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Bent

Double Fine Technology Rundown

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As someone who is curious about game development as I've been watching the Amnesia Fortnight stream and episodes I've kept a word doc open and have been jotting down any technical bits I see so I could Google them later on. Below is a list of specialized tools I've noticed being used at Double Fine to make games.

Items in the list marked as unconfirmed are tools I think were used during Amnesia Fortnight but haven't yet seen anyone in the stream actually using them to make games. I'll try to keep the list up to date over the next couple of days as I see more stuff from the stream and people suggest additions.

Cheers,

--Bent

Project Management

Methodology

Scrum : [D3P1 @00:29:42]

A form of the Agile software development methodology, Scrum is used by Double Fine to coordinate and direct the process of creating the Amnesia Fortnight prototypes. The teams' morning meetings known as standups, are part of the Scrum methodology.

Communication

Goggle+ Hangouts : [E1 @00:19:28]

A free service offered as part of Google+ that is used for teleconferencing via the Internet with team members not based in the Double Fine office.

Scrumptious (unconfirmed)

A custom software tool written be Double Fine for use in conjunction with Scrum. Exact feature list and spelling of the name are unknown.

Trillian : [D8P1 @7:11:36]

An instant message client. Instant messages are used for quick communication among team members.

Version Control

Perforce : [D8P1 @07:20:20]

Version control software used to manage the changes to resources (e.g. code, art, audio) in a collaborative environment.

Authoring Tools

Art

Flash (unconfirmed)

Used to create 2D animations. The specific Flash authoring tools used by Double Fine are unknown.

Maya - With Custom Plug-ins : [D2P3 @1:06:00]

A tool used to create 3D geometry and animations. Maya is used to create and animate the following assets: character models, rigs, and environment. Maya is also used to specify gameplay related data such as bounding boxes and trigger volumes. Double Fine uses an unknown variety of Maya plug-ins to add functionality to Maya. The specific version of Maya used by Double Fine is unknown. A free student version of Maya is available.

Photoshop : [D2P3 @2:20:00]

A tool used to create 2D assets. The exact version of Photoshop used by Double Fine is unknown.

Tiled Map Editor : [D5P3 @00:00:08]

A free tile map editor used by the Hack 'n' Slash team to lay out the prototype's levels.

Audio

Logic Pro : D3P2 @0:35:00]

A program used to capture, create, and edit audio. The specific version of Logic Pro used by Double Fine is unknown.

Pro Tools : [D4P1 @1:16:35]

A suit of programs used to capture, create, and edit audio. The specific version of Pro Tools used by Double Fine is unknown.

Programming

Crimson Editor : [D3P2 @1:16:44]

A free text editor designed for use with code.

Sublime Text 2 (unconfirmed)

A text editor with support for editing code. I could swear I glimpsed someone using Sublime Text but I'm now unable to locate the footage.

2HB IDE : [E2 @00:14:04]

A custom IDE created by Double Fine for creating game specific code for Double Fine's custom version of the Moai game engine.

Vim : [D3P2 @0:24:00]

A free text editor with support for editing code.

Visual C++ IDE : [D6P2 @00:49:44]

Part of Visual Studio, Visual C++ is an IDE. The Buddha engine was written using Visual C++. A free lite version of Visual C++ is available.

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Core Technologies

Engines : [D1P1 @1:31:00]

Buddha : [D6P2 @00:52:57]

Double Fine's custom 3D engine. Used for Autonomous, Black Lake, and The White Birch. The Buddha engine is written in Visual C++. For games using the Buddha engine game specific code is primarily written in Visual C++ and to a lesser extent in Lua.

Moai - Custom Version : [E3 @00:26:22]

An open source 2D engine. A heavily customized version of Moai is used for Hack 'n' Slash and Spacebase. The Moai engine itself is written in C++ with game specific code primarily written in Lua and to a lesser extent in C++.

Engines - Middleware

Bink Video (unconfirmed)

A video codec designed for use with games. Mentioned on the Amnesia Fortnight splash screen for Hack 'n' Slash at [AFGF P2 @00:25:09] it's unknown whether Bink Video was used in the development of Hack 'n' Slash or if the splash screen shown is a generic Amnesia Fortnight splash screen.

FMOD (unconfirmed)

FMOD appears to be a suite of products that includes various code libraries intended for use with game engines to allow for the easy integration of sound into the engines. The FMOD suite also appears to include a sound authoring program used to create sounds for use with the FMOD code libraries. It's unclear as to whether Double Fine uses the authoring program or just the libraries.

Scaleform (unconfirmed)

Mentioned by Chris Remo at [D8P1 @00:13:54] I'm not entirely sure what this is or how it's used. From the Scalform website I gather that it's used to allow game developers to use Flash to create game UI. I can't quite tell how Scaleform is integrated into the various engines, what the workflow involving Scaleform looks like, or what games it's being used for (Autonomous?).

Texture Packer (unconfirmed)

A utility used to automatically create sprite-sheets and related data. Double Fine has used Texture Packer on other projects but it's use in Amnesia Fortnight is unknown.

Programming Languages

C++ : [D8P1 @6:40:00]

The Moai engine is written in C++ and the Buddha engine is primarily written in Visual C++. For games using the Buddha engine game specific code is primarily written in Visual C++.

Lua : [E2 @00:14:04]

Lua is the primary language used when creating game specific code for games using the Moai engine. Lua is also used to create some game specific code for games using the Buddha engine.

Python (unconfirmed)

The 2HB IDE is written in Python. It's use during Amnesia Fortnight is unknown.

Lamps

OttLite Natural Daylight Desk Lamp : [E0 @00:01:16]

A tool used to provide light to otherwise dark areas. This tool and others like it throughout the office allow Double Fine employees to work in environments that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to work in.

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Unidentified Tech

Unknown Shader Language : [E4 @00:04:08]

A shader language. I don't know enough about this stuff to be able to identify which language is being used in the clip but my research indicates that it's most likely HLSL or GLSL. Given that these prototypes are targeted at Microsoft Windows if I had to guess I'd guess that it's HLSL.

Unknown Interactive Pen Tablet Display : [E4 @00:17:04]

An unknown interactive pen tablet display on the desk of Levi Ryken. It looks similar to but different from the current Cintiq 22HD. Earlier model perhaps?

Douglas : [D4P1 @5:04:00]

A utility used by Drew Skillman to edit visual effects. Likely a custom plug-in for Maya, what kind of effects it can edit and how those effects are changed is unknown.

GRaPe : [E5 @00:09:03]

A utility of unknown origin, perhaps a custom plug-in for Maya, used by Jane Ng to adjust effects parameters that control the appearance of fog effects. What kind of effects this tool can edit and how those effects are changed is unknown.

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[uPDATE] Unknown Text Editor : [D3P2 @1:16:44] has been identified as Crimson Editor. Crimson Editor added to Authoring Tools -> Programming.

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[uPDATE] Unknown Audio Authoring Program : [D3P2 @0:35:00] has been identified as Logic Pro. Logic Pro added to Authoring Tools -> Audio.

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[uPDATE] Added Bink Video to Core Technologies -> Engines - Middleware.

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Cool thread! Here are some clarifications.

Scrumptious (unconfirmed)

A custom software tool written be Double Fine for use in conjunction with Scrum. Exact feature list and spelling of the name are unknown.

This is correct, but it's spelled Scrumtious. It was written by producer Gabe Miller--it was the first thing he did when hired by DF years ago.

Flash (unconfirmed)

Used to create 2D animations. The specific Flash authoring tools used by Double Fine are unknown.

We also use Scaleform to integrate Flash UI elements into the actual game engines. (Edit: Oh I see you mention this later.)

Maya - With Custom Plug-ins : [D2P3 @1:06:00]

A tool used to create 3D geometry and animations. Maya is used to create and animate the following assets: character models, rigs, and environment. Maya is also used to specify gameplay related data such as bounding boxes and trigger volumes. Double Fine uses an unknown variety of Maya plug-ins to add functionality to Maya. The specific version of Maya used by Double Fine is unknown. A free student version of Maya is available.

We use Maya 2012.

Photoshop : [D2P3 @2:20:00]

A tool used to create 2D assets. The exact version of Photoshop used by Double Fine is unknown.

We use various versions. I have CS5.1 64-bit but I'm sure people around the studio have various versions depending on when their license was purchased.

Tiled Map Editor : [D5P3 @00:00:08]

A free tile map editor used by the Hack 'n' Slash team to lay out the prototype's levels.

Spacebase used this too! Well, not for layout, but for tile creation.

Audio

Logic Pro : D3P2 @0:35:00]

A program used to capture, create, and edit audio. The specific version of Logic Pro used by Double Fine is unknown.

I'm the only one who uses Logic in the office. I use Logic Pro 9.

Sublime Text 2 (unconfirmed)

A text editor with support for editing code. I could swear I glimpsed someone using Sublime Text but I'm now unable to locate the footage.

I do! Good eye. Maybe others do too? For actual game development I just used the 2HB IDE because it has our debugging tools etc., but I often read code in Sublime Text because I'm used to it, and I do all Double Fine web development in it.

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FMOD (unconfirmed)

FMOD appears to be a suite of products that includes various code libraries intended for use with game engines to allow for the easy integration of sound into the engines. The FMOD suite also appears to include a sound authoring program used to create sounds for use with the FMOD code libraries. It's unclear as to whether Double Fine uses the authoring program or just the libraries.

We use Fmod Designer. The sounds and music cues themselves are designed elsewhere (in my case in Logic Pro; for everyone else, Pro Tools), and then the sound events (ie, the actual instantiations of those sounds/cues) are authored in Fmod Designer. It allows you to do things like associate dozens of different footstep sounds with a single audio event, and only have to call that one event from within the game. The Fmod libraries are used in both our Buddha and Moai/2HB engines.

OttLite Natural Daylight Desk Lamp : [E0 @00:01:16]

A tool used to provide light to otherwise dark areas. This tool and others like it throughout the office allow Double Fine employees to work in environments that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to work in.

Hahaha!

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Is Scrumtious available in any form for use outside of DF? I am about to start my first Scrum project and Gabe's software looks fantastic!

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Is Scrumtious available in any form for use outside of DF? I am about to start my first Scrum project and Gabe's software looks fantastic!

Nope, it currently only exists on our internal network. We just don't really have the bandwidth to support free non-game software externally, sadly.

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Wow, I've never been so fascinated and yet completely confused! And useless too.

On a side note, I noticed the Brutal Legend engine hasn't been mentioned lately. I think I saw a thread where it was used for The Cave, but all these games use something else, as well as DFA. Is Double Fine sort of retiring the BL engine in favor of more open source engine?

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Wow, I've never been so fascinated and yet completely confused! And useless too.

On a side note, I noticed the Brutal Legend engine hasn't been mentioned lately. I think I saw a thread where it was used for The Cave, but all these games use something else, as well as DFA. Is Double Fine sort of retiring the BL engine in favor of more open source engine?

What games do you mean by "all these games"? The Brutal engine was used in three of the five Amnesia Fortnight games, and all of our 3D games since Brutal Legend. It will continue to be used for our 3D games.

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I'm pretty sure I saw Decoda being used somewhere in the DFA videos. I only noticed because it's made by Unknown Worlds (another SF based company, makers of Natural Selection 2!) who I'm also a fan of and have been following closely. :)

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