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Randy Trulson of Neuron Games talks about the game engine Cortex 3.1 and their new game, Megaloptura.
Arti Gupta: Can you tell us about yourself?
Randy Trulson: I have always wanted to make video games, ever since video game machines were available when I was 7 years old. When you work for a video game corporation, early on you have to give up your creative life. I was too bold-headed for that. I decided to start my own company. Probably not the easiest route, looking back on it.
A.G.: What does the Cortex 3.1 engine bring to developers?
R.T.: We used to call the engine Super Cortex. Super Cortex stopped at 2.0, and we decided to just shorten the name a little bit.
The Cortex engine is going to keep scaling over time as computing capabilities keep growing. The things we can do with Cortex now are quite a bit more than what we could do a year and a half ago. We redesigned it so you can actually develop areas and levels completely isolated from one another, you can do parallel, and then you can integrate all the areas and levels together at one time -- without fear of any problems.
That really speeds up development a great deal, as opposed to a linear development.
We’ve taken all the art and music assets and we’ve decoupled them from the code. If an artist wants to create a particular sprite or model, and they have a particular frame rate they need the model to run at, now the artist can go in a tweak that -- without having to interface with the programmers at all.
A.G.: What platforms does the engine support?
R.T.: We designed it specifically for the Windows platform, but ironically, because it does fit on top of DirectX technology, through Microsoft APIs, it is actually directly portable to the Xbox 360. As well, though we haven’t tested it yet, it is directly portable to Windows phones.
A.G.: Let’s talk about Megaloptura, your latest game. What inspired the idea?
R.T.: Tons and tons of hours of watching sci-fi movies, playing video games and just overall clowning around! I wanted something that was fast-paced, arcade-based … something that would export very well to a mobile device, if we do port it over there. It is a stress-free throwback to the arcades of the ’80s: You put in your quarter and when you’re done, you’re done.
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