This is the most important thread in all of the Game Guru forums.
I was a bit naive when i started fooling around in Game Guru. Not really understanding what was happening under the hood. Just randomly throwing down endless trees, rocks and other things. Game Guru presents itself as this big sandbox you can mess around with, to make large outdoor environments to walk around in and play around in. Something never really brought out to a standalone fashion, apart from maybe one map for testing. So i think we were more concerned about the performance of our maps and never really considered the major barrier in creating an actual game with GG.
The majority of us have not yet experimented enough with creating a full fledged standalone game with Game Guru. Even some of those big projects you see that look amazing that a lot of us praise, are mostly just in engine maps not yet tested from start to end, in a standalone export; Because there is this assumption they will just work as long as the performance is okay.
This is where the issues arise that remind me a lot of FPSC. We all had to cut down on assets and even remove entire levels. Which often led to games being no bigger than 3 or 4 levels/stages/maps. This had nothing to do with performance but would allow for players to play from start to end without a crash/freeze or error generated from a 2GB memory cap.
In Game Guru, I was focused on optimization in order to improve performance and keep a steady FPS count. I never even considered the issues that would come from attempting to make a full game with Game Guru. So interesting enough the more i focused on optimizing my maps for performance, the more memory i was actually consuming from the over all game. For example using LOD stages would ADD meshes to the memory and actually increase the likely hood of hitting the memory cap. While LOD stages were helping with performance and FPS rates, they do not help those that wish to make a full game with more than a couple stages.
I also was a bit naive thinking it was safe to use textures as large as 1024 and 2048. Since the stock items, some of them used textures just as large and models with a fair amount of polys to them. Considering Game Guru is running under a 32 bit system its very easy to hit the memory cap. Especially since the memory between stages loaded in a completed standalone game are not being cleared. So it just builds up to the point of a crash.
When reviewing 32 bit systems -- its interesting to point out that these games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim (standard) use only 512x512 sized textures and not large 2048x2048 textures. People generally complain a lot about the load times in tose games.. but i think the reason why they are so long is that they are clearing memory and rebuilding each time you exit and reenter a map. There are a few variables retained to ensure certain actions in the game are remembered; like objectives met and player stats and etc. Game Guru may not be clearing properly at all. So things like meshes and textures are still stored, taking up space.
I need to really reconsider how I design my levels. They need to be smaller, use less polys, smaller textures, compressed mono audio and figure out what to do with the lights that uses the least amount of memory. I think for anyone that plans on making a game in Game Guru and not just a map to fool around in... they are going to have to face reality, that this is not going to be an easy process and there is a lot consider.
I think its not fair to say that Game Guru requires no technical knowledge. As this is only the case for those that wish to fool around with making a sandbox map to share with their friends and family but not the case for anyone looking to complete something for delivery on a platform like Steam or alike.
With a lot of focus on making things look better in Game Guru, i think this issue might have been overlooked. Since Game Guru doesn't really show many resources for how to make a complete game from start to end. It seems to bill itself as a map editing sandbox instead. Noticed there is no build dialogue box options in GG.
With Game Guru, I spend 80% of my time doing work-arounds for issues i have with it. This is a very big problem to try to work around. For anyone that wants to challenge me on my post here by saying well this person was able to create this or that, let me tell you that I've already spoken to all of those members in the community and they've all had to this issue and had to work around it or were stopped by it completely.
I'll share a small story. I once exhibited a game I made at an expo once. A game made in FPSC called Key Suspect. At the expo whenever someone reached the 3rd or 4th level, the game would crash due to a memory cap. Not being able to load the next 2 levels out of the 6. It was embarrassing. I fear to experience anything like that again. Especially if i was to bring anything to a commercial front.
I can now understand the Steam community calling Game Guru a "map editor" and not a "game maker". Very easy to create a working map. Difficult to create a working game.