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Author Topic: Questions from a new user  (Read 3098 times)

Foster

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Questions from a new user
« on: May 12, 2009, 04:02:47 pm »

I've been playing around with the demo lately, reading about this engine... and honestly, I'm in love with it already. I was developing a 3d isometric rpg with C4 recently, that didn't work out because of the difficulty that is developing a high end graphics game...well, what the hell, right now I'm taken on making a 2d game in the style of old. It sounds viable.

I think my 3d character models will even look good as 2d sprites:

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/6690/merchant2mk9.jpg

I've got a lot of questions though! hopefully someone will be kind enough to answer.

* From what I've read the engine is still far from done and still quite unstable on the coding side. When do you expect the engine to be "ready"? beginning to develop a game right now is viable? Do you think there is a risk that after starting development support for the engine would cease or development would be halted?

* I never worked with 2d before, only real time 3d. Can you link me to documentation, tutorials and plugins related to making 2d assets for an isometric game? All I found here is a bit guidance to the use of Blender. I use 3ds max.

* What is the format of the art assets imported into FIFE? Both the animated(gif?) and the still ones(png? jpeg?). In fallout and other 2d iso games I played there was a lot of play with transparency, in walls, objects, roofs... I wonder if there are methods on that.

* And finally, I'm not a programmer, but I'm keen on starting development by  myself right now, just  making a design document, creating the assets and getting them into the engine,  building maps and scenes... basically getting everything but the gameplay and coding done. How viable would that be for me?

Anyway, congratulations on your work, and I will most certainly contribute with some art assets if I choose to develop a game on this engine.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 04:21:36 pm by Foster »
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mvBarracuda

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Re: Questions from a new user
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 04:47:15 pm »

Heya Foster :-)

Your model looks nice, I think you advertized your project at gamedev.net or maybe RPGcodex at some point as I seem to remember this model from somewhere.

Anyway, concerning your questions:
1. At the moment the engine is not really in active development anymore, at least nowhere the scale it once was. The engine is ready enough to make games with it but you simply just get what you see. That means further improvements are possible but not likely to happen any time soon. At least that's the current situation; might change if a new project manager decides to revive the efforts but it doesn't look like that will happen at this point. To get an impression what is possible with the engine at this point, check out Unknown Horizons - a FIFE-based strategy game currently in the making:
http://www.unknown-horizons.org/site/

As the engine is open source you could try to find a programmer who customizes it for your needs but in the end you'll need to open source these changes in case you decide to modify the C++ code of the engine core (that's part of the LPGL licensing terms).

2. Nope, can't really help you there. You might have more luck asking at game development forums like gamedev.net in this case. There are a bunch of graphics-related tutorials & notes at the PARPG wiki though:
http://wiki.parpg.net/Department:Graphics

3. A bunch of formats are supported for animations, basically everything SDL_image can eat :-) We used PNGs both for animations and stills for Rio de Hola and PARPG. AFAIK that's what Zero-Projekt and Unknown-Horizons do as well.

4. Importing assets and buildings map is rather easy IMO; low learning curve. As soon as you actually want to do something scripted ingame, there is no way around having a Python programmer on your team who could implement these aspects.
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Foster

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Re: Questions from a new user
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 08:55:05 pm »

Thanks a lot for the quick reply MV. That was basically the most important thing I wanted to know, whether or not this engine was ready to support the making of a game as it is. As a non-programmer it is hard to access that kind of info. Good to know it can!

For what I want to do right now, just the graphics support and map building tools are enough.

And yes, once I announced my project on the Codex once looking for a programmer. Anyway, I'm sold on the engine and will keep playing around with it for the next few weeks, get used to it. I will post the results here eventually.

cheers!
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