Hey guys. You are both right in what needs to be done in order to get proper traction:
- Stable editor & documentation - Stable editor is hopefully coming soon. Documentation a bit later, but hopefully soon after, I realize it’s important. The work I’m doing now on C# documentation and manual documentation generator is a big step in that direction, as this will be the scripting documentation for the editor as well.
- 2D features - Many developers, especially indies focus on 2D games. You can certainly use low level rendering in bsf for some basic 2D, but it’s not proper support - we need simple to use sprite rendering, 2D physics and 2D animation. They aren’t the most complex features and I hope I can squeeze them in sooner than later, but at the same time I don’t like doing things half-right and would rather delay if that means doing something properly. Ideally I’d love to see a contributor do this because it shouldn’t be too complex.
- Mobile support - Similar to 2D, many developers really care about releasing on mobile and that takes a good chunk of our audience away. It’s definitely one of the more important features, but for now I feel I need to focus on PC. Actual platform-specific code for mobiles shouldn’t be too difficult to add. Getting the renderer to work would take more, but initially it might be good to just disable the advanced renderer features and build it up slowly (2D games would not need it anyway).
- C# scripting - Making the framework usable in C# on its own might get us a nice influx of users. I do believe those users will also demand 2D & mobile in order for this feature to be truly effective. Which is why I’m just releasing it as a preliminary feature for now, and full release might only come after I add 2D (at the very least). This way we can have a release announcement that attracts a lot of users, and keeps them engaged as well.
And then there’s pathfinding, terrain, networking, LOD, IK, high level animation blending, occlusion culling and texture streaming, which are all important for 3D games on PC/consoles, which shouldn’t be forgotten either (but probably won’t attract as many users as the features above).
Having a demo game for the framework would also be a big deal. A nice video of a pretty scene with many of its features in action in an actual game (or a demo) would probably be the biggest draw for users. But again, this needs to be done /after/ we have most of the features above, so the users actually stay engaged. A friend of mine is already preparing some very nice art assets and we’ll start setting something up starting this year. This will ultimately also serve as a better test and a performance benchmark of the framework as a whole.
If my Patreon ever gets higher (closer to 1000$) I’m thinking of spending it all on part time developer to help up with some of the less demanding features. But that’s a long shot.
Regardless, the features are getting wrapped up at a pretty nice pace and I’m not too worried about the amount of users we have now. I’m just focusing on doing things the right way, and once all the relevant features are in I’m confident we’ll have something with a level of quality and features far above anything offered by open source, and soon after even commercial - and the users will come accordingly.