Matthew Hopwood of AGB Games on the Amazing WFR Engine
Mat: The GBA is at heart a 2D machine, but fortunately Nintendo added a half-decent CPU and 256 and 32,768 colour display modes, which are all you need really to create 3D games. Any type of 3D on such a limited device is going to be difficult, its just a case of making the best of every single polygon that you have. What are your plans for the engine; other than its continued development? Are you working on any actual games or do you plan to license the technology? Is a Quake game a real-possibility? Mat: We have a dozen game proposals that all utilise OHE, WFR engines or a combination of both. We hope to either place some of these projects with a publisher or work on publisher specific titles that utilise our technology. As far as licensing to other developers goes, that is something we are considering.
I gather the engine can also be used for other hand-held devices such
As PDAs; how does the technology scale between this and the GBA? What are the various advantages and disadvantages of each platform?
Mat: As an example, a Pocket PC version of any products that we create using our technologies will differ in the following ways:
Our technology has been designed with scalability in mind from the start, so upon the advent of GBA2, we simply switch up the parameters of the renderer and all our current tech and games will run using the better capabilities of GBA2. Do you believe a game the scale of Quake could be squeezed onto the GBA's tiny cartridges? Why did you choose Quake to showcase your technology? Mat: Absolutely. It will mean some loss in the complexity of the Geometry and possibly sprite based characters, but I'm confident that it would still feel the same. The test Quake level was something that we did for the fun of it and when we saw it running on GBA we were quite taken aback. Were we ever to create Quake on GBA, we would like to make it mission based and bring elements of gameplay across from some of the new FPS's.
What are your plans and aspirations for the engine's future? Mat: We are currently creating other environments to demonstrate the flexibility of our technologies. (We will have shots and footage to show this soon) We would like to be producing a number of games utilising our technologies, but without publisher backing, producing a game on GBA could prove to be a waste of time, no matter how good the game is.
Finally, when can gamers get hold of something to play that uses the WFR engine? I'm itching to see what it can do. Mat: We have put a heck of a lot of work into our technologies and game proposals, so we hope that this hard work pay off soon, then everyone will be playing our games! Thanks for your time, Matthew, and best of luck with AGB's developments. Further images demonstrating the engine's versatility, can be found here.