.
Not only did the fix require extensive rewrites of parts of the older engines, the updates were further delayed by things out of my control.
I already mentioned this in our news post and endlessly on Twitter, but TAGAP is under an attack from a record label BMG and music rights troll group Adrev. These a-holes are claiming that parts of TAGAP 2 OST are theirs, which is complete bull. The songs they claim TAGAP 2 OSTs contain have nothing what-so-ever to do with TAGAP and it's a false detection on YouTube's automated bots.
However, there's nothing I can do, short of taking YouTube to court. Which I'm seriously considering. BMG and Adrev don't answer to any inquiries, while YouTube is YouTube, having automated their PR to the point it is impossible to contact a human being on their end.
Things like this really put a hamper on the whole idea of what project TAGAP is to me these days; to have the ultimate, creative stress sink, with which I can forget that world sucks. It ain't fun anymore when the 'suck' seeps into TAGAP, huh?
In addition to all above, progress is being made on TAGAP 4. I'm right now preparing what could be the most complex in-game scripting job I've ever done. It's a level that is basically a huge scripted event. Not in Call of Duty way, mind – this one alternates between reacting to how you proceed as a player and denoting how the player can proceed.
It's a monstrous task, both in terms of setting it up in terms of scripting and in asset creation. The amount of objects I have to create to make this all work is staggering, but it is paying off.
I won't go into much detail on what the level is about, but I will say it is half-remake, half-new. The remake part is a re-envisioned version of a TAGAP 1 concept recreated in the new engine and gameplay mechanics, while the other half is a new kind of thing. I'm sure you'll recognize this level from the description above when you see it!
Playlist is a regular feature in our Penguin DT blog; A chance to highlight cool games both old and new that I've been playing. As always, I believe that in order to make games, you need to play them, preferably with a broad scope when it comes to genres, so each day I dedicate at least an hour to actually playing games. The rest of the free time? There is no such thing, it all belongs to TAGAP!
Thanks to the Sony's State of Play campaigns, I finally bought a VR headset – so that's where I've been at. Originally there really was only one thing I wanted to play in VR – DOOM VFR – but for the longest time I thought 'that's way too expensive for just one game!'. However, with the lowered on-sale price, PS VR cost way less than what I doled out for DOOM Eternal Collector's Edition, so I no longer could use that excuse without sounding like a hypocrite.
So how is VR? It's actually pretty darned effective. I don't feel it will change the way I mainline my games – I prefer fast action games with plenty of movement. VR doesn't really excel in that, but works brilliantly with stationary or floating points of view. There is a reason why most good VR games are either on-rails, in-vehicles or have a floating, teleporting point-of-view.
One thing that I found most impressive in the experience was the sense of scale. There's a real difference in seeing the world 'trough your eyes' as opposed to 'through a window in front of you'. I'll give you an example.
In DOOM VFR, there's a holographic demo environment you can enter early on. You basically just select some game assets and look at them in a safe environment. When I first tested it, I just went with the assets the game had picked up.
When I entered the hologram environment, I first noticed the Slayer. Tall, burly dude in an armour, OK. Next to him, an Imp. Pretty cool, yeah. Then I looked to my left. And then up. Then FURTHER up. In the heights, I saw the Cyberdemon looking down at me. That was a pretty darn 'wow' moment.
I've already ordered a couple of more VR titles, obviously including Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. Meanwhile, on the normal games front, I've started the trek through Darksiders III – a game that I've had on my shelf since the release, but as the end of 2018 turned into a dark nightmare on my end, I haven't gotten around to it until now. More on that once I've completed it.
On TAGAP front – now that Classic TAGAP and TAGAP 3 are (hopefully) in a good place, I can fully focus on TAGAP 4 again. Which is good, cause this level I've cooked up in my head is driving me nuts and takes forever to complete. Luckily it's one-of-a-kind when it comes to its 'behind-the-scenes complexity', so the other levels shouldn't be as nightmarish to produce.
On playlist front – completing the afore-mentioned Darksiders III and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. After those? So many backlog titles to choose from! Perhaps I'll just close my eyes and poke my finger into the literal pile of games waiting their turn?
There's also the TAGAP Day at the end of the month – and I have to come up with something for the occasion! It won't be a new trailer this time, but I'll figure out something penguin-tastic.