Allacrost's Roots

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Allacrost's Roots

Postby Roots » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:20 pm

I've been cleaning and organizing my personal things over the past few days and I found evidence of Allacrost's origins, which I thought would be fun to share. They are contained within a notebook of all kinds of random writings I made in my earlier years. These particular entries were made I believe when I was 17 (about 10 years ago, so sometime in the year 1999), although some of the ideas I wrote down here I had actually formulated when I was only about 13/14 after playing Final Fantasy III on the SNES (US version, VI Japanese version).

Entry #1
Project GAME

* Objective: Program and create computer games that are based on having FUN rather than technology and high-end graphics.

How to accomplish objective:
Phase I - Research field of desire thoroughly until an understanding of all concepts is reached.
Phase II - Create free-standing business and hire employees
Phase III - Begin actual production on games

Phase I Breakdown
  1. Computer programming, start with brief knowledge of general programming (i.e. QBASIC) before moving on to other languages
  2. Gain a foundation of general computer knowledge (i.e. how a computer works, RAM, CD-DVD drives, sound & graphics cards, other peripherals, memory & data allocation). Hope to accomplish while in college
  3. Understand concepts, tactics, and experiences of war, medieval times, ancient times, etc. (depends on game type).
  4. Also remember to research entrepreneurship, management, and other concepts needed.


Hah, well other than the "business" part it looks like I actually carried through with all of this. Interesting to note that all the way back in '99 I was already dismissing graphics and technology over games that are simply fun.


Entry #2
Notes & Ideas

Brethren: RPG game, warrior sets off on a quest to find missing brothers/family he never knew he had.
Prophecy/Oracle: There is a prophecy (RPG) that a great warrior will rise to fight evil. The king dispatches a young man to search for the warrior, and after time the messenger discovers that he is the one.(King knows this all along and sent him to find himself?).


Wow, so Allacrost's "original" title was Prophecy....or Oracle. I think I like Hero of Allacrost a lot more. :)



I'm actually amazed at how this "plan" and product actually came to be pretty fulfilled. I just dug this book up after years of lying with a bunch of other notebooks (also containing interesting material of their own). I'm a bit amazed that I remembered the theme to Prophecy/Oracle when Allacrost officially got started.
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Jastiv
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Jastiv » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:23 am

Its interesting to see how far away from your original goal you got by using open GL for the code in Allacrost. That is not a simple graphics engine, that is very high end and needs the 3d drivers to work. Crossfire (on what my project Wograld
(wograld.org) is based on x11 rather than trying to do high end things. I think dependency hunt is not fun for developers either.

I also think that using Lua was a mistake. Why not write your own language and call it roots or something rather than trying to help some other programmers ego. I think that the programming language should fit the application rather than trying to use pre-made generic stuff.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Roots » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:09 am

Jastiv wrote:Its interesting to see how far away from your original goal you got by using open GL for the code in Allacrost.


We were originally just using SDL and SDL_image to do all of our graphics way back in the beginning. After about 2-3 months of playing around with it we realized it didn't support a lot of the things we wanted to see. x11 wasn't an option for us either because we were always about being cross-platform. I don't think we got "far away" from our goal of not using advanced graphics. We are using an advanced graphics API, but we only use the more basic parts of that API that we need. Still, our graphics engine is quite a mouthful.

Jastiv wrote:I also think that using Lua was a mistake. Why not write your own language and call it roots or something rather than trying to help some other programmers ego. I think that the programming language should fit the application rather than trying to use pre-made generic stuff.


I find your opinion to be.....interesting is the best way I can put it. I think doing our own language would have been an enormous mistake. You argue that everyone should just write their own programming language for their own applications instead of using "generic" languages? So we shouldn't use C++ either then? :rolleyes: Do you realize how enormous of a task developing and supporting a full-featured language is? I took a compiler course while in college and it certainly is not easy. If all we were using scripts for was data formatting that would be one thing, but we're using a dynamic, weakly typed scripting language that calls in directly to our C++ engine. Doing that all from scratch would be idiotic.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Jetryl » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:41 am

Jastiv wrote:Its interesting to see how far away from your original goal you got by using open GL for the code in Allacrost. That is not a simple graphics engine, that is very high end and needs the 3d drivers to work.

...

Why not write your own language and call it roots or something rather than trying to help some other programmers ego. I think that the programming language should fit the application rather than trying to use pre-made generic stuff.


Compare those two statements above. You're insane. :eyebrow:

You call a trivial, basic competence task like using OpenGL difficult, and pass off a difficult, 'doctoral thesis' kind of task like language design as being easy. Don't give people advice, because you've just failed common sense forever. I'm sorry to sound hostile, but that's just plain nuts - you strike me as a cloistered academic who's more interested in esoteric things like language design than in pragmatic attempts to actually get things done.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Winter Knight » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:44 am

I agree with these guys. Doing something yourself, such as writing a language, is a bad idea if you can build off of somebody else's work instead. Roots could have used something like GTK or Qt to make a cross-platform, easier to program tile based game, but I think SDL/OpenGL is a good compromise between playability/graphics/ease of use.

I considered using crossfire as a base for a game I was making a while ago. But I decided against it after installing and playing with the client for a few minutes. The graphics are pre Final Fantasy I, which is OK, but it is so slow, that it is painful and unusable. There is about a half second delay between a keypress and a response.

Also Jastiv, your website is down.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Jetryl » Sat May 02, 2009 12:52 am

Jastiv wrote:Its interesting to see how far away from your original goal you got by using open GL for the code in Allacrost. That is not a simple graphics engine, that is very high end and needs the 3d drivers to work.


Also, I understand that some rare linux machines don't have proper GL driver support, but in order for linux to move forward as a useable computer platform, this has to be viewed as inexcuseable. Period. I know it's not the linux developer's fault - I know the blame lies with the card manufacturers. But from a user's perspective, it's linux's fault, because windows somehow has it, and linux doesn't. So the linux guys have to get it working. If this means a workaround of using windows drivers.. so be it.

Getting a decent framerate on any game that redraws the whole screen (I mean actually redrawing, not doing palette swapping) mandates the use of hardware acceleration. Linux must have working hardware acceleration, or it will be stuck in a ghetto of shitty ultima/civilization clones. For a prime example, one of the more famous OSS games out there, Battle for Wesnoth, has struggled to get decent framerates, and David White, our lead developer, thinks in retrospect that not basing the game on an OpenGL backend was a mistake. Battle for wesnoth in fact, is only feasible because the camera stays still most of the time, and the average terrain isn't animated. That's the kind of game you limit yourself to without OpenGL. You can't have a camera that moves around, and you can't do decent fullscreen animation.

"a ghetto of shity ultima/civ clones" might be fine for guys like you, but that necessarily relegates linux to being a shitty niche thing that no one cares about. If we, the OSS movement, ever dream of displacing windows as the normal OS of computer users, we have to deliver the same quality of gaming that windows does. Because most people - OSS guys (like me) included, actually want to play decent, new games. The whole mentality that "if something doesn't run on my linux box it's not worth playing" is total bullshit. It's like some kind of Orwellian brainwashing, or like some bad kind of fundamentalist cult that blacklists all media that isn't "christian-branded"*. If something doesn't run on your linux box, it means linux needs to get better.

The idea that linux is somehow perfect just the way it is, and everyone else needs to conform runs counter to every scientific, engineering, or industrial design ideal of progress that I've ever heard, and is outright damaging to the platform as a whole. In fact, it's counter to all the advances linux has made in the last ten years. Hell, it's counter to writing software at all - if it's fine the way it is, why make anything new?




* no offense to non-psycho theists.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Winter Knight » Sat May 02, 2009 6:50 am

Jetryl wrote:Also, I understand that some rare linux machines don't have proper GL driver support, but in order for linux to move forward as a useable computer platform, this has to be viewed as inexcuseable. Period. I know it's not the linux developer's fault - I know the blame lies with the card manufacturers. But from a user's perspective, it's linux's fault, because windows somehow has it, and linux doesn't. So the linux guys have to get it working. If this means a workaround of using windows drivers.. so be it.
...
Linux must have working hardware acceleration, or it will be stuck in a ghetto of shitty ultima/civilization clones.
...
"a ghetto of shity ultima/civ clones" might be fine for guys like you, but that necessarily relegates linux to being a shitty niche thing that no one cares about.

All major Linux distros have hardware accelerated OpenGL support. All major graphics card vendors (Nivida, ATI, and Intel) have working Linux drivers for their cards.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Jastiv » Tue May 12, 2009 5:56 am

On the slowness of crossfire, believe it or not the wonderful game designers made that a feature rather than a bug. If you notice, the more stuff you are carrying, the slower you will be. I intend to remove that feature from wograld, as well as removing/replacing numerous other features that make the game frustrating and newbie unfriendly.

Also the site is www.wograld.org, not wograld.org, as long as sourceforge is up it should work.
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Re: Allacrost's Roots

Postby Winter Knight » Tue May 12, 2009 2:37 pm

Nope. Already saw that in the forums, and dropped all my stuff. Definitely lag. The game was too boring, so I didn't play long enough to accumulate any stuff anyway.

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