ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Friday, January 13, 2017

Update 01 - Introducing Shaft Interactive and the Future of Edge Engine

It has now been five years since I first launched ThinkBoxly. It's been a fantastic experiment and learning experience from day one—one that hasn't necessarily turned out like I imagined, but that certainly has prepared me for bigger and better things. For the past two years I've slowly shifted from commentating on what other people create to being a creator myself, and now at long last the planets have aligned and it's time to share some comments on my own work.

In my last post, I teased that everything is about to change. Well, I meant it. And today, that change has a name.

Shaft Interactive

Shaft Interactive is an indie game developer startup which will serve as the face of my creative efforts moving forward. While I am currently its only full-time member, I have no delusions of being able to pull off something so ambitious alone. It's been terrific to reach out to other creators and entrepreneurs and glean from their experience and work with them to bring Shaft's future projects to life. More on all that to come very soon. In the meantime, excuse me while I get back to building a website...

...Oh, but there is one other elephant in the room to address first, isn't there?


As part of this change, Edge Engine will be transferring to become a product of Shaft and likewise get a little name change to match: from now on, Edge Engine will be known as Shaftworks!

But Shaftworks isn't just a rebranding of the same assets you already know and (hopefully) love. It's literally a complete reimagining—and that's not just marketing speak.

At its core, Shaftworks will serve many of the same functions as Edge Engine. However, Shaftworks is being designed with a fundamentally different programming philosophy. It's no longer being designed for the source code to be picked apart by beginners eager to learn from working examples, but rather to be advanced and flexible enough that they don't have to. Beginners and veteran programmers alike will benefit from the new approach Shaftworks brings to the table with easy to learn but very powerful assets—the same that will power Shaft's own products in the near future. As an added bonus, Shaftworks is being designed for 100% compatibility with the new GameMaker Studio 2 in mind, so early adopters will get a fully optimized experience.

What about Edge Engine?

Now, if you're an existing user of Edge Engine, I'm sure this brings to mind a number of questions. When can I get it? Will it be a free update? Will my projects transfer to the new system? To all of which I say...your patience would be greatly appreciated. No major transition is painless, but I aim to make this one well worth the temporary inconvenience.

So here's how it's going to work: existing Edge Engine assets will retain the same name and will remain on sale as Legacy products so that those who have already purchased them will continue to have them available for download in their libraries. Documentation will likewise remain online, soon to be transferred under Shaft's domain when it is ready.

New Shaftworks assets will become available over time to replace their Edge Engine counterparts, and I'll update you every step of the way of their development with future dev blogs. Unfortunately, the difference between old and new assets will be so great that there won't be a clear upgrade path, so existing projects will need to be remade from the ground up to support the new system. But again, Legacy assets aren't going anywhere in the foreseeable future—you can also complete your current projects using the existing tools and hold off on upgrading. The only catch is that Legacy products won't be receiving feature updates from now on—they will be updated for bug fixes only.

As these new Shaftworks assets are completely rebuilt from the ground up they will be considered separate products and therefore sold separately as well. Prices will be announced at a later date. While I know this decision won't sit well with many Edge Engine owners, I personally promise to you I will do my best to make the new tools worth it.

And I intend to prove it as well. In upcoming posts I will introduce some of the new concepts and functionality behind Shaftworks, as well as one of the projects it is being built for. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!