E-Mods.net => Offtopic => Redemption: Source (Open Discussions) => Topic started by: Javokis on 2008-03-15, 14:01:18

Title: Port idea
Post by: Javokis on 2008-03-15, 14:01:18
I resently ran across a program called GZ Doom that looked like a completely custom made open source engine. The engine requires that you have the original doom games installed to play. I was thinking that maybe instead of creating a HL2 mod, perhaps we could find a way to make something like GZ Doom where we create our own engine that can read all of the content of the Redemption game folder itself, add in additional capabilities like reading other animation file formats, level files, texture formats, ect, making it an open source modable engine that extends (and requires) the original Redemption game. This new engine would use an expandable Java based play ground that is compatible with Redemption's current Java scripts along with all of the new versions of Java, allowing us to code with the newest Java API system.

The engine should have OpenGL for compatibility with Mac and Linux users along with taking advantage of DX10 for those Vista users. That way, we can give the game a face lift without having to worry about possible copy right issues. That way, we wont have to worry about HL2 being obsolete by the time we start working on this project. Because at this point I wont know how to do any of this till years from now. Besides we need an engine that can easily load levels into a buffer system. HL2 has a very slow level loading system and adding a buffer only makes it slower. We need to build something faster - as fast as the original Redemption game was so that online support wont be tediously slow and have issues with hubbed levels. HL2 does not support level hubs online very well because it's level buffering is rather inefficient.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Azraelthe7th on 2008-03-16, 21:52:10
Well, for some time, I was thinking of maybe using the Sauerbraten (http://sauerbraten.org/) engine instead, as it is open source and fully modifiable.  I was hesitant to proposed it since we had agreed to work with Source, but if we are going to propose other engines, I think this one could do.  Also, one of the engine's programmers worked on the Far Cry engine.

I know the Quake II's code has been released under GPL too, and that could be another alternative.

However, I want to point out one reason I wanted to go with Source was that it came with tools for things like facial animation and scene setup, which does help in telling a story, as well as a pretty good physics engine, which can be nice for certain effects (capes and rag dolls among others) and funny for other things (aforementioned rag dolls).

Rendering-wise, I'm finding myself to be more and more a fan of OpenGL (and you've likely read my insane ramblings about OGL 3) since it is cross-platform, but if we can get DX10 support for those who want it, then more power to them.

So, I guess we should suggest engines we think would work best and vote for which one we go for?
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Javokis on 2008-03-16, 22:34:56
As a beginner, I started looking at the Dark GDK Engine, which is available at Microsoft as a free Visual Studio Express game developement kit- only to help me learn some stuff about C++ again. I doudt that the engine would serve our needs, but I do find its ease of use quite gratifying. It's very easy to install and can read bsp files, but engineering a .nil reader + multiple scene layers is something currently beyond my skills, but I still hold interest in this direction as it will allow us greater room to experiment.

I start school again on the 31st of this month. Perhaps I can study some more coding during that time. Last I checked the C# class does cover game coding and the language has similarities to C++, but we'll see how things go in a few months.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Azraelthe7th on 2008-03-17, 13:56:54
So...what do we do?  Continue with Source (and maybe start looking for additional team members for things like level design and engine know-how) or simply look at alternatives while working on things like character models and environment designs?

One thing to note is that if you're able to handle C-type code, you're at a big programming advantage.  As far as I can tell, C in general (and C++ particularly) are very fast, very efficient coding languages that allow for quick execution of multiple tasks.  Look at the Virtua Fighter game series.  The precision at which you can input commands is astounding.

Hell, even on the OS side of things, I much prefer working on Linux because it's faster and more efficient than Windows, and it's likely because it's coded in C.  Also, according to the Wikipedia entry, C,C++, and C# are fairly compatible with one another, so understanding one could potentially lead to understanding another.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: ORI on 2008-03-20, 12:08:20
C is not exactly the same category as its older brothers C++ and C# since the latter are Object Oriented.

XNA uses C#, but then its easier to delevope the NAD exporter for Maya 2008 since its roughly the same level of coding(even if you have to do it in C++ or Python) and do a whole graphic revamp.

I could be wrong but it seem Source is the most developer friendly engine around in the FPS category, alternativly you might try something like NWN2 which brings it closer to home with a RPG system.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Azraelthe7th on 2008-03-23, 14:04:10
Actually, C is the older brother of C++.  Says so on the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%2B%2B).

Also, I'd honestly rather not approach XNA with an 11 foot pole.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Javokis on 2008-03-23, 23:11:37
I'm rather torn right now on what I really want to do so everything I say shouldn't be taken at face value, but I really would want to take some real professional schooling in the art of game development before I actually start building game engines. I'm mostly thinking out loud here, but I do still think it would be awesome to build our own engine that can read Redemptions file formats including scripts, but I know I don't have the real skills required to pull it off properly.

I'm not giving up on the possibility, but I don't think I'll be able to present anything for this project any time soon - most likely several years from now. I have so many things I want to say, but my mind is very chaotic right now. I think of coding anything at this point till my life gets back on track.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: ORI on 2008-03-24, 09:00:55
True Azreal,  that was not a correct analogy, my intent was that C++ and C# are more complex and advanced type of programming, that while similar in syntax have a slightly different approach.

I wish that I could help but looks like there is too much of everything for me to dig into Maya Python API. Im currently trying to perfect my rigging and skinning and shading know how.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Azraelthe7th on 2008-03-24, 11:10:21
Javokis: No problem.  I'll ask around the various Half-Life related forums for programming help, but you're always more than welcome to contribute in any way.

ORI:  You could always help out in the modelling department.  After all, we still need friendly/enemy NPCs, weapons, props and stuff like that.

Hell, we could stick to a multiplayer mod to test out the way the game plays before building the single player mod.  For example, we could build the Prague hub and start adding characters, weapons and disciplines in there.  Then integrate them into the single player mod as the project evolves.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: ORI on 2008-03-25, 01:41:59
Sounds good, for me Redemption singleplayer was good but what was really special about the game was the multiplayer storyteller mod that can bring me back to play it despite the outdated graphics.

So I think multiplayer first is better

Ill try to make the models im making for my sideproject experiments suiteable to the DA theme.

Edit : Also what kind of rig system are you using? and is there a chance to implament rideable horses?
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Javokis on 2008-03-25, 14:03:41
I quit college. I have come to realize that my lack of motivation seems to be caused by the kind of stuff I was (or should I say wasn't) being taught. Not to mention that financial aid is all screwy and has become useless. I don't care about the degree or loss of - It's nothing more than a peice of paper of which I can use to whipe my ass in case of emergencies, but that's about it. The crap I have realized I have been taught all these years prepares me for the kind of work I would care less in having. I can't see myself surviving in cubical work very long before I become clausterphobic.

All this time I've learned nothing about programming. I can't beleive it took me so long to realize this.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Azraelthe7th on 2008-03-25, 15:58:58
It's your decision.  Good thing there are a good number of resources out there to learn what you need.  Not only that, but the amount of classes with emphasis on gaming are expanding.  So, look around, you'll find something.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: Javokis on 2008-03-26, 00:13:57
After thinking about things, I shouldn't really quit having only one class left to graduate. I'm not going to quit if I can find away past the financial aid issues. I think I can throw in some additional classes related to my program that I don't really need but should be able to add anyway, which should get me up to full time and reinstate my financial aid in full. Having a degree dispite my feelings towards its worth might be better than having none.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: ORI on 2008-03-26, 11:21:33
I can relate Javo but a degree can still help you get the job you want even in a gaming company on some jobs even if not all jobs.
(example: http://www.blizzard.com/us/jobopp/programmer-senior-tools-mmo.html)

I think you'll do fine once you get over your C++ trauma because you ace java.
Title: Re: Port idea
Post by: arathalion on 2008-05-20, 02:51:46
wow. ive been away for a bit cause ive been busy with school and come in to tell people that i will probably continue to be so...

on the topic of an engine other than source... i would support that idea. sure, it has some handy stuff like facial animation but really atm ive been having problems with the SDK and steam in general. i dunno. im currently not being particularly helpful cause im busy with other things (school being large among them).

imo its easer to stick to an existing engine, Open source or otherwise, that just requires modification to enable certain things than it is to do is easer than writing code to read existing formats.

quake III is GPL

doing a multiplayer mod to begin with? i thought that was what we were going to do to begin with?

imo you need to resolve which engine you use.

ones to consider would be source (hl2 mod)
pros: lip sync,
actually, thats all i can think of.

cons: cant have both hdr and paralax
STEAM + SDK is a bitch to get working (though i think i can see a way to do so, its still a pain)
lip sync is irrelevant if characters arnt rigged with XSI.

Id Tech 4
pros: dont have to deal with steam and the update crap.
lip sync (q4)
both parallax and hdr supported (et:qw)

cons: lip sync will have to be reverse engeneared (the community only looks to have worked out the .lipsync files, i havent found anything on actually rigging faces. searching through my self it looks like they have a pheonems.md4anim file for each character with them set in them. how to set out that file i havent yet checked but it should be as easy as importing stuff into max)
not all T4 engines are the same. q4 is a d3 engine fork, rage is a d3 fork, etc. et:qw is another d3 fork

q3: i dunno. i looked at it a while ago and ive seen some crazy things done with it. if you have a look at some of the forks you might want to piece together something but i think it would be better to use one of the above engines.

there is unreal... imo they are backwards. dunno much about them modding wise (well, further than mapping and getting stuff in game. if you want to play with assets and probably add in new weapons and stuff, easy as) however i dont know about actually changing gameplay so that it is more than just a shooter. infact, i think it might be a bit of a pain.

once its been decided which you want to use someone is going to have to start a working directory, they are then going to have to get that directory base to everyone else that needs it. possibly with something like cvs or svn.

then you are going to need to know what needs to be done. perhaps someone should write a TODO list. what would you like to do first?
get playable characters running around in an envronment? then where do you plan to go from there.

i dunno. im tired and grumpy.