Well.. i joined a so called "Game Jam" this weekend and i thought i should do something different from what i usually do in situations like these: try out the new features in this version - with a purpose.
So, in short they made some changes to the action actuator, properties and also (my personal favourite) added a mouse actuator with mouse visibility and mouse look. However.. these features are not as "yay" as they sound.
In game jams you have a certain amount of time to finish the game. You make all the assets, scenes, animations, sound and music etc. From scratch. It's very time consuming, educating and fun to say the least. But with this there is a cost: play it safe and do what you can, or play your wildcards and experiment - which i did.
My game was a first person shooter with a bow set in a futuristic tron-esque area with several targets which popped up here and there on different times. I also added unlockables such as new music depending on how good you did and an expanding level based on your score. Since i wanted to add some competition to it (because everyone else made multiplayer games) i added a timer to it. So you basically had to do your best right of the bat, and you only had 30 seconds to do it.
It was a fun project and i will experiment more with it down the line, but as for now i will leave this game jam behind me with the conclusion that the Game Engine in 2.72 is more stable, much more enjoyable to use but also far more buggy then 2.70 (i skipped 2.71).
Some of the major bugs are as following: even if the threshold is set to 0 on the mouse-look it still finds a way to get stuck on pixels here and there (the threshold basically controls the grid of the mouse-look where 0 = no grid), so pin-point aiming is a no-no. This is a known bug though.
The next one is a tricky one: the standalone player lags on Mac OSX when you use mouse-look. The animations play 4 or 5 of the total frames in the action, and this doesn't work for a fast paced archery range shooter with a timer based on real seconds.
Another bug is that some old python scripts simply don't want to work as intended - at all. Physics related scripts have to be edited with new code and "updated". This makes a lot of sense but it is still tedious (backwards compatibility please.....). I think this is because of the new python 3 syntax. But i don't know if blender updated to python 3 yet.
So anyway.. the new features are great fun to play around with and i am gonna push the mouse look to its limits when i am on my desktop again because i think that stuff was related to the computer i used and/or the OS. I hope so at least. I will keep a look out for a stable version of the new features in the game engine none the less.
Also, if you ever get the chance i highly recommend that you join a Game Jam. Not to compete but to learn, experience an environment filled with people like yourself and also to try something out of the ordinary in order to challenge yourself, and you will also make new friends. I had a blast and so did the rest of us.
Have you tried the new features in 2.72? If so, what did you think and how was your experience?