3rd Party Tools Always Cause Minor Problems

Third party tools – all the stuff you get to your project that’s not made by your team – always cause some sort of problems. Sometimes the problems are very tiny (like stupid editor font) but sometimes they might cause bigger problems. Here’s some tools I like and really recommend for Blitz3D project. All these tools are good, but even they caused some problems.

Particle Candy. Inexpensive and really nice particle library that will save hours of work. This library contains a small problem: it’s not possible to pass a framerate parameter (“animation speed” parameter so to speak) that would tell how fast the particles should be simulated. The program does framerate speed testing automatically which is nice… unless you want to have “slow motion” in game. As I cannot pass “speed variable” for the library I cannot create slow-motion effects in game without touching the library code. This is not a big issue, but still – it’s an issue for some people.

JV-ODE. Effective, and inexpensive physics wrapper. One tiny problem (that maybe most physics systems will have): it’s not possible to “punch using draggable objects”. You cannot drag and simulate the physics same time – you need to play with applying forces. Besides this minor issue, a very decent work that I really recommend.

Devil Shadow System for Blitz3D (I’m not sure if they have an official site online, so you need to google for it). Free and really nice stencil shadow system library but had 2 minor problems when I tested it: (1) meshes with shadows are not camera pickable (programming issue that can be handled) and (2) many shadows will kill the framerate, which means it’s not possible to use this library in all type of games.

In summary, I’d say that 3rd party tools should be considered and many times they help in game production, but you have to remember that there’s almost always some problems with these tools. Not necessary big issues, but most likely something.

Juuso Hietalahti