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GlitchSCG Profile
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Registered: 01-2005
Posts: 347
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SV6 running!


After a 2 year absence, I have a PrismServer running on a dedicated machine sitting in my living room, so SV6 is back in business.

Solar Vengeance has always been my vehicle for learning a new programming platform. I'm at a crossroads now, thinking I might like to dedicate the time to learn something new, but the future is so cloudy I'm not sure what technology to invest in. Should it be HTML5, iOS/Objective C, Windows Metro, or some Mobile framework? What are your thoughts? What platform should the next version of SV be written for?
3/3/2012, 6:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to GlitchSCG   Send PM to GlitchSCG
 
Viltris Profile
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Registered: 01-2005
Location: San Jose
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Re: SV6 running!


As someone who has worked in the web dev industry for a significant amount of time, I recommend *against* writing the new SV on HTML5. Not unless you want to have to deal with cross-browser compatibility issues, legacy browsers, and some of the worst documentation and debugging tools I have ever seen.

Random cool suggestions (with technologies I am not at all familiar with):
* making a Steam game
* making an Xbox game
* making a mobile game

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\/
4/2/2012, 3:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Viltris   Send PM to Viltris AIM
 
CyberTiger Profile
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Re: SV6 running!


*after passing thru a jungle of spiderwebs*
OMG I still remembered the password of this!
*ahem*

I'm into game design industry as well now, and yes, stay away from HTML5 and... sorry Glitch... Silverlight.

As the best platform for designing a game, while not so ideal for the specific case of SV, is OpenGL or Unity. Yes, I know, both are more for 3D based games, but for complexity and documentation, there's no error. Unity has a webplugin, and despite not very famous yet, it's extraordinarly simple for the user, while you still have the benefits of the Unity Engine, which is very well documented as well.

I've seen people saying that Flash is going to be discontinued on the future, but given how is HTML5 going, I don't think so. On the other hand, Flash is kind of "silly" for games because it's too limited and hardware inneficient (takes too much hardware for things too simple). But one thing seems quite clear for me: It's either Unity or Flash. Silverlight seems to have tried the jack-of-trades approuch and ended up as a master-of-none too. So if it's simple, Flash can do it very well, if it's too hardware demanding, Unity is there for you.

With OpenGL (So, programming in C++ or similar stuff - but not Java), you would reach far more options like consoles, and some portables have support for it (I think PSVita does). While it's not like a "omnioption", if you program it heavly based on OpenGL any changes on the source code because of the change of hardware are minimal, like 1 .h or .cc file out of 100.

For the case of SV tho, both Unity and OpenGL might not be such good options, since SV doesn't require so much graphical appearence, and the game is 2D based. Not that is a excuse to not use a 3D engine to a 2D game, it does can make it better looking regardless since you're using the power of the engine, but it's not like it's so necessary.

The only other engine that I could think of that could be good is Allegro, but I found out it doesn't behave so nicely with windows 7. I still wanna test it a bit more before abandoning it, but it's not like it is that good anyway. It's just the perfect engine for a 2D game for windows XP and below, but nothing beyond that.
4/20/2012, 8:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to CyberTiger   Send PM to CyberTiger
 
T2M Profile
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Registered: 04-2007
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Re: SV6 running!


HTML5 and Javascript is ready to use for game projects, atleast for abstract games like SV. The problem in fact is not crossbrowser testing but another one: For HTML5, Canvas and JS you'll require a Javascript framework. There are tons of them, but they are still under development, and you don't know which of them will cease to exist in 5 years and which of these frameworks will still be developed and maintained.

Since SV4 and SV5 and later SV6 died I continued to host SV4 with a hacked gameserver engine of SV4 build whatever. The real benefit of SV4 compared with SV5 and SV6: SV4 still runs perfectly even on 1920x1080px fullHD Windows7, this means even after more than 10 years the game engine runs nearly without problems, fast. SV4 provides the option of saving multiplayer matches. SV4 provides a very simple way to code scenarios and AI just with a simple in-game-editor. And the performance of SV4 is still beter than SV5 or I guess even SV6. The actual largest MP scenarios are gamma 2.6 and gamme 2.9; 2.9 is a galaxy with approx. 500 to 700 star systems.

The most important requirements for a new developement of "SV7":

(1) Serverfiles should be freeware. It should be possible for everyone to download the serverfiles to run a server. Severs and communities have to be maintained in the appropriate timezone and language(s).

(2) The sources might be open-source. Given the case that the developement will again stop for 3 or 5 years as we have seen that in the last 12 years several times, sources are the only option to re-compile the game and make minor changes.

(3) The programming language should enable players to play on windows, linux and mac. The number of languages and technologies that support this is limited.

(4) Webbased design concepts might be nice, but after 20 years of WWW the only constant in web GUIs is HTML and CSS. JApplets nearly ceased to exist. Flash AS2 is incompatible with AS3, and futher more Flash is more and more out. HTML5/Canvas/JS is cool for webdesign but not for a game like SV with tons of units and vector animation.

(5) The programming language, technology should be still in use even in 10 or 15 years. Look at SV4: If I would have the sources of SV4 and if these sources and also the programming language would be open-source I would have been able to re-compile and maintain the code the last approx. 8 years. Without these sources the only option was to hack SV4.

Summarized: When looking back 10 years and looking into classes in schools and universitities where 16 to 24 year old men and women are trained the basics of OOP, GUI and network programming for the first time the actual #1 in programming is JAVA. And 10 years ago it was also JAVA. And looking forward 10 years I guess that JAVA will still play an important role in education, because teachers are trained in teaching this language, and school systems are quite conservative.

The programming concept of the client-server architecture and communication is token based. One might say that there are meanwhile better options, but finally this concept is simple: Every student will understand that concept very fast. A JAVA IDE with eclipse / JAVA EE is free and can be downloaded in few minutes.

There are classes for JAVA with OpenGL, but also here I suggest to keep it simple. Stay with the basics. The most simple source code and technical concept has the benefit that learning the appropriate programming language and understanding the game architecture can be done in a few days, and maybe the basics are still tought in school.


JAVA swing components are part of most studies in school / university. Additional to that it is meanwhile possible especially when running JAVA on windows to use hardware based acceleration.

A simple way of installing clients is the JWS, java web start. When downloading the game from the webpage the client will have the option to install JAVA first if it is missing. Additional to that the client will have the option of installing the client just for this session or to install the game as offline game.

Finally it's up to Glitch. I'd choose JAVA anyway. Free. Long term supported. Part of education and thus offering the option of coding extensions. Client- and serverside programming with the same language. C/OpenGL etc. might be a more professional approach for game development, but we meanwhile know what will happen if the only developer does not have the time to support the project.

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T2M | SolarVengeance Org | Timezone UTC+2 Central Europe
6/30/2012, 5:14 am Link to this post Send Email to T2M   Send PM to T2M
 
GlitchSCG Profile
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Registered: 01-2005
Posts: 347
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Re: SV6 running!


I have decided to write a port of Solar Vengeance for the iPad in Objective C and OpenGL ES, using the cocos2d engine. In many ways for a developer spoiled by Visual Studio and C#, this is like going back to the Wild West of programming, but it had been fun so far. I already have the title screen where you can select your StarLord name and color, and some of the game model logic ported over emoticon
11/30/2012, 5:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to GlitchSCG   Send PM to GlitchSCG
 


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