|From:||Brandon J. Van Every|
|Subject:||Re: [Chicken-users] 3D games in Chicken|
|Date:||Mon, 13 Feb 2006 11:35:14 -0800|
|User-agent:||Thunderbird 1.5 (Windows/20051201)|
Peter Keller wrote:
I halfway agree with you. I'm first and foremost a game designer, although obviously I have a strong "technologist" streak in me as well if I'm worrying about AI and Chicken Scheme and so forth. I do believe in prototyping tools, with pencil and paper being my primary tools, but 3D frameworks are also such tools. The main reason I moved on to functional programming languages is C++ really failed me in the prototyping department, it was just too "stiff" for a lot of the geometry problems I was dealing with.On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 05:03:54AM -0800, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:"The Agar project produces a portable and window system independent graphics toolkit for SDL and OpenGL®. For a complete listing of what is included in the core Agar distribution, see the Agar libraries page.Honestly, I recommend having a good game design first (theme, hand drawn screen shots of everything, understanding all menu entries and what they do, description of play, etc), before doing anything. Once the game is set and you know it'll be fun and interesting (shop it around to a few of your friends), THEN start looking at languages/technology/platforms/APIs. Even writing in C and going for Windows isn't going to mean squat unless the game is fun to play and somehow distinguishes itself from others of its kind, or (nonintuitively) is a highly polished pinnacle of what a genre has to offer. First and formost, it has to be _fun_ and _addicting_.
I will reiterate my earlier post. In the absence of an extant codebase, if I'm going to be working on things "from scratch," the only games or game frameworks I'm interested in working on are my own. What I'm working on, are Turn Based Strategy games played on 2D hex or square tile maps. I think hex maps are a good way to do a wargame. For square tiles I'm actually interested in rather large, screen-aligned tiles, not isometric tiles. The point of such tiles would be to display elaborate tile artwork, rather like the face cards in a deck of playing cards. Also I should clarify, the projection of the 2D map doesn't have to be overhead, it could be looked at "landscape style" or freelooked or whatever. It would be a 3D game with 3D pieces, it's just that the game mechanical framework is fundamentally 2D. A typical Real Time Strategy game is still a quantized 2D game underneath it all. It's just played really really fast. I don't care about the RTS genre, but the framework I have in mind could be extended to that purpose. I don't intend to "fight" someone about RTS, as TBS is my priority. But if we could work it out amicably then that's fine. I do have a performance orientation even to TBS: there are often many many pieces to move around, and the user doesn't want to sit around waiting for that to happen.
So, for me, the "what am I doing?" phase is already decided. If anyone else is seriously interested in such a framework, and wants to deliver MIT licensed code, I may be interested in working with them. I'm leery of such things however because "hey let's do a project!" often just turns into a source of communications overhead with no actual productivity. Ergo I remain primarily focused on getting my own crap together. I've had would-be business partners in the past. They've had a tendency to go round and round in circles on what to do, for 2..3 months. Then when it's time to actually *do* something, they haven't delivered. So generally I bring a discussion to the point of, "Ok great! Here's a task. You do A and I'll do B," and then see if they actually do something. Typically they don't and then I forget about them and move on. I'm afraid I have enough difficulty managing my own productivity; I can't spend time marshalling other people. The most important quality in a potential business partner, is whether they just do things that need to be done, without much communications overhead or prompting.
If I wasn't working from scratch, if I was just refactoring a game that was at least "Beta" quality, my equation would be different. I'd be a lot more open to working on a project that isn't mine. The labor value of something that already basically works, that's ready to be tweaked for AI and game design, would outweigh my own project plans. Unfortunately I just surveyed Sourceforge and found nothing suitable. I'll take another stab at it; I'm wavering in my resistance to SDL, seeing as how Felix likes it, and Agar might be worth something beyond games. So SDL based projects might be more acceptable than I first thought. Still, my expectations on Sourceforge are not very high. Most of the good stuff is GPLed and I won't work on a GPLed project.
So for those who want to do a group 3D game project, I see 3 options:
1) work on my 2D hex framework thingy
2) suggest an extant, open source, not GPLed, beta-or-better quality game that can be tweaked
3) "race me" to see if by your own machinations of communication and prognostication, you come up with something that other people want to work on and successfully contribute to. :-)
It's really all a question of how firm a Vision you have, and what you like to work on. I've already got one, so I'm not abandoning it just for whatever. I fully understand if other people are so turned on by their own game ideas, that they're not interested in 2D hex frameworks or stuff on Sourceforge or whatever. I also know that arguing about "What game are we working on?" takes a long long time, like 3 months minimum, and doesn't lead to anything. So my list above is designed to short-circuit the process. Really the list is (1) decide, (2) review and decide, (3) wake me when it's over. :-)
Brandon Van Every
"The pioneer is the one with the arrows in his back."
- anonymous entrepreneur
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