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Author Topic: Is FIFE for me? If so, Where do I start?  (Read 4077 times)

Benvox2

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Is FIFE for me? If so, Where do I start?
« on: June 02, 2008, 03:02:56 am »

Hey everyone.

The great Games Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive and Robin Hood: Legend of Sherwood have intrested me very much recently.
I wish to eventually create my own game very similar to these 2 (the combat form Robin Hood) and the Isometric Angle/Sizes, Is the FIFE engine for me?

Also, where do I start (from scratch) for creating such a game? Especially the graphics?
Tutorial links are very welcome.

Thanks alot all!
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mvBarracuda

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Re: Is FIFE for me? If so, Where do I start?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 10:36:55 am »

Hello Benvox2 :-)

Sorry for the late answer, I planned to reply earlier but my notebook hdd died recently so I was busy for the last two days to backup my files and get everything running again.

Concerning your questions: just checked the wikipedia article on Desperados and it seems that they used at least an engine that is similar to FIFE in the first Desperados part: "Wanted dead or alive". Developer Spellbound switched to a full 3d engine later for "Desperados: Cooper's revenge" and "Helldorado". "Robin Hood" seems to run a version of the 2d engine that was used in the first "Desperados" game. So I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to create a similar game with FIFE.

Though there are a number of questions that are somewhat important:
1. How much prior experience do you have in game development?
2. Which programming languages do you know and how familiar are you with them? You'll need somebody who knows or is willing to pick up the Python programming language. Furthermore having a C++ programmer involved is quite useful as well as you can modify the engine's C++ core in case you want to heavily modify the way how FIFE works.
3. Do you already have experience in creating isometric graphics from 3d models? Which kind of modeling software are you familiar with?

There is definately a lack of tutorials ATM as the majority of the active developers find only few time to work on FIFE and writing tutorials is quite time-consuming. Here are some suggestions nevertheless:
1. For the programmer: download the latest files from SVN. You should get trunk as well as branches/datasets/active (that applies to the other two groups, graphics artists and mappers, as well):
http://wiki.fifengine.net/Subversion_repository

The programmer should check out the doxygen and epydoc documentation to get familiar with the FIFE C++ & Python code this way:
http://fifedocs.boxbox.org/

2. For the graphics artist: if you're already familiar with the process of creating flat 2d graphics from 3d models then there is not much left to do. If not, there are good tutorials for free (of charge and open source) modeling solutions like Blender:
http://www.blender.org/

After you modeled the object, export it to png files. You can import these files into FIFE by writing a kind of definition file that tells the engine what identifier this object uses and which graphics are associated with it. Check out the XML files inside branches\active\datasets\clients\rio_de_hola\objects to get an idea how the new object description system works. You can import these object definition files into the editor tool later.

3. For mappers: the people who want to build maps with FIFE should try the latest editor version from the datasets branch. The editor tool in trunk still lacks much more functionality than the datasets version and the whole datasets branch will be merged with trunk sooner or later (hopefully sooner :-)). Simply load one of the existing maps from branches\active\datasets\clients\rio_de_hola\maps into the editor and play around with it.

If you're running win32 and can't load some maps, you'll need a patch for the editor tool. The patch isn't in SVN yet as it's a somewhat hackish approach to work around a current issue. We plan to resolve this issue in a cleaner way as soon as somebody finds the time to look into it so let me know if you want to start playing around with the map editor right away and I'll let you know how to get the patch working with win32.

Furthermore the map format article at the wiki is quite useful as the editor tool is still work in progress and you might need to edit the map file with a text editor in case you want to change any aspect that isn't supported to be changed inside the map editor yet:
http://wiki.fifengine.net/Map_Format

I hope that answered some of your questions, if there are still blurry points then just shoot right away with more questions. An answer could take some days but I'll do my best to clear up all questions in a reasonable timespan.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 10:48:14 am by mvBarracuda »
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