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Author Topic: Bare Bones and Raw Meat  (Read 14600 times)
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dracolytch
Guest
« on: October 18, 2007, 09:45:22 PM CEST »

Hey folks...

Having a down day game-wise (BLAH!), and I got thinking about development my next project so that I can focus on moving forward...

I spent a lot of time re-doing the same thing a lot of us have done: Creating a title screen, main menu, option panel, game buttons, etc.

We have a "bare bones" project that helps start development, but I honestly think we could take a step further and put together a "raw meat" project that will allow us a faster way to start a project. Some of the demos are kind of there, but they also contain a lot of educational stuff you have to rip out.

I'd like to open-source it so that different people could add their individual parts. I know sourceforge is one popular host for these kinds of projects, does anyone know of another? (Preferably one that uses subversion?)

Here's what I was thinking:

Start the game in an intro widget, which displays the developer / publisher / game title, and simultaneously loads resources. Have the image resources there and let the developer overwrite the images with their own.

Once the game is loaded, transition to a main menu. The main menu will contain:
 - Start game button
 - Current user display
 - Change user button
 - Options button (Music, sfx, 3d, fullscreen, credits button)

We'd also need the following dialogs:
 - User management
 - Credits (read from a standard file, scroll... No biggie)
 - Confirm exit
 - In-game options menu

We can also include a simple game which does very little, just as a placeholder so that all of the buttons do something.

I'm guessing it'd be a good idea to include some very simple placeholder theming.

Am I missing any components that get used and re-used constantly? Is this the kind of thing people would like to see? Is this the kind of project people would like to help with?

~D
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vortex
Guest
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 10:32:42 PM CEST »

Sounds like an interesting idea but care would need to be taken because every game would have different menu elements and different credit screens, ect.

It would probally greatly help newbies though and it would give a nice starting point.
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monkeymook
Guest
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 07:56:05 AM CEST »

This is very weird as I've been working on a 'DialogManager' class this week... have you been asking Terminal#JPoag some in-depth questioning? Cheesy

Anyhoo... I was planning on releasing it this coming week, everything is in place, I've got it right now integrated around the innards of demo5.

I've added everything you mentioned Draco, minus the credits screen as it would normally be a widget not a dialog in my projects but I suppose I could add that in here too.

Atm I'm just resizing them so that they all fit with the dialog images that come with the demo's.

Also, I have all the dialog's written out so that they slide into view like the ones used in Peggle and a sound sample can be played(like a swoosh noise), but they can be avoided if your game doesn't suit it.
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W.P. van Paassen
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 01:55:52 PM CEST »

Great idea, I think this is very useful so you can count me in, currently it takes me way too much time to easily create screens/dialogs. It's also very usable when working on a prototype.

Isn't JPoag working on a GUI editor? Maybe we can integrate it with his editor.

If we design it from the start with support for plugins it can be very flexible in the end and will be usable by both 'power' users and newbies.

Cheers
WP
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dracolytch
Guest
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 02:46:12 PM CEST »

James,

I've lost track. How's your GUI stuff been?

I've also been considering a way to script some of the look/feel of widgets instead of hard-code it, to avoid lots of recompile time while nudging a button "just 5 more pixels", but if the GUI editor is doing well, they're basically solving the same problem.

~D
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JPoag
Guest
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2007, 03:37:50 PM CEST »

The news is that this Summer, I started re-writing the Sexy GUI Base code to use free code.  Also, I was slimming it down and re-writing some hairy spots.

I had gotten the editor Vista compatible and mostly finished the New Resource Manager:

http://www.jamespoag.com/Res_Man.jpg

Including reading/writing resource.xml files and adding/deleting resources and resource groups, when Paul suggested that he needed some way to make Help animations.  Help animations soon developed into full fledge movies, like Flash, only natively rendered (to support things like Alpha).

I have already developed an Editor that was similar to Flash for this game: http://www.applebitgames.com   All I needed to do was add support for key framing.

Recently, I had done some work that translates very well into tweening key frames.

So I branched off a separate project based on the Editor code that I had so far (exactly like what I did for Sexy HGE Editor).

What I have so far is this:

http://www.jamespoag.com/Sexy_Anim.jpg
http://www.jamespoag.com/movie.swf

I have a lot of things working (movie saving and loading and playing Wink ), but I need to: smooth out some know rough edges and then find a lot of flash animators to help me design the interface and work flow.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 03:57:31 PM CEST by JPoag » Logged
JPoag
Guest
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2007, 03:46:56 PM CEST »

So about the GUI Editor.  My priorities are focused on the Animation Editor.  I don't really see the GUI editor being anything difficult to accomplish.

I'm really interested in the idea for scripting the placement of widgets (and images and text).  Originally, I wanted to generate large portions of code (which I still can I guess) but I think you're right that a scripting system would be better.

I was thinking about using PopLua (when and if it comes out).  However, I would be open to some sort of XML type placements.

Also, there are some possibilities that my priorities might change in the next several months, so don't get too excited.
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vortex
Guest
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 05:43:49 PM CEST »

That is quite cool Smiley. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help JPoag!
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JPoag
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 07:11:05 PM CEST »

Sure, Call me James.
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vortex
Guest
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 09:08:07 PM CEST »

Cool, thanks James.
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dracolytch
Guest
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 11:12:28 PM CEST »

I'm getting things set up in visual studio express 2008... So far, so good. I have a successful build/run of demo1. (Thanks again for that walkthrough... The very first part on how to configure the include/lib is bloody handy, since I never remember that stuff)

Anyway, I'm looking through the code, and I'm trying to figure out: Is there any real disadvantage to using the WideString solution instead of the normal solution? I'm just trying to figure out which solution I should use as a baseline.

~D
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David
Guest
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2007, 03:46:42 AM CEST »

With widestring you'll have to set your projects up for UNICOWS if you want support on Windows 98/ME.  If you don't intend to support those, then by all means, use the wide string version.
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dracolytch
Guest
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2007, 06:44:15 AM CEST »

At less than 2% of the install base, I'm comfortable with just using widestring from here out... Especially since there's such an international audience here.

If someone really wants to capture that extra bit, I'm sure they'll either get UNICOWS working, or copy their code to a non-widestring solution.

Anybody have strong objections to that (or different install base numbers for the causal game market)?

~D
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dracolytch
Guest
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2007, 02:14:01 PM CEST »

I've started putting design documents together, if anyone's interested. I figure I'm going to add my transition stuff, and see what I can take of the dialog manager.

~D
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W.P. van Paassen
Guest
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 09:25:08 PM CET »

Quote from: dracolytch
I've started putting design documents together, if anyone's interested.
~D


I'm interested.

Personally I would like to see this evolve into an 'in-game' GUI editor. So when compiling for debug the editor is linked in and you can create/change the GUI of your game on the fly. In this way you don't depend on a standalone editor and it's portable from the start. Besides that, it's cool to reach the point from where you create your GUI editor from within your GUI editor :-)

cheers
WP
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