The progress status of The Open Engine is simple: It exists!
The engine has been a project of mine for some time now, but it was always an experiment. Now, there is actually something to use. The problem is, of course, that it's ugly, primitive and limited. If you want to create games/maps for it, it is also rather confusing and clunky, and getting those maps is even harder (you have to make actual copies and send them to whoever wants them, or put them up for downloads in .zip files...*sigh*). So let's boil this down to two questions, while I struggle to make even this webpage more appealing!
Question 1: What can it do?
The Open Engine can be used for basic parkour maps, at the very least. Movement works, and things collide somewhat correctly. Damage also works; you can have dangerous surfaces like lava or electrical fences, and you can even have things that shoot at you (but they don't move, so fixed cannons or immobile droids etc. are a good fit. They don't turn, either, though...). There is no damage for falling, and no respawn option, so parkour maps will probably be of the "you fall, press Escape to restart" kind.
There are other things it can do, though. For details, check out World Building, but for a quick run-through, there are guns, grappling guns, basic crafting, and really, really basic (laughably basic, experimental) cars. It's not much, but someone with the right kind of creative thinking and will to experiment can create anything from speedrunning challenges to simple arena shootouts to games with very complex tech-trees and complicated objectives ("find the items to build this machine to get to where the other items are etc. etc."). But it requires some effort to both learn and do at this point.
Question 2: What needs to be improved right now?
The main objective now is making things easier to create. That means making it much, much easier to make maps, techtrees, even item features. Modelling things will still be done in Blender for a long time, because it is a perfectly fine tool for it, and creating something else to model in would be extremely difficult, and not give any real advantages. So the priorities are:
- Make it easy to make maps (i.e. place models made in Blender inside the same 'world').
- Make it easy to design techtrees (i.e. big (or small...) collections of recipes and objects).
- Make it easier to give items functions, and create new functions.
- Make it much, much easier to share the things you make.
Along with making both The Open Engine and this website a lot prettier, those are the things I am dedicated to working on for now. I may do little extras along the way, like new ways to move the player or settings options in the game and so on, but those four things are my main obligation to the engine for the foreseeable future.
I should note that the engine also has some problems with stability; it will not run on certain computers at all, and it often crashes or acts weird on others. This is a huge issue, that needs to be fixed... I just don't really know how, yet. The main problem is that I lack dedicated playtesters, because most people only want to "test" things that actually work already, and without direct contact to people, it is also hard to discuss what errors and bugs actually show up as. I hope this will get better with people taking an interest in the engine, but it's sadly a question of "wait and see" before I can really get into this. Which only means that versions for Mac and Linux are going to be even harder to make and test...
If you have suggestions or comments, I am also trying to set up a place to discuss The Open Engine.