Visionaire, the engine that is powering STASIS, is a truly wondrous tool!
The engine is extremely artist friendly, with the ability to slide easily into a production line. All images are read from external files, so updating graphics is as easy as copying files in Windows Explorer. Simply replace the old frames in the directory, and they are automatically updated in the game.
As a single developer, this small feature is an incredible time saver, allowing me to very quickly make changes to the game. Often, I will have Photoshop open on one monitor, and Visionaire open on the other – instantly updating backgrounds, or animations.
While PNG is generally the recommended format, Visionaire allows use of multiple file formats in the engine. Applies not only to images, but to Audio (ogg, wav, mp3) , as well as Video (mkv, wmv, avi, etc).
Visionaire is also set up in such a way that you can easily customise all aspects of your game. While it is exclusively an ‘Adventure Game’ engine, there are still many different ways that you can set up the mechanics.
Adding in extra actions (such as the classic Push, Pull, Look, Lick (??) ) is very easy, allowing for interactions to be as complex, or simple, as you need. Its this ease of use that really allows for experimentation. If you need a specific action for a puzzle, you can add it in. If its not working, you can easily remove it without having a cascading effect of breaking the game.
Adding in objects is done through a very simple WYSIWYG interface, that belies the complex interlinking actions you can create. When creating STASIS, there haven’t been many instances where I have had to resort to code to get a complex interaction in place. But if more complex puzzles or interactions are required, you have full access to a LUA scripting system inside the engine.
But the best part of using Visionaire is that the creators have the advantage of working on an engine that is currently in use by professional developers, and it shows. The features that get updated are things that you WILL USE in production. Recently, the focus for the dev builds has been on core stability, and compression, with the end goal to be able to export to Android and IOS tablets and devices. With the same technology that VLC uses, you have access to a plethora of different formats and ways to display your game.
High resolution, parallax scrolling, a tight memory management system, and an upcoming feature list longer than my arm makes Visioniare the EASY choice for any upcoming Adventure Game developers! And the best part, you can try it out RIGHT NOW for FREE.
The free version of Visionaire is completely functional, with the exception of building your game as an EXE. But honestly, at 35,00 EUR its a steal!