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FIFE 0.4.0 has been released on 15th of January, 2017!

Author Topic: Would FIFE fit my needs? And what do I need to learn or have to do what I want?  (Read 5521 times)

Katylar

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Hello Everybody.

I'm a new user here, but I've actually been looking into this project for about two years. I'm a pseudo-veteran RPG Maker user (from Don Miguel's 95+ to VX), and RPG Toolkit user. I also know BASIC and C.

I'm willing to learn C++ and Python.

I plan to make an Isometric RPG that also has some 4X elements. It will have custom game mechanics and rulesets, and will resemble a cross between Baldur's Gate and Arcanum.

Would my team be able to pull this project off using FIFE? Or would you guys think that a different engine would fit my needs better?

My team currently consists of a 3d Modeler, a level/map designer, and a Programmer with some intermediate experience in Python.

Thank you very much for your input, as well as for this excellent FOSS engine and community. It truly is a wonder to behold, and I'd very much like to be part of the process.
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mvBarracuda

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I don't see a reason why FIFE couldn't be used for such an RPG. The team I'm involved in basically works on something like that and utilizes FIFE for it:
http://www.parpg.net

Another option might be GemRB:
http://linux.prinas.si/gemrb/doku.php

Though GemRB seems to be more geared towards the Infinity Engine games. Whatever engine you'll use, it will be a long way to finish such a game. Good luck with it and keep us updated.
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Katylar

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Thanks for the reply.

I agree with the comment about how this major project is going to take a while. But I'm more than willing to give this project all the time and effort it needs.

GemRB, as you said, is more geared towards making an plug-and-play engine that works like the infinity system. It's not really for creating new games. And the project itself seems to be dead.

My only concern left is whether or not it would be a good time to commit to using FIFE, since it also still in development. It would be very inefficient if we spend hours working on something only to have the particular feature's support either be broken by an update/overhaul of FIFE, or have the feature itself be built in the next release in a more integrated way (thus putting hours worth of work in the wasted time bin).

But either way, I'll be talking with my team, and hopefully we can start converting our game design concepts and other miscellany that's already done into the engine. Wish us luck!
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mvBarracuda

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Why do you have the impression that GemRB is dead? They just recently released a new version.
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Katylar

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I apologize. I was careless with my remark. I checked the site a few weeks ago, and since they said that the project is essentially complete, and I didn't see any new releases, I thought they've done everything they were every going to do.

It looks like an excellent implementation, but it seems to me that it's really geared towards making a crossplatform hub for all infinity games... Even if you do make a new RPG with it, it's pretty constrained by the built-in AD&D ruleset.

With regard to my originally post, what would the things I need to have to start working? My Python programmer keeps asking me if he needs restructure his scripts to fit the engine or not. Also, I checked out your site, Sir, and I'm thoroughly impressed by your work: what renderer are you using to make both character models and buildings?

My modeler is a Blender + Daz3D user. Do you suggest a different set of applications?

Thanks.
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prock

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Hi Katylar,

First I just wanted to say thanks for seriously considering FIFE for your game engine!  As you may know FIFE is still in it's development phase and moving toward maturity.  We will be releasing FIFE 0.3.0 in the near future which includes some new features including a new editor and utf8 support.  You have access to these features right now if you check out our latest trunk revision through SVN.  Throughout FIFE 0.3 we plan on working on known bugs and adding some polish to the engine.  In FIFE 0.4 we plan on  introducing some new features including event triggers, minimap generation, dynamic pool resources and movie support to name a few. 

To address your concern with committing to FIFE while it is still in development:  Although the API continues to grow we do not have any plans to do any major overhauls to the API.  We have however been known to change the API from time to time which would cause you to update some of your code.  We try to avoid this whenever we can but sometimes it is unavoidable.  This is definitely a disadvantage to using FIFE but it also may be an advantage.  Your project would be among a small groups of projects using FIFE which means your suggestions would have a lot of weight in the direction the FIFE API goes in the future.  We try our best to accommodate any feature requests that projects using FIFE may have.  If this is still a concern you could always just commit to a stable FIFE release and not update FIFE at all although I wouldn't recommend it.  With that all being said it is understandable if you do not decide to go with FIFE because of these reasons and we urge you to continue to keep up with FIFE for when it does become a viable engine for you.

The toolset your modeler is familiar with should be perfect for use with FIFE.  I know there are some blender templates out there that can be used to make a isometric view similar to fallout.  You can tell your Python programmer that he will most likely be able to re-use a lot of his python code that he has already written (depending on how it was written of course).  I know that the PARPG project had written some code outside of FIFE and was able to bring it into their project without many difficulties.

We would like to see FIFE's community continue to grow so it would be great to have you aboard.  We have a lot of dedicated people in our community that are always willing to help out with any questions you may have.  Come visit us on our IRC channel sometime.  We are a pretty international team so chances are you will catch someone in IRC.  If not you can always post on the forum with any questions and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

Take care and hope to talk to you soon!


prock
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Katylar

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Thanks for all you're input, everybody.

Now, given that I'm primary a game mechanics designer (I make pen-and-paper/board games as a means of extra income) and writer (I publish short stories), I have very little experience in the world of programming or software development of today.

I've taken the required courses in C and BASIC (my highschool had them in the curriculum).

But other than that, I have no idea where to start. You see, I want everybody on my team, including me, to help with the programming. Not simply leave everything to our programmer.

Is there anyone who can recommend a book or a website that I could use as my main resource in learning the languages necessary to work with FIFE? I know that there are multitudes of books that teach Python... but what book would give the best and most comprehensive reference and tutorials on the concepts I need to grasp (because although learning EVERYTHING about the language is well and good, but I hope you guys can understand when I say I want to focus on the programming aspect that would have a direct impact on FIFE game creation).

Lastly... can anyone give me a sort of walk through of what "DevKits", "SVN"s and the like are? I always read about these things, and although I've been able to get by with my imperfect knowledge, It'd really be great if anyone can give me some good, working definitions of these, and what things and tools I really need to have to start working (Right now, I have Python 2.6.4, blender, Daz3d, Photoshop and some other middleware installed), it'd be great. Thanks.
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prock

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Katylar,

As I'm mostly a C++ dev I cant really give you any advice with Python other than telling you that we use Python 2.6 so if you do pick up a book make sure it uses the same version.  We haven't made the move to Python 3.0 yet and don't have that planned for the immediate future.

The FIFE Development Kit is a collection of software required to compile the FIFE python library including a C++ compiler (mingw), a build system (scons), and all the pre-compiled libraries to build FIFE for Win32.  Scons is much like "make" on *nix systems and is written in Python (which makes it portable and is why we selected it).    If you happen to have a copy of Visual Studio it also includes the project files for that.

SVN is short for "Subversion".  Subversion is a version control system we use to store FIFE's source code and make it accessible to everyone (only devs have write access).  It basically keeps a copy of all of our source files and allows us to back out any changes we make just in case we introduce a major bug.  When we talk about "checking out the latest revision of trunk" we are referring to downloading the latest FIFE source code from our SVN repository.  In fact I would suggest to you that you consider a similar source code repository for your project.

Judging by the tools you already have installed all you should have to do is download and install TortoiseSVN from here: http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/  and download and install the FIFE SDK from here:  https://sourceforge.net/projects/fife/files/active/sdks/FIFE_Win32_DevKit_Nov2009.exe/download and follow the instructions here: http://wiki.fifengine.net/Building:Win32:SCons#Getting_started

You will use TortoiseSVN as your SVN client.  When you have that downloaded and installed you will notice some more options in your windows explorer context menu.  One wil be something like "SVN Checkout".  This is where you will enter FIFE's SVN repository address:  http://fife.svn.cvsdude.com/engine/trunk
 
Of course if you have any questions you can reply here or come visit us in our IRC channel.  Details about IRC can be found here: http://wiki.fifengine.net/IRC
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vtchill

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For python development this site is a great place to start: http://diveintopython.org/

It has a free python book that you can read online or download, and it is very helpful for people just learning the language.
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mvBarracuda

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Think Python is nice as well (and free of charge):
http://www.greenteapress.com/thinkpython/thinkpython.pdf
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SharkD

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Since you want to create an RPG with 4X elements (what I want to do as well), you might want to check out the "1.13 Mod" for the video game, Jagged Alliance 2 -- at least for ideas. Don't be confused by the strange name. The "1.13 Mod" is not a "mod" per se; rather, it is a continuing update to the game engine using the source code kindly provided by the game's developers, whose goal is to serve as a modding platform by externalizing data and making it easy for other developers to alter. Everything from the locations to item stats to graphics can be changed (or, at least, is supposed to), and you have the benefit of knowing basically how the game will "work".

Since this is basically what I want to do, I have given the "1.13 Mod" serious consideration. Ultimately, however, I found the dated graphics (8-bit versus 32-bit) and lack of heightfields for terrain too limiting, and decided to look elsewhere as well.

Hope that was helpful.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 10:03:23 pm by SharkD »
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