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Mattias Gustavsson
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Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Royal Leamington Spa, UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject: [quote]

Just out of curiosity, what was it that led you to these web-based platforms in the first place? I mean, what are the benefits you get from them? (it might be obvious to some, but I am not familiar with those platorms at all)
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tcaudilllg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: [quote]

Well Linux has next to zero userbase and Windows breaks every five years when it's upgraded. I don't like it when my software breaks. On the downside, you have to cope with the fact that you rarely know whether or not its their code or yours which is the cause of a bug, particularly regarding their proprietary stuff like add-ons. It usually takes a couple days to get their attention and to figure out who is responsible and what to do about it. Like this time around, I'd opened the PNGs in text mode instead of binary. That little distinction caused the base 64 functions to create unreadable data. It was my fault that time, but there was a time last year when I really did find a bug in their file opening system, which prevented my code from working effectively. Also their documentation is very spotty, particularly for their add-on code. It's better now, but that was after I brought it to their attention that their bots had wiped out half the tutorial.... Most people are still making their add-ons with XUL, which causes them to break every couple versions. I'm using the SDK, which can be buggy and difficult to understand, but is very stable implementation-wise. The main thing, for me, is that fact that there's very little room on the internet for companies to push their agenda on customers, makes it very hard to obsolete and break code.

Time was I did this stuff in QB... man was that a waste of time! I could try QB 64, but then I'd have to deal with codecs and who knows how long the code will last? I don't have that problem with HTML.
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Mattias Gustavsson
Mage


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Royal Leamington Spa, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: [quote]

Yeah, I totally hear you on software breaking - I really hate that. I'm a bit surprised though, that you feel web technology is more stable. I feel that there's even less stability in web tech, the cycles are shorter, there are more competing techs, and more companies trying to push their agendas and cause lock-in where they can...Maybe that's just me thought :P

I guess for me, the ideal would be if there existed a simple, truly open source, and very small/easily maintainable, platform abstraction, with a decent programming environment on top of it. Something which wasn't owned by anyone, so could be patched and fixed by anyone as time goes by. The key thing though, would be that it should be super small - not a whole engine, just the platform abstractions. And in a runnable form (like, an EXE) not in the form of an SDK you build against.
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tcaudilllg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: [quote]

I agree, but where's the money to do that? Who has the time? Besides I believe VERGE was such a project. Ika was that in the absolute. It was also slow as hell and relied on Python for its scripting.

There's also the problem of security... a lot of bugs are in Windows and a lot of the fixes in Firefox aren't for Firefox at all... they are for Windows. Personally I enjoy the convenience of running my game maker in my web browser. Again the big point of using Firefox is that Mozilla is a movement, as opposed to just a company, and that gives it staying power. MS will break stuff because it does not, probably never will give a damn. It lords over everyone. CPU technology is reaching its zenith... we have the ability to go on but we lack the power to exercise it. The next generation of CPUs will probably be the last barring some major increase in efficiency, which is probably impossible. It take a lot of juice to run 16 cores, and we simply cannot create an economy of scale around that much power and expense (well we could if we went renewable and solar, but that hasn't happened yet).

Oh and finally, "open-source" and "small/maintainable" don't belong in the same sentence. ;)

Looking at the evidence, web tech is very stable. Pages created two decades ago are still viewable on just about every browser. Sure, frames have fallen out of vogue (although I still make use of them), but that's about the only thing I can think of that Netscape created that hasn't endured.
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Mattias Gustavsson
Mage


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Royal Leamington Spa, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: [quote]

I'll probably end up with something like it for my own projects - I need something to run my games on. Making a small C/C++ core runtime environment, with a simple VM to implement my games on, would make sense to me. Then I can keep fixing the small runtime whenever it breaks on new system (you can almost always fix up C/C++ code - it just takes more time the more code it is, which is why the core needs to be so small). If/when I do make a system like that, I would release it opensource, but I still doubt it would be used by others - since I want to keep it small/simple, it would probably not be as feature rich as others would like.

My point being, everybodys trade offs look different. Maybe the best all of us can do is to keep picking whatever tech seems least "sucky" for what we want to make, and then just slog through the bad bits :-/ Game conservation becomes the main concern, then...
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tcaudilllg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2002
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Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: [quote]

There's work no matter which way you go. If you make your own browser or OS... that's a ton of work. Very, very lonely work. Talk of a major fork is a ban-worthy offense on MozillaZine (first-hand experience). At the end of the day, I'm not just a tool maker. I'm also a designer. I actually make stuff with my tools. I don't have the time to rebel against the big boys and actually pull off my aim, and few others with the talent feel the incentive.

Another thing for me, is that expertise in C++ is a skill in-and-of itself. It's not the same language it was 20 years ago. I honestly haven't managed to grasp many of the newer elements, because they are extremely convoluted and abstract from my standpoint. As I said before if I was going to use anything it'd be QB64, which is actually little more than a translator from BASIC to C++.

At the end of the day, people just don't understand Windows and they don't understand Windows applications. They understand the internet and the fundamentals of using a web browser. They can navigate websites. That's it. It may seem like a superficial distinction, between a website and a Windows app, but the significance is real. You can host a flash game on a website, and exponentially more people will play it than if it's a Maker game regardless of the difference in quality. Stupid people are a fact of life... successful design accommodates this stupidity (hence the popularity of Google).


Last edited by tcaudilllg on Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mattias Gustavsson
Mage


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Royal Leamington Spa, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:51 am    Post subject: [quote]

Yeah, I get your point (and it is true, these things can be a massive time sink). I wasn't thinking of making a custom OS or browser though, just make a simple runtime core which can run on top of any OS (different code paths for different ones, of course, and maintained with fixes when breaking OS changes happen).

Agreed on C++ as well, I would more likely go with C (or a C subset of C++) as it is less likely to change/evolve.

I would definitely use a BASIC style language for my games if I could. I was always very productive in BASIC.
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www.mattiasgustavsson.com - My blog
www.rivtind.com - My Fantasy world and isometric RPG engine
www.pixieuniversity.com - Software 2D Game Engine
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Mattias Gustavsson
Mage


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Royal Leamington Spa, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: [quote]

Re. the edit: I guess I don't have that problem so much, as I am not really targeting the stupids - I know this limits my audience, but I'm fine with that...
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www.rivtind.com - My Fantasy world and isometric RPG engine
www.pixieuniversity.com - Software 2D Game Engine
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:11 am    Post subject: [quote]

At this point I'm leaning in a couple directions:
- 3D map design (using CSS 3D transforms)
- a music studio applet which uses WebAudio.

Most of my goals for the project are complete. These are what remain. I could also integrate a multiplayer aspect with WebRTC and/or PHP, but at this point it's kinda pointless. I've isolated the appeal of 2D games vs 3D games to the music: the music is the equalizer because between the action and the music, the perspective aspect becomes nearly superfluous. Depends on the setting and action involved, however, and the mood of the player.

It took a while (just 22 years!) but I finally mastered the art of spiriting. Made lots of graphics for the tactics RPG I'm working on. Still lots more to go though. I find myself conceptually stonewalled for the time being... gonna rip some more tiles for Inspragal and see if I can find inspiration somewhere.
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tcaudilllg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: [quote]

The challenges of the tactics RPG have had me thinking about interface improvements. In particular I think I'm gonna add more controls to the overlay panel. Kind surprised, but there it is: I really don't like dealing with lots of text when laying stuff out. Logic is fine... layout, not so much. Of course I type all my HTML by hand, but this is kind of different. Actually I could imagine myself using the approach I've got in mind for any nested controls approach... but coding HTML doesn't really bother me, just coding game interfaces in it does.
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: [quote]

Course change: I had linked the fonts to the tiletext canvases. Now I'm rearranging them so that they are native to the board itself. The board retains them as a kind of ether from which tiletext canvases draw... should be a lot simpler.
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Finally completed my Stats course... a milestone in my life, and the fruit of my own strategy.

Been working on Gamestar throughout the month. Just about got all the bugs ironed out, I think. The sprite drawer is completely functional, and the interface designer GUI is in place. Also finally added in commands to draw on canvas elements placed over the playfield. Will be adding more in the coming months, until parity with CT's engine is reached.

And 3d... I think the time for it is dawning. I will probably have it completed by summer. We'll see.

Chrome's war on Microsoft (and on Linux) continues, and as such there can be no port there. Firefox only still!
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tcaudilllg
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Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:03 am    Post subject: [quote]

Gamestar reached maturity, and I actually produced a demo with it. Yes, I've actually made something. It don't last more than a couple minutes, but it's an interesting couple minutes.

It, and the latest version of Gamestar, are available for download from the Gamestar FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/230868087026986/
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1728
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: [quote]

I've not worked on Gamestar since fall. Firefox continues to weaken and HTML 5 itself is looking increasingly precarious as a game platform. The Google/Microsoft alliance obliterates all before it. I keep on considering what to do next. I think Gamestar does stuff right and I have more improvements in mind... but neither do I think it wise to do it all myself... nothing is clear yet though.
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DeveloperX
202192397


Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 1624
Location: Decatur, IL, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:36 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Don't give up the ship. HTML5 and ECMAScript 6 is where it's at, and, chrome is the only browser worth supporting in this day and age.
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