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Rick



Joined: 25 Apr 2004
Posts: 8
Location: California, USA



PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

glxinfo | grep Direct (or direct? I don't remember what casing the information is in)

Does it say `Direct Rendering: Yes'?

If it doesn't, your Linux distro is not set up for hardware accelleration.
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Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DataBeaver wrote:
I'll test on a 3D accelerated machine soon
Err, yeah that would do it. Starscape requires 3D acceleration - there's no software rendering done. So you are probably using software OpenGL, which as have found out - would suck.
The DataBeaver wrote:
I don't think it is really that much more work. Starscape already uses OpenGL and I assume that all the in-game graphics are rendered with it? That only leaves sound and input. Both can be done using SDL, which is portable among other things.

Do a search for one of the previous replies to this sort of question -it's actually pretty hard, and we already have SDL capabilities. People seem to think that if you use OpenGL and SDL then you can just squirt this out in no time. I'm guessing you program in Linux but only small applications not games? It's easy to do a small app using that combination (this has been answered in far more detail before on this board though so I'll not go over old ground)

There's also other issues even beyond doing a conversion: Linux would be harder to support than both Mac and Windows, and currently it takes up more time then we'd like to even support Windows. If we had to make patches for three platforms we'd not get a second game finished. This is the unfortunate circumstance that we had to come to terms with once Starscape was released, and was the major reason for us putting both platforms on indefinite hold. We just don't have the manpower.

I get that everyone is on a crusade to get thw holy grail of Linux gaming up and running, and in an ideal world that's what we'd be able to do, but the sad fact is you would be extremely lucky to get 15% of your windows sales, and you would end up with probably the same amount of support to deal with for a much smaller customer base. Moonpod was started to 'give little people a chance', and so we'd love to support the Linux gaming community (and mac for that matter), for that reason alone, but we need to be in a situation to help ourselves first.
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X-Fighter
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something interesting, but rather irrelevant, is system design...

www.illwinter.com produced 3 games, Conquest of Elysium II(lots of fun), Dominions, and Dominions II(Which is currently one of the top 10 linux games out there).

The reason I mention this is that Dominions only had 1 patch to download for all 4 systems(linux/solaris/windows/mac) that it appeared on. In this regard, I believe the system they designed, and their use of internalized datatypes(the file extensions appear non-standard to all of the systems I've used) made this possible, but it's still noteworthy that they pulled this off.

Unfortunately, Dominions II doesn't appear to have the same cross-platform ability that the original did, in regards to patches and the like.

Just something to think about.
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I recall correctly - dominions is entirely software rendered and only mouse driven and didn't have much in the way of sound? I could be totally wrong here though (I forget what dominions was like), but that would solve a lot of problems.

Also, I think you are possibly wrong about the patching: I'm sure they use multiple patches but the CD comes with all the installs.

and, (if again I'm thinking of the same game) there are loads of issues with various linux systems and needing various lib versions installed and so on (which is to be expected with Linux. Not a problem, but a major support issue).

Also, it being one of the top ten Linux games and I can't really remember it doesn't really inspire does it? I can also guarantee they made more money on every other platform (unless at the time it was one of the few linux games out there).

Time for a reality check: Linux would not make us any money. We would be lucky to get development costs back, and so when Poo Bear is worried about keeping his daughter fed and a roof over his family's head how are you going to convince him to spend 5 minutes working on a Linux version?

I know people like to 'think' they know better, but let me assure you: Poo Bear and Goober are two of the most talented games programmers out there (I'm not worried if you don't believe me, I believe it). They know their ****. Programmers who've programmed commandline apps for one of the many iterations of linux,and have never actually programmed a single game, let alone on 3 platforms simultaneously, are quick to point out the error of our ways, because they had a cube zipping around on screen in opengl under SDL. It's not that easy.

The only reason to do linux versions is because we'd like to make the linux (and mac for that matter) communities happy (and we would like to). There certainly isn't any monetary reason, and in fact it would have a negative financial impact because one of our already stretched programming team of two would have to work spend a lot of time doing it.

EDIT - ahh you actually posted the link - yup, we are talking about the same game.
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X-Fighter
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure that Dominions had all of the issues you recall(I do recall being able to use the keyboard on it, for one), and I don't dispute that re-developing SS would be a painful waste.

I do remember there being only 1 download for every upgrade/patch, though, despite the platforms serviced, but again, this was because it was designed with this concept ahead of time.

I do recall hearing about the linux lib issues you mentioned, too.

I'd also note that there's something like a 4-year development time on each of their games(egads!).

It was just a thought regarding the idea that it's quite possible to pull off cross-platform games, even as and "independent" developing company.

It also illustrates some great points: The credits for Dominions includes about 20+ people(7*MP!), and the internalized file system means that you'd have to be planning this from day one of a game. Not to mention the 4 years/game thing.

I'd suggest that everyone willing to wait until 2008 before the next MoonPod game, please buy 56 CD copies of StarScape to show your support... I'm sure if we get enough people doing this, then MoonPod would be happy to consider this option.
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you are right and that's what they used to do, check this page:

http://www.illwinter.com/dom/downloads.html

No less than 5 separate patches! What a nightmare to maintain!!

Some system whereby you run on multiple platforms is the holy grail. It just might happen one day.

So far the only decent solution we've come up with is to get someone else to do it Very Happy The problem with that is the support is unlikely to be anywhere near as good as we can offer now (as we couldn't do it). Another big drawback is if we release an update: if the person/people who did the conversion were on a contract - we need to contract them back in every time. If they are taking a percentage and sales go down or are not so great (Average quoted figures from other developers we've talked to have been 30% of windows sales for Mac and 15% for linux) - will they have the commitment to keep maintaining it that we would?

We feel bad about this - The Linux and Mac community always get the short end of the stick, but we haven't thought of a good solution yet.

Btw: an Independent company that takes 4 years to release a game and employs 20+ staff is still about as far as you can get from 3 people in Goober's bedroom (choking on the fumes emanating from Poo Bear's corner Shocked )
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The DataBeaver



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 24



PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
I'm guessing you program in Linux but only small applications not games?

Depends on what you call small. I have made a couple of programs with a few thousands of lines. It is small compared to Starscape, but still pretty large. And I've coded my own windowing toolkit too. Currently I'm making a multiplayer character graphics RPG with a few friends. That project has about 9500 lines of code in it now and is still far from finished. Also noteworthy is that I have 15 years of programming experience and I'm only 20 years old.

But I won't argue about the Linux version. I understand your reasons perfectly and there's nothing I can do to help the situation. I do have Windows after all, and it's even almost legal. (Win98SE with Win2k licence)
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah don't get me wrong: I'd be actually appreciate someone saying 'I told you so' and point at something of the level of Starscape done multiplatform with 3 people in the same time and turning a profit. It's just usually non-game coders that try point these things out to us, and it's easier said than done. Everyone wants to see Starscape on every platform going at the end of the day - it's just not been practical.

Btw: game sounds cool. Are you running in 3D or 2D? and how is the multiplayer working from an rpg gaming perspective?
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DataBeaver wrote:
Also noteworthy is that I have 15 years of programming experience and I'm only 20 years old.

Wow. If you look at it like that I must have about 15 years of "programming experience" too. I'm not sure that any prospective employer would be that impressed to know I referred to programming BBC BASIC and Turbo Pascal as a child.
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X-Fighter
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Experience tends to be over-rated... plenty of people with many years of experience are still complete idiots, and responsible for many horrific mistakes in the world.

I realize this may sound mean or baseless, but who's a more-famous Golfer: Tiger Woods or Edgar Badgley? Edgar's got over twice as much experience as Tiger Woods does, if you're curious.
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The DataBeaver



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 24



PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said, it uses character graphics, like Nethack. That limits it to 2D more or less, although I have thought of making an OpenGL client with 3D characters floating around. As for multiplayer, it's going to be a persistent world. The engine is titled MMOCGRPG, meaning Massively Multiplayer Online Character Graphics RPG. It can even be used with telnet in case someone doesn't want to download and install a separate client program.

As for multiplatform games... I haven't seen many commercial games that would be available for Linux. Neverwinter Nights is an exception and there might be a few others. Most Linux games are free, and some are even pretty good, like FreeCiv. Many of them also have a Windows version available.

And yes, I did start programming with Basic when I was five, and that probably won't impress any employer. However, the seven years of using it gave me a pretty solid knowledge of the basic things in programming, like variables and flow of control, allowing me to learn C and C++ rather quickly. Can you imagine that I made my first game with C only one year after beginning with that language? It's a racing game with about 3000 lines of code, and despite having a few bugs, it worked.
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Bobacles



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 123



PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked on a little random number generator.

It works by building a deck of cards, shuffling them, and playing a full card game of "war". It returns only two values (T/F) with a 50/50 chance.

It was the only program I really made on my own, with a little input on shuffling the deck.

For those of you that don't know, War is a card game. Two players start with half of a deck. Both players take a card from the top. The person with the higher number wins both cards. If the cards are equal, you go into "war". Both players draw 3 cards, put them aside, and another is drawn. The player with the higher number wins all the cards. If it's a tie, continue the war.
When a player runs out of cards, he takes his winnings, shuffles them, and uses it as a new deck. Continue until one player runs completely out of cards.

It could also be used as a bell-curve randomizer, but that'd be a waste. Wink
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Konedima
Grammar Police
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1068
Location: Sydney, Land of Censorship



PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have 8 years programming experience and i'm only 13.... BEAT THAT!!!!

probably my most spectacular work would be about 200 lines of BASIC... but that ain't gonna impress anyone. heck, i couldn't do the maths for anything complicated back when i wrote that (3 or 4 years ago) and now i'm a **** artist and know about 10 different commands in c++ so.... ain't gonna impress no-one. my childish creation of about 200 lines was a feeble attempt at an operating system written in basic (ah, kids can be so dreaming... then stupid reality sets in) anybody wants to see it, i'll dig it up....
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 138



PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a hacking simulation when I was 6 that had a little over 20k lines... Got my first comp with I was four, started programming when I was 5, been doing it ever since.
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creature



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 12



PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are all heros Smile
i could not read when i was 5. School begins with 7 or 6 years.
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