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Re: Is this list still alive?

Christian Reiniger wrote:
> On Thursday 11 January 2001 17:18, Steve Baker wrote:
> > Also, I think we are working too much as individuals - teams of 4 or 5
> > people would work better.
> discussion bait: How well does bazaar-style teamwork work for games?
> Games usually need a strong coherent vision among the team, and that's
> difficult to achieve as we all know.

Most games programming by us people as open source is done for fun - the
only times I've had a good team and produced a free game I liked was
with a couple of friends messing about in physical space for a few
months. I think there is a lot of work to get any game to the initially
playable stage - after that point bazaar style teams may work, but
before that everyone is going in different directions (unless, of
course, they are copying a current game).

I do it for fun, when I have time, which often means the unfun bits
don't get done. And then I don't release it.

> On the other hand - OSS makes it quite easy to use one codebase for
> multiple games (similar to the FPS mods - several of them can be seen as
> different games).
> But I don't see this really happening. There are no libfirstpersion.so,
> libDND_rules.so, libsidescroller.so

I was hoping to have this on a project I kept starting (I restarted it
about 5 times now). The problem is we don't always write games to be
split up into libraries, and it is hard (maybe only assumed to be hard)
to step into a complex game and just pull out the bits you need for your
game, if the original wasn't written with that in mind. Any library like
those above would have to have a clean documented interface with
examples to be useable by a programmer - or worth not starting new in
any case.

I can write my own graphics lib, but I use SDL or plib instead. Likewise
with any of the possible libs above - if they are clean, fast and
working I would use them to write some games right now.

Tools are still a major problem though - but improving. For most games I
have written I have created my own tools so far. All this talk makes me
want to restart that project again - but I should really do some more
work on the unfun parts of prettypoly first ;-)

> > > Discussions? Or are we dead and buried?
> ... asks the author of "Zombie" :)
> > I think that more of us need to join in with existing games development
> > efforts rather than starting new projects.
> Seconded.
> I also think there's little, well, "professional knowledge" on game
> development in the "OSS scene". I mean, it's like with GUI development
> some years ago - GUIs looked awful, were inconsistent and no good
> high-level UI toolkits existed.
> Perhaps that's not a good comparison, but I think you understand what I
> mean..

Perhaps - I've found a little feedback goes a long way for motivation ;
when someone is watching I generally work harder to make my (free)
product better. Perhaps people who program games are more likely to be
money motivated, and so save their best ideas for payday ?

Anyway it is strange that improvisation seems rare in free games - as
Steve said you'd think people would be trying out different ideas
without the pressures of money, but maybe people aren't looking at
originality in the right way. Things can be 90% the same as something
else - but the 10% of different ideas is what will make the game seem
original to the players. This is why I think the libSideScroller.so,
etc, that you mention above would be worthwhile - there are still a lot
of variations on the old standard game formats which would be worth
experimenting with.

Also a libsidescroller, for example, could support games as diverse as
lemmings, super mario bros and R-type ; so plenty of room for new things

Anyway, just some random ideas.

Bye - Joel.

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