Some recent threads about 3D features have diverged into discussions of whether Gideros should support 3D at all, or just focus on being the best 2D game engine it can be. I'm posting this to give that specific debate its own thread.
Anyone who's seen my recent posts will know I'm on the side of supporting 3D, though not necessarily trying to become a full-featured 3D game engine. The recent developments in 3D support are powerful enough that I've decided my next release will be a 3D game built with Gideros, and while there are 3D features I'd be happy to have and would use, I don't expect or even want Gideros to ever try to offer the kind of 3D support that an engine like Unity provides. I'd much rather have a thin layer over a common 3D engine like OpenGL, than a highly proprietary 3D system with its own steep learning curve like Unity.
I recently mentioned in a post that I anticipate spending between 1,000 and 2,000 hours on my current game project, a 3D fishing game. I know some Gideros users like to produce a new game in a week or two of work, so I can imagine someone seeing my post thinking "Hold up - if a 3D game takes that long to develop, I'm officially on team 2D." So I'm going to offer a rebuttal that that argument just in case anyone is thinking that:
The game I'm currently working on would take at least 1,000 hours even if I stuck to a 2D format. It's true that supporting 3D will take more time, but not by a huge amount, and I think the value of the resulting game will justify the extra time. The design of this game is something I've had in mind for years, and I've written up a lot of the details, but suffice to say it involves infinite content, a simple experience for the new user, a gradual ramp up to very sophisticated play for the most serious users, and my goal is to create a game that retains players for the long term as they rise in levels and compete for the top spots on the leader boards. While I love the idea of taking a new game from concept to publication in a week or so, the games that make the money that pay my bills have been long-term projects, things I developed with the goal of making something that's better than the best games in their niche markets.
I think someone could create a fully playable 3D game in Gideros very quickly, almost as quickly as someone could crank out a simple but fun 2D game. Yes, that assumes you have 3D modeling skills, just like developing a 2D game requires you to have 2D graphic design skills. But I think it can be done, and I'm tempted to do so to prove the point. So the next time I have a good block of unbroken development time in front of me, I'm going to try to do that. I'll see how quickly I can create a playable 3D game with Gideros, and share the code when I'm done. I'm thinking it might be a 3D vehicle swerving to dodge boulders, or a 3D spaceship dodging asteroids... In any case I won't use any existing 3D models. If I can whip something up in 20 hours or less, I'll make a tutorial out of the process. That just sounds like so much fun to me right now...
Of course I'm not going to try to convince anybody that their game should be 3D and not 2D. That depends on the nature of the game in question, and the skill set of the developer. There's plenty of market for 2D games, and Gideros is an outstanding platform for creating those. But I believe it can be a very viable 3D platform while remaining an excellent 2D platform.