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How would you prefer to develop SWRII?
C++, DirectX 22%  22%  [ 6 ]
C++, OpenGL 19%  19%  [ 5 ]
Visual Basic, DirectX 41%  41%  [ 11 ]
Visual Basic, OpenGL 7%  7%  [ 2 ]
Delphi, DirectX 11%  11%  [ 3 ]
Delphi, OpenGL 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 27
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:40 pm 
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As far as the whole Lucas Arts copyright buisness goes...

I've heard that Lucas Arts is actually pretty cool about their intellectual property. If you look around the web there is a ton of Star Wars fan stuff (admittedly not many games, but games are really hard to make).

I've always thought that as long as you acknowledge Lucas Arts as the owner of the Star Wars intellectual property, and make sure to emphasize that the game is not for profit, and your not associated with Lucas Arts, I think they will be cool about it. In this way the Star Wars fan base is protected, and can thrive.

Thats at least the idea under which I started my game, In Defense of the Empire.
If I end up releasing it for free download one day, and Lucas Arts tells me to take it down, I will. It is after all their idea.

Of course your looking more along the lines of making a game, selling it, and then making a Star Wars mod. The problem with that is that your going to have to actually come up with your own story, character, ships...
because if you made a game that basicly isnt a game until you add in a Star Wars mod, well I think the Lucas Arts lawyers would finally be able to earn their keep.

I guess all im saying is that the mod approach really only works for main stream games that have been out for awhile (that werent secretly meant as star wars games in the first place). But Im a pessimist, and if you still want to try and give it a go, don't let me hold ya back. Personally I'll just stick with making a fan-game and then (hopefully) releasing it for free.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:50 am 
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Thanks for some insight. I meant 'slow' for me to develope in the new languages...I never learned .NET stuff. (Sorry, I was never Vector. :) )

A game for a small profit would need a complete interesting story indeed...or I could just make a basic Fan SW Rebellion Redux game for free. A lot to think about.

Maybe LA just may like the idea and give it a throw. 8)

The C# languages really are the best for compatibility for now and the future. Well, I guess time to go to the book store and start catching up on C.NET. Microsoft really has dropped support for the Visual Basic languages. A lot is occuring since last year 2005.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:59 am 
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I forgot to mention that I use visual studio express (for c#). the best thing is its free!! you can download it from microsoft. You will also need the direct x sdk (software development kit) which you can get free from microsoft as well

the book that got me started was tom millers "beginning 3d game programming", however this book is now rather out of date, and the code requires changes to even get it to run.

you might want to give this book a try:
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Game-Programming-Direct-9-0c/dp/1598220160/sr=8-3/qid=1166716571/ref=sr_1_3/104-0280694-8916751?ie=UTF8&s=books
Im planning on getting it myself.

I bought microsofts step by step guide to c#, and it was just about all i needed to get going in the language.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:18 am 
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I think .NET might be the way to go as you can get a series of different language developers together.

As I use Delphi, it doesn't matter much as I can make DLL's for VB or C++, or use .NET or C#. However you will have much to gain by using something as generic as .NET which will allow almost all to participate.

Plus, as nordwindranger mentioned, .net languages are freely available. Either in the Microsoft Express editions (http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/), the Delphi and C#Builder Turbo edditions (http://www.codegear.com/Downloads/Trial ... fault.aspx) and possibly some others.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:23 am 
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OpenGL vs. DirectX...end result the same. I believe OpenGL app may be faster in the end i think and it's platform independent. And it's a little chaotic with all these extensions, but just a little :) Nvidia also released and OpenGL shader debugger if i remember correctly. But they might as well have released the same (and hardware benchmarks) for DirectX.

Programming languages? Forget about Visual Basic and Delphi, they weren't even designed for 3d games in the first place. As Nordwindranger mentioned .NET uses managed code (i believe), therefore won't be as fast and efficient as the non-managed languages. C# may be also somewhat slower than C++ (i'm not saying that C# and .NET is bad, I just don't think it's the best choice for making games). And also I guess that free 3d engine is also written in C++ (also consider it's license, if it's GPL or something like that, then you have to release the source of your program).

As for the development environment. Visual Studio very good, you can also use Eclipse or NetBeans (both were designed for Java, but support other programming languages through plugins).

Books are surely good and you can find many of them in ebooks on various sites for free.

And some links to good sites dedicated to game development. Check out their articles and tutorials.
http://www.gamedev.net
http://www.devmaster.net
http://www.flipcode.com - this used to be one of the best sites, it's only an archive of old articles now, but still very useful
http://www.codesampler.com - some other tutorials

I hope at least those links will be of some use to you :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:41 pm 
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Moribundus wrote:
Programming languages? Forget about Visual Basic and Delphi, they weren't even designed for 3d games in the first place.


Lol, FWIW neither was C++ ;-)

But he/she is right, for sheer gut wrenching speed at high end, professional grade graphics, there is no competitor to C++.

Delphi is not far behind (Due a lot to the fact it uses a C++ compiler and has full, direct access to the WinAPI). VB6 will cost you a fair performance hit, plus it is now practically abandonware. the .NET languages are going to be slower then C++, but have IMHO performed quite well in what I have seen.

However, I have to contend that the speed difference is not going to be your major concern. What you need is developers. Anything you can do to make it easier for people to contribute to your project is going to be worth its weight in gold.

If you have a solid stockpile of C++ devs, go for it. But if you don't, then C++ is going to be significantly harder to get started in then C#VB.net/Delphi or even Java (which I think is fairly unsuited, by the way. It would however open up a large pool of potential developers). Harder = people less likely to commit and help. a 5-10% speed increase isn't any good to anyone if the game never gets made.

Besides, as far as gut wrenching speed goes, the original Rebellion ran on my Pentium 75 no worries. If what you make doesn't run decently in any modern language/framework on even a now antiquated PC, then there is a significantly greater problem in the code...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:55 am 
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JeZuS wrote:
Moribundus wrote:
Programming languages? Forget about Visual Basic and Delphi, they weren't even designed for 3d games in the first place.

Lol, FWIW neither was C++ ;-)

True. But I meant that those languages/development environments were made for easier and more efficient creation of desktop and database applications. And that's where their strengths lie.

JeZuS wrote:
But he/she is right...

he :wink:

I must admit that I have never worked with .NET, but I don't see how it should connect developers using different languages. You still can't mix more languages together (into one code), can you? So it's nearly the same as using DLL libraries, but with slight performance penalty. Correct me, if I'm wrong.

However .NET if used right can be powerful tool. Eg. RunUO shards (open source Ultima Online servers made in C#.NET) can recompile all user scripts (also C#) into bytecode and then use them during the startup of the server. So the scripts run faster than interpreted scripts and because almost whole server is made this way (except network layer i guess), it's also extremely modable.
You just have to know what you want from it.

JeZuS wrote:
Besides, as far as gut wrenching speed goes, the original Rebellion ran on my Pentium 75 no worries. If what you make doesn't run decently in any modern language/framework on even a now antiquated PC, then there is a significantly greater problem in the code...

More CPU expensive AI would only be better (at least for Rebellion) :twisted: But otherwise I agree with you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:07 pm 
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One thing you can do to enable many people to work on 1 project using different languages and in disperate locations is to design your game in modules that communicate with each other via standard mechanisms.

For example, most peoples idea of a sequel will probably be more of the same, but better and more moddable. Hence we have a strategy element which if done cleverly, can consist largely of static images(like the original) and a 3D section which you need to use something like directX for; a directx wrapper such as http://darkgdk.thegamecreators.com could be worth a look....for £35.

It might be possible to implement these two game sections as entirely seperate programs that communicate with each other via XML. The basic premise would be that the strategy process could generate a load of XML describing all the details of the battle, spawn off a child process which would "run" the battle in 3D or whatever and then once the battle was finished, the child process would form some XML to return to the parent process which contained details of the result of the battle.

This way, with the XML format agreed, 2 people could work on the same project, or if some of you already have a working 3D engine, it could be incorporated into someone elses' purely strategy game which has no current 3D component with a minimum of effort.

Writing a 3D game like X-Wing takes different skills than writing a purely strategy game. Given that most of us are generally good in one or the other and are doing this in our spare time, an approach like this will give you a finished game which utilizes the skills of those involved to the full.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:14 am 
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Moribundus wrote:
You still can't mix more languages together (into one code), can you? So it's nearly the same as using DLL libraries, but with slight performance penalty. Correct me, if I'm wrong.


Just to folow up on this;

I would say the performance hit would be pretty minimal, if any, as they would be looked after by the jitter.

However yes, they would still need to be compiled into packages/dlls.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:30 am 
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All the .NET languages are compiled into the same intermediate code, before being translated in the instructions for the CPU. It's much like Java in that respect.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:12 am 
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You cannot skip the "read bytecode instruction -> translate it -> send it to cpu" phase, which is done run time, so there's no way you can entirely eliminate the performance penalty. On the other hand your code will work on all platforms (just like Java), unless you use platform-specific extension, like managed DirectX (which you probably will).

So my point was that i don't see any real advantage in using .NET made modules over common dlls/modules.

And Evaders, the new design looks great!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:01 pm 
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Moribundus wrote:
You cannot skip the "read bytecode instruction -> translate it -> send it to cpu" phase, which is done run time, so there's no way you can entirely eliminate the performance penalty.


Actually, that is not right.

The .NET JITer caches compiled code, so it would only be run through the translater once, and possibly ahead of time.

From MSDN:
"Since the MSIL is being compiled just-in-time (JIT), this component of the runtime is frequently referred to as a JIT compiler or JITter. Once the JIT compiler has compiled the MSIL, the method's stub is replaced with the address of the compiled code. Whenever this method is called in the future, the native code will just execute and the JIT compiler will not have to be involved in the process. As you can imagine, this boosts performance considerably."

Moribundus wrote:
On the other hand your code will work on all platforms (just like Java), unless you use platform-specific extension, like managed DirectX (which you probably will).


Well, sort of. Except the only real inplimentation of .NET is really the MS Windows one :-) Mono is getting there. I admit I have not looked that direction if a while. Spot on about DirectX though, so as you say it may be a moot point.

On a side note, MS actually have released a free game programming C# version of the VS IDE, complete with more examples then you could ever use.

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/xna/default.aspx

But hell, when it comes down to it, use what you feel comfortable with.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:16 pm 
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Im not much of a developer but I voted for C++/OpenGL. I like C++ and OpenGL as they are platform independent. OpenGL was would be an excellent choice to provide a native linux binary, but from my understanding the newer versions of DirectX along with SDK's make DX far easier to program. The support of Cadega/Wine is getting far better quickly so unless it uses DX10 I don't think it would be much problem to emulate a Windows version in linux.

The other suggestion would be to team up with other enthusiast strategy gamers looking to develop a game for their genre of taste and develop an open source project game engine. Then have a seperate team of model and graphic developers specifically from this site working on our "Rebellion 2" game. If you are going to seriously consider putting time and resources into developing a project of this nature then in the best interest of long-term use and support it would be ideal for the engine to modder friendly and seperate from the game content.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:21 pm 
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hmm perhaps we should start a new topic..

I vote c# and managed direct x. C# is a very easy language to learn, and the syntax is similar enough to visual basic and the other .net languages that it should be easy to convert to. Direct X is an industry standard, and there is an absolutely insane amount of documentation for it. XNA would probably be the way to go, although I must admit that I haven't played around with it myself. XNA isn't necessary, it might make things easier however.

as far as using a .net language like c#, speed is not a problem!
heres a video of some of my latest work
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2702795200532525433
that runs at an average of 170 frames per second. I believe that 30 fps is considered to be the standard acceptable frame rate, so for what were doing, we won't have any problems.

as far as a development environment goes.. I'm using visual studio express edition, its free and it works great.

just my 2 cents

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:47 pm 
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nordwindranger wrote:
hmm perhaps we should start a new topic..

Hehe, yeah, the poll is missing something... :wink:

nordwindranger wrote:
as far as using a .net language like c#, speed is not a problem!
heres a video of some of my latest work
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 0532525433
that runs at an average of 170 frames per second. I believe that 30 fps is considered to be the standard acceptable frame rate, so for what were doing, we won't have any problems.


Don't forget that you don't render any complicated scenes (but on the other hand, there isn't much to render in space, is there?).

I'd personally go the opensource C++/OpenGL way, as bud mentioned. Besides, there's always chance that the project would attract attention of other opensource programmers and the team would grow (and I bet there are people who would love to help you make a new linux game).


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