Author Topic: How are you all doing?  (Read 6713 times)

Tanja

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How are you all doing?
« on: 2012-11-26, 07:16:17 AM »
Hello, this is Tanja, I thought after a few years of vanishing I could pay you a visit :)

Sorry for leaving so suddenly after I drained so much of your time for my student project Mistraal. I am deeply grateful to everyone who dedicated their time to my problems, and I know, I had a lot. It would have been the least to give you some download of it, but the truth is, the game was never really finished and is still in the state of some lonely demo level. I feel guilty of taking so much of your ressources and didn't give something back. Well, at least the blog still exists and points to the SDGK.
I didn't develop it further because I constantly ran into problems coding the features I wanted (due to my lack of coding + math knowledge). Then, after the big presentation at the end of the semester my projects tend to get dusty....

Well, after some years now I decided I need to learn more about coding and math in general. I found this awesome online class on Coursera.org about Python, and every week you develop a mini game like Guess the number, Stopwatch, Pong and so on. I don't care so much about the language than the understanding of concepts and math. Right now I'm writing this post to procastinate starting the Pong project  ;D

I finished my studies some time ago and work now in Berlin, Germany as a visual designer (freelancing). Life is not bad at all.

How are you guys doing? Would love to hear from you :)
« Last Edit: 2012-11-26, 07:24:48 AM by Tanja »

bluemonkmn

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #1 on: 2012-11-26, 07:49:00 AM »
Wow, good to hear from you. Things have been kind of slow here, but #Sharp is working on a big project which I'm looking forward to seeing. I released a project early this year called iotaBuildIt (http://iotabuildit.sf.net/), but never took it far enough (yet) to get enough people excited about it to get real participation. But it uses some pretty cool technology, I think - the source control is directly linked to the finished game so you can readily play any version created by anybody without any compiling or downloading. Now if I can just motivate myself (or someone) to build it to a point of being interesting to play. :)

I think the real problem is there are just too many games to play out there so there's no time to create any more. I'm acquiring Steam games faster than I can play them now. And I spend almost all my free time playing games. Someday I will maybe get bored of playing in general and have to go back to creating.

Last time you were here may have also been before Vincent released his Legacy of Kain: Revival game. It too is pretty impressive. I enjoyed playing that all the way through.

And in case you missed it, SGDK2 now also supports HTML5 games (that's how iotaBuildIt works). It doesn't do *everything*, but most functions can be seen in HTML5 projects.
« Last Edit: 2012-11-26, 07:52:09 AM by bluemonkmn »

Tanja

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #2 on: 2012-11-26, 11:09:19 AM »
Uh, wow, I just had a look into iotaBuildIt. Pretty good idea! I don't fully agree with "people are too busy playing to build games". Everywhere I walk I see meetups of hobby game builders pop up. Two fellow students opened an Indie game studio together and are now pretty busy to organize game events in their area (Halle/Leipzig). Now there are regular meetups and game jams.
The situation in Berlin is of course a lot more intensive, with all its universities, private game schools, hackers, devs and so on. We have a monthly mini game jam (1 day). I don't really participate, but maybe soon  ;) And then there are more events during the year, I don't know, game jams over a 3/4 days, homebrew conventions, worldwide jams etc.

So, does it mean I could open Mistraal and export it as an HTML5 game? that would be awesome! I never liked it when I have to download and install games just to try out someone's idea. Is Mac supported? I recently changed my platform.

Why did you chose TortoiseHG? I fiddled around a little bit with Github (it was some kind of workshop) so it's not totally new to me. Maybe, with all of this development, SGDK2/iota would be just the right thing to be used in a game jam! There are always some devs working together with an artist. I could propose it. C#, you said? Maybe the tool of choice for artists that would like to collaborate and don't have a dev, or wouldn't need to with this solution.

Tanja

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #3 on: 2012-11-26, 11:21:23 AM »
Can people use iota to build their own games? not only improving the one that is already online?

v6v

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #4 on: 2012-11-26, 09:46:04 PM »
Hey, Tanja! I'm not expecting you to remember me at all, but do you have the remnants of your Mistraal game in SGDK2? Or are you going to finish and repackage it for submission?

I believe that iota can be used to build your own game. You could ask bluemonkmn. My fear is that I'll build a game so rigid that it's hard for someone to go in and build or edit another game.

Tanja

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #5 on: 2012-11-27, 06:04:51 AM »
Let's see, I could submit Mistraal maybe. Problem is, if I open it in any SGDK2 version newer than from 3 years ago, it throws errors and I have to dig in to fix them. It happened to me with every new version so it became bothersome.
Also I have these giant tile sets for the wind flows and a flawed earth tile set with lots of tiles that almost look the same but have these small details that need to fit together.

 :(

bluemonkmn

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #6 on: 2012-11-27, 06:18:13 AM »
So, does it mean I could open Mistraal and export it as an HTML5 game? that would be awesome! I never liked it when I have to download and install games just to try out someone's idea. Is Mac supported? I recently changed my platform.

You could try to export Mistraal as HTML5, but it would likely have runtime errors because not every function was re-implemented with HTML5 support. So you may have to:
1. Start a new project using an HTML5 template, which will only show HTML5-supported functions, OR
2. Implement Javascript versions of the missing functions when you get errors and find out what's missing.

One of the biggest things I left out was pixel-based collision detection. You would either have to switch to using rectangular collision detection or implement your own collision detection functions in JavaScript (which can be done in the IDE by adding js files to the SourceCode folder now).

But once you get a working HTML5 project, you can run the output in any browser that supports HTML5. The SGDK2 IDE itself still only works in Windows, though.

Why did you chose TortoiseHG? I fiddled around a little bit with Github (it was some kind of workshop) so it's not totally new to me. Maybe, with all of this development, SGDK2/iota would be just the right thing to be used in a game jam! There are always some devs working together with an artist. I could propose it. C#, you said? Maybe the tool of choice for artists that would like to collaborate and don't have a dev, or wouldn't need to with this solution.

TortoiseHG seemed to be the best balance between features and simplicity. I found that git with all its features and power was too bloated and complex for the relatively simple needs I expected to have in iotaBuildIt. It's not a bad technology (pretty cool), but the marginal value that it adds over Mercurial wasn't worth the cost of the added complexity in my mind at the time. I wanted to minimize obstacles to people getting involved, and I think setting up and using a git client was a little more involved than setting up and using TortoiseHg.

What was your question about C#? SGDK2 has always been C#. But the HTML5 output is JavaScript, which is so similar to C# that much of the code generator in SGDK2 did not have to be changed to output different code for HTML5! (There were a few changes, but not nearly as many as you'd need for 2 different languages normally.)

Can people use iota to build their own games? not only improving the one that is already online?

That's an interesting question. I have considered it before, but not come out with a clear answer. Certainly someone could start a new project using the same model as iotaBuildIt (it's simply an SGDK2 project checked into a hosted Mercurial repository that can serve up its contents directly to a browser). But theoretically, anyone could check in their own "version" of iotaBuildIt that replaces everything I did with their own project. On the one hand I would encourage *any* kind of participation in this project and its model, even if it doesn't keep any of the content, but only uses the model. On the other hand, the title "iotaBuildIt" was also intended to apply to the gameplay itself, which has to do with building robots. I would have to think more about the best way to add new projects to the "system". But really it should be quite straightforward to create a new project with the same model.

Vincent

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #7 on: 2012-11-27, 07:06:17 AM »
Hi Tanja!

It's good to hear from you after all this time. :)  I'm glad to see things are going well for you.  Like bluemonkmn said, I completed the game I was working on when you left.  It's been sometime since I worked on a SGDK2 project since then.  Welcome back! :)
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

Tanja

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #8 on: 2012-12-05, 03:30:47 PM »
Thanks Vincent, good to hear that you finished your game! What have you been doing all the time?

On saturday we had the monthly game jam, and I participated the first time since 1,5 years ago. Sadly my Windows copy hadn't arrived in time, but I told a friend there about SGDK2. He downloaded it right away, let's see if he does something with it.  ;D When he told me "it's available for Mac!" I was so eager to get it, but it turned out that only the unlinked OS icons sit below the download buttons  :(

Today I actually managed to get it installed on my Mac, man, never knew Windows could look so damn sharp. But now the programs look really really tiny. The next step is to copy all my data from the my old computer... which is a task I don't look forward to. But I will definitely try to run Mistraal again.
Oh and I read somewhere that the need for .NET will make it impossible for me to run Windows in a virtual machine, I have to use Bootcamp (start from the Windows partition). I guess that's true... ?

What was your question about C#? SGDK2 has always been C#.

Oh, no question. I was just suddenly excited because I thought I could maybe get the coders interested in it. It would be really nice if I could get people to use it. I probably will do something with it at the next game jam.

One note about my user experience when installing SGDK2: the Requirements on your homepage say .NET 2.0 is needed. When I ran the SGDK2.exe, it told me to go and download .NET 4.0, but the download link to Microsoft leads to a 404. After successful installation I ran the .exe again and THEN it told me to go and get .NET 4.5.
It would be nice if the page was updated.  ;)

bluemonkmn

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #9 on: 2012-12-06, 07:06:02 AM »
It has been hard to accurately represent the OS support and requirements for SGDK2 because the IDE is written in .NET so it should work on multiple platforms, but hasn't actually been tested on multiple platforms, and doesn't actually work as well as it should on non-Windows platforms. Also, while the IDE now requires .NET 4.5, the generated games should work with just . NET 2.0. So I don't want to turn people away who might think that . NET 4.5 is an unreasonable requirement for a typical desktop. (Windows 7 includes .NET 2.0 I think.) And the only reason 4.5 is required instead of 4.0 is to fix 1 bug in .NET 4.0 that existed in creating the shortcut icon for click-once install method of installing/updating SGDK2. So things unfortunately got a bit confused. Hopefully I can take some time to clear it up soon.

Vincent

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #10 on: 2012-12-06, 07:07:19 AM »
Oh well, not much has changed in my life.  I'm still working as a programmer although not for the same company.  I spend my time playing video games, training in martial arts and working on a 3D game project. :)
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

bluemonkmn

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #11 on: 2012-12-06, 07:12:25 AM »
Vincent, what are you using for 3D? Have you played with Unity at all?

v6v

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #12 on: 2012-12-06, 04:58:47 PM »
I'd love to know what martial arts you're taking as well :)

Vincent

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #13 on: 2012-12-07, 07:53:40 AM »
lol!  I feel like I'm introducing myself, it's funny after all this time.

3D:
I'm using jMonkeyEngine.  It's open source, java, etc.  I have not tried Unity, but I heard that Unity is very easy to use.  But that wasn't really my objective.  Just like I developed Legacy of Kain: Revival to learn C#, I develop my other project with jME to learn java.  I like it a lot and there is a lot of freedom, but there is an awful lot of work to do.  Since I started working on the project, I'm mostly developping my own 3D game engine based on jME.  I try to wrap as much stuff as possible and create a library of tools and shortcuts.  After 2 years, I think I'm almost done with the tools library, after that I'll create a first game, probably something like a simple 3D shooter.  With the tools library I have made, I can create character controls (1st person, 3rd person, top view, flying, you name it), I can create dynamic sky boxes (moving clouds, sun and moon, changing sky color, all managed by an internal schedule), atmospheric effects (rain, wind, snow, fog, etc), an infinite seamless terrain (generated with height maps), physics (gravity, collisions, zones detection which works a little like plans in SGDK2), game speed and time, water system with buoyancy simulation (with waves, sky reflection, etc) objects attached to a specific location (or that can move around) that are loaded when you get close and unloaded when you go far and pretty much any configuration can be overridden for any specific object.  For example you can set up a general gravity or game speed or anything as a general rule that applies to everything and a different value for a specific object.  It is also possible to "fade" between two values, allowing for many cool effects like a "matrix jump slow motion" to occur or an object with a gravity that gradually changes so it starts to float up, etc.  The thing I'm working on now is an automatic vegetation system to generate forests, fields, etc automatically rather than having to place every plant, rock, tree or bush on my own. I'm getting somewhere too! :)


I'm trying to embed pictures of my project to show you.  Follow the links and it should work.  Tell me if it's not working.  It's not as interesting as a video, for sure, but I don't have any tool to generate a decent video right now.  Keep in mind that these are all test models and textures, there's nothing final in all of this.  With my tools library, you can generate a test project that does all of this with about, hum... maybe 500-600 lines of codes.  It's pretty easy to use. :)

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=95F82D4A2AD34FE6!126&authkey=!ACwQDIQkuf9W5oA

Martial arts:
I started with international taekwondo at age 7.  It's not like the taekwondo you see at the Olympics, this style of taekwondo is much more like kickboxing.  Anyway, I trained in tkd for about 10 years, got my black belt, kept going to get further belts and I started teaching as well.  I kept doing this for another 2-3 years, then at college I rented a sparring room (with tatamis, etc) and opened up a mixed styles class.  So basically people from all kinds of martial arts came in and trained.  That was great fun, I kept this up for 2 years and it really broadened my horizons.  I learned a lot of stuff from different styles and I had to opportunity to fight people from many styles too.  When college was over, I got back to teaching (opened up my own dojo for about 5-6 years, then moved on), train in other kinds of martial arts (various styles of tkd, started Brazilian jiu jitsu, also started boxing a little very recently...)  That's about it.  So my main style is international tkd (which I prefer to call Korean kickboxing to avoid confusion with Olympic tkd) and the other style I am most proficient in is Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  But it's all a hobby.  I'm in shape and I could most probably win any 1-on-1 fight against an average person, but I'm not a professional fighter by far.  I'm more a teacher than a competer/fighter.
« Last Edit: 2012-12-07, 08:01:30 AM by Vincent »
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

bluemonkmn

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Re: How are you all doing?
« Reply #14 on: 2012-12-09, 11:50:15 AM »
One note about my user experience when installing SGDK2: the Requirements on your homepage say .NET 2.0 is needed. When I ran the SGDK2.exe, it told me to go and download .NET 4.0, but the download link to Microsoft leads to a 404. After successful installation I ran the .exe again and THEN it told me to go and get .NET 4.5.
It would be nice if the page was updated.  ;)

I think I improved this. I updated the requirements on the downloads page and released a slightly updated SGDK2 IDE where reflect.dll required .NET 4.5 instead of 4.0.