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 Post subject: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:15 am 
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If you guys want to know anything about the progress of the game, this is the place to ask. Please, don't spam here. Thank you.

JSR...


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Release date!

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:37 am 
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Release Date.

Hmmmm... Custom Wars is a growing project. The whole MUGEN aspect of the project makes it difficult for me to nail an exact release date for it.

Why?
- The feature list could increase/decrease at any given time... it takes a while for each feature to get programmed.
- Even though the current programmers we have are committed to the project, the time we have to work on the project is bound by real-life.

So, I'll have to try and work with our strengths. The waters are a little murky at this point making it difficult for me to get a good grasp on the projects movement. Though we are working on CW2, I'm afraid this is all I can promise you... for now...

- Distribution Revolution will always have the latest workable version available for people to try out.
- If a new release is coming out, I'll make sure to key the community in on it.

Keep looking for bugs and weeding out all the problems in CW. Trust me, that is the best thing everyone can do to make sure this project stays in a positive direction. I am positive we will be able to eliminate these problems in the next version. I know how much all of us needs CW to remain as bug free as possible. :wink:

-JSR


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:10 am 
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custom campaigns, custom stuff in general

any ideas how those will work out?

also AI


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:37 am 
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Custom Campaigns, Custom stuff in general, AI...

Well, the custom aspect of CW is looking as though it'll stay intact. However, I am unsure of how much of the old data is going to remain. We had a lot of issues with the old CW that I hope does not transfer onto the new CW. I personally would love to see the custom campaigns, custom units, custom terrains, and CCO's all remain within the mainframe of CW. However, the past experience of the voting system has led me to believe that the new CW will be more strict than the old one. Therefore, putting a strain on custom content.

I really don't think the community wants this...

-------------------------------------
First, I'll briefly explain what is going on coding wise, and why I am having such a hard time deciding what is going to happen.

- We have a very talented programming team this time around. Each one of us believes the game needs to be rethought, however, most of us are having a rough time deciding where the game should go.

1) Make it server based.

-By using JavaScript, PHP, or Ruby, we can make the game completely run on the server. It'll be almost exactly like AWBW in terms of execution. Players will have to login to the internet server in order to play a game. Custom content will be locked down within the server.
Good side: You can't cheat on online games, easily.
Bad side: Custom content is pinched. (might lose custom campaigns, custom CO's, and custom units.)

2) Make it client based. (Basically, how you would play a game using Beta 27 now.)

-By using mainly Java. People download the game via file(.jar) or webserver(.jnlp) and play the game off the file. You do not need to be on the internet in order to play, but you do need a working copy of the file on your computer.
Good Side: Full freedom of custom content.
Bad Side: Lag of turns. Possibility of cheating online.

As of now, we are doing option #2. Hoping we can solve the bad side through some tricky coding. Tonight, I am going to lay out the progress of the new CW. We are using a whole new engine which promises the game will remain at a crisp 60 fps (no more lag). I will make sure to put more detail into the Distribution post.

Okay, so back to your question...
-------------------------------------------

I believe the community wants the ability to create custom content. I also believe you should have the ability to create the content. I also believe that everyone's content should have equal chances of getting in. However, the question of "quality control" has been on the back of my mind ever since the beginning of this motion. Obviously...

-We can't just accept all content... the game will be a mess.
-We can't let a few select people select the content... favoritism occurs.
-We can't let no content get in... defeats the purpose.

As of now, while we are in the alpha stages once again, I am going to change the way content is read into the system. Actually, most of the programmers this time agree, having separate text documents that read in custom data is the way to go. With this system of reading data, it should be easier for you, the creators, to make your own data for custom content. At this point, it is hard for me to say how complicated the data will be to pick up and learn. But, I am hoping to guide the project toward that direction. Of course, regulating the content still remains... but, I'm still working on a solution for that.

These data files will hopefully be used for more than just CO's. But units, terrain, maps... and ultimately campaigns. However, for now, I am focusing on the present. There is much to be done with the current engine.

-------------
A.I.

This was the nail in the coffin the last time CW came to life, and trust me, it is a challenge getting AI running. Making a good AI is even more of a challenge. Single player modes need AI. Beginners need AI. AI is very important in general.

I know the importance of AI and I have already started laying out frameworks for how they should be run... (though they haven't been published yet :P). AI is definitely one of the things we will try and get running late in the development process. Server and game issues have more preference at this point than any other issue. I will make sure that AI is considered this time around due to its significant importance to custom campaigns.
---------------

To Summarize:

Custom Campaigns: (70% chance) Will be in. More power to users for content.
Custom Content: (70% chance) Will be in. More power to users for content.
AI: (95% chance) Will be worked on late in the process...

It is really early in the development stages so, I can't actually say that those percentages will stay constant. I'll definitely try my hardest to keep the project going towards the custom direction. As known, I am always available for questioning. If you are unclear with what was said, or have any other questions... Feel free to ask.

JSR...


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:14 pm 
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i like how u give percentage chances of working on something, and u forgot to note that all percentage minus 50(since u probably will never work ai, despite 95%)

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:44 am 
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I thought we were going to solve the customisation problem by making the engine simple enough to mod that that there would be no need to maintain a regulated monolithic version of Custom Wars. Anyone wanting to see their content in game could just make their mod and distribute it to others.

Although I'm inclined to think that the engine already is customisable enough simply by virtue of being open source. It's just that no one really gives a shit.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:09 am 
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Open source and accessible are different things; let's be honest, people suck and they can't be arsed to really look at how something works in order to understand it better.

on the other hand having a high entry point does act as a buffer against Sturgeon's Law


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 Post subject: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:45 am 
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Directly responding to the post I made in Programmers Questionnaire...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OPTION 1

1) MUGEN: Making this engine moddable, expandable, and extendable. People will be able to take AW based tile games and make them easily with this engine.

Coders: We don't actually have to make the game, we give you the tools to make the game. Any bugs or problems not related to the engine falls directly onto the creators.
Server: Everyone's mods has access to the same server, they can use the servers to hold the save files of where units are and whose turn it is.
Gameplay: Lies solely in the hands of the creators themselves
Content: Lies solely in the hands of the creators themselves

Like:
-Fully customizable (no more voting systems)
-"You don't like it, make your own game"

Dislike:
-Server will be used for many types of mods. (Might need more server space)
-No guarantee all engine items will be utilized/can't optimize engine (slower fps)
-Games rely solely on mods (unless programmers make one themselves)
-Features will have no apex (endless feature programming)

My Take:
It is like, Battle of the Mods. Each mod will go in a big gladiator style arena and duke it out to see which one will be the most popular.

- It is great competition wise, because we are always sure the most popular mod will be on top.
- It is bad because all the mess will be left in the server. We might end up with plenty of files that are being unused and zapping server space (better have some good auto-purging...)
- Also, the mod that wins might not be willing to let other people create content for that game. Therefore, forcing them to make another game in order to have their content.

I dunno, the battle of the mods surely is a double-edge. On one side, you are guaranteed your content will be in if you program it. On the other, you might be the only sap who cares enough to play with your content. I don't even think regulation will be able to stop the onslaught here... only time will tell.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OPTION 2

2) CUSTOM WARS: Making this engine fully capable of dealing with AW/AW2/AWDS/AWDoR(AWDC) games only. Customizable content will be limited to these few options...
-CCO's, Terrain, Maps, Units, Campaigns
However, we'll try and guide this content to be easily creatable on one's PC so playtesting is possible. Content into main game will be "loosely regulated" via forums.

Coders: We are solely responsible for making sure the AW engine stays in tip-top condition. All issues and bug fixes will be solely our responsibility. Developers will need to be assigned so game remains aesthetically sound. (Everything looks and sounds like it fits in the game world)
Server: The server will only have to keep track of how much content we allow it to. The only expandable content would possibly be game-saves and maps.
Gameplay: Lies solely on the community, programmers will alter the game to meet the criteria.
Content: Lies solely on the community via the "loosely regulated" terms.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is "loosely regulated"?
Well, kinda like a voting system. But not. Just a small window on what a "loosely regulated" system could look like.

I realized one thing. Voting is only good when something needs to be removed. Therefore, the only voting that'll occur is when something you don't like is in.
-50% community vote, content removed...
-owner request, content removed...

To get content in, there will be no vote. Just requirements.
Example... A CCO...
-4 rates (A-Rank or better)
-SpriteSheet (Must be complete)
-Music (Must have a theme)
-1 paragraph bio (Must be complete)
-D2D, Powers (Must be complete)

Meet the requirements, get your content in. 100% rule. Applies to everyone, including the creators. This way, content is sure to be flowing in, and creators know what is expected of them. If you want the content to be more or less strict, we can have the community decide. Of course, only a window on what a system like this could be like...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like:
- Organization++: Since the coders know what we are making, the game will be created faster (in general).
- Quality: The quality of the game will rise both gameplay wise and graphical wise
- Forum: Most likely remain organized as well, at least moreso than option #1. Community has more control over the direction of the game, but game progress ultimately remains in coders.
- Control: Easily, the coders can alter the program to give more power to the community, depending on what is needed.

Dislike:
- Baby Steps: The games alpha and beta stages will be longer (due to coders having to worry directly about features).
- Bugs: If careful programming isn't practiced, bugs will hinder the progress of the entire game.

My Take:
It is a little tougher initially on the coders end, but in the late stages it'll be a whole lot easier to manage.
-Most of the late features will be able to be programmed early, since we are only allowing only a little bit of places to expand. (like A.I. and AWDoR functionality)
-The game will look cleaner and run faster, since all of us will be working closely together to get work done.
-Features will be limited solely toward the customizable content. Meaning there will be an apex for how much each type of content will be able to come up with new features.
-It will remain a fully AW based game.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wanna vote, discuss... please do it here...

-JSR...


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:05 am 
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Actually I'm starting to believe the biggest argument against the “mugen” or “spring” approach is that there is no evidence of enough people being interested in going through all the trouble to create actually interesting mods even if you took the programming barrier out of the picture. (And I don't really believe it's possible to remove this barrier completely. Almost any mod that I would consider worthwhile would probably require changes to the engine anyway.) I think we would have to come up with a game idea of ourselves that was awesome and inspiring enough to demand the creation of an engine built for the purpose of implementing that particular game. Any effort put into the “customiseability” of the engine, beyond just making the code reasonably clean and well-documented, is going to be wasted time if there are not a great many people interested in this aspect of the engine.

As for what exactly this awesome and inspiring game would be, I cannot say, but I'm pretty sure it's not Ad Hoc Wars.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:38 pm 
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2.

It sounds like TRPGM will take care of the customizability thing when it comes around. It also sounds like it'll take a while as it's even more intensive than this rewrite will be.

but why settle for one or the other? Can't the code be written as such that anyone can look at it and use it to make their own stuff? wait, it has, but it's messy. uru said something about the old code being too branched out or other; while it works, I shouldnt have to make 3 edits in 3 different files to change one unit's price or wrap my mind around java principles. Worthwhile mods are going to require engine adjustments and you pretty much have to program your own content either way, might as well take the simpler route for now.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:42 pm 
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kiwi wrote:
2.
Can't the code be written as such that anyone can look at it and use it to make their own stuff? wait, it has, but it's messy. uru said something about the old code being too branched out or other; while it works, I shouldn't have to make 3 edits in 3 different files to change one unit's price or wrap my mind around java principles. Worthwhile mods are going to require engine adjustments and you pretty much have to program your own content either way, might as well take the simpler route for now.


Quote:
mods are going to require engine adjustments

It doesn't have to be that way, following a data driven approach, cwe can run with any data you throw at it.
-Terrain, Units, Properties data are obvious candidates to be read from files just because it is much easier to edit(by dev/modders).

So changing a price would mean 1 change in 1 file. If you want to add Bikes for example:
You add the data for bikes, add images for bikes. Done.

Co's are not only data, but also behavior so I think they have to remain in a java class, but they can be loaded dynamically(no recompile for new co)


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:59 am 
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Reading a CO from a file is easy, but can you read the rules for the CO system from a file as well?

How about someone wants to make a mod where you can deploy several CO's at the same time? A hex-based Custom Wars? A new system for leveling up units? Units with the ability to build structures and other units? Research trees?

My point is that a really interesting mod would necessarily involve new mechanics. New mechanics necessarily involve coding. With 70+ CO's and a crap load of more or less useful custom units the old Custom Wars pretty much sucked the default AW:DS ruleset dry of any interesting customisation possibilities, we'd have to mess with the rules themselves to come up with anything new.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:31 am 
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Actually Narts, I agree.

Basing the game directly off of one game AW:DS was the reason why the game play turned dry. However, I must admit that CW was created at a time in where this game play is all we knew AW to be. In that light, it is kind of difficult to say that CW would have ended up any other way that it did. Believe it or not, but it is AWDoR and its new mechanics that ended up driving hell within the CW codebase. If you combine it with CW already struggling to keep up with its own custom ideas it was trying to bring in; it spelled disaster.

Quote:
Reading a CO from a file is easy, but can you read the rules for the CO system from a file as well?

How about someone wants to make a mod where you can deploy several CO's at the same time? A hex-based Custom Wars? A new system for leveling up units? Units with the ability to build structures and other units? Research trees?


However, I think the reason for the previous post was fear of option 2 being a repeat of the old CW. Maybe the right question to ask is "What you would like the ability to edit in an AW type game?". A good feature request would definitely help out in this respect. Therefore, the coders would know exactly what you are expecting from this game.

One problem, the game doesn't even have a plan yet.

As of now, we are currently basing off of AW:DS. This is a bad idea, because we'll run into a problem once people start asking for AW:DoR functionality. So, maybe it'd be best if I start laying out the groundwork early. I'll set up a basic game plan, for what the finished product of this game should look like. I am hoping I will be able to finish this in the coming weekend so I can start getting responses.

I would post it in the Dev section, but I want everyone to be able to respond to the plan. If there are any features you would like added to the plan, you would be able to respond to the post. Anyway, I think this will be a helpful step in this revival process.

-JSR


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Narts wrote:
Reading a CO from a file is easy, but can you read the rules for the CO system from a file as well?

How about someone wants to make a mod where you can deploy several CO's at the same time? A hex-based Custom Wars? A new system for leveling up units? Units with the ability to build structures and other units? Research trees?

My point is that a really interesting mod would necessarily involve new mechanics. New mechanics necessarily involve coding. With 70+ CO's and a crap load of more or less useful custom units the old Custom Wars pretty much sucked the default AW:DS ruleset dry of any interesting customisation possibilities, we'd have to mess with the rules themselves to come up with anything new.

Changing one unit's price and adding exp to units are 2 different things. First as said before nobody is going to write a research mod, that is going to be inside the code done by coders(it's not that easy either)
A unit price is just data that cwe operates with(can be anything within bounds) but exp is a new field? It cannot be added by a mod.

I haven't seen a game where you can switch between tile and hex! i'm sure this can be done but it makes things overly complicated! write that down somewhere far away in a feature list that we'll look at when we actually can play a game. I rather play a unbuggy tile based game then play buggy hex and tile based, I think we can all agree on that.

So modders change data, while coders offer the features you just named, if somebody wants to add an exp field then he/she can if he understands basic java can always ask for help and learn java on the fly + the coding team... will attempt to make the code readable like a book. ie instead of if
Code:
unit.getHP() >40 && unit.getHP() <60 it could just be if unit.hasLowHp()

The #1 exception is cos, they are external but still can change the game


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:43 pm 
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Simply changing values is already pretty easy.

Simply changing values also isn't terribly interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:16 am 
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If you want to add one of the examples you have given, then you can always promote yourself to coder and add it :)


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:43 am 
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Yeah that was kind of my point. The game is already as customiseable as it gets.

What did we want to do for CW next again?


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Yeah, that's kinda funny. Are we are back where we started again?

IMHO, I surely believe that if the previous programmers didn't hard-code the entire game (except maps/saves); They would have been able to manage the server and other bugs that came forth easier. However, when you have to repeatedly go back and edit a previous java CO page over and over again with recompile and beta updates... it gets tedious really quick.

-So, What will the new CW offer that the old didn't...

The ability for creators to change most numeric data (a.k.a. numbers) without recompiling the code.

-I believe this is going to be a key difference in the development of cw2...

-It doesn't have to be only CO's. Maybe, we can just (slowly) expand those outsourced files to all custom content (CO's, terrains, units, campaigns, game rules, and possibly even AI). The more outsourced files we have, the less we'll have recompile the main java code each time someone changes data. (Also, makes modding the game a whole lot easier...)

To be honest, that alone would solve so many of the old problems, especially when it comes to balancing the game. (Which I don't think the coders are going to be focusing on anymore anyway :wink: )

-Instead, all coders have to worry about is what new functionality (a.k.a features) the custom content needs to alter the game.

-As soon as we get a feature working, we attempt to make it numeric data and accessible to the creators. A loop that I think would be easier to live with for both parties (coders and creators).

-A feasible opinion, at least for my standards, though it might not be flawless...

-JSR


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:49 pm 
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Option 2. MUGEN has a terrible environment. Highly overpowered characters, rehashes of the same concept over and over, theft of other's creations, and a large amount of boring content for every bit of good. In the second option we can better control the content. Always go for quality over quantity.


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 Post subject: Re: PQ: Choosing a Path
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:42 pm 
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I think we should forget about hex, as much as I love Battle for Wesnoth, hex requires different renderer, different game logic, and 90% of the content is different. In other words, there is such little similarity, were better off making a separate game for each.


A data driven approach doesn't have to be limited to numeric input. Scripting allows logic to be changed without the need for recompiling.


Ok, we seem to be in limbo between going customised or hardcoded. I recommend a customisable engine coupled with our own default game. That way we have a solid game for everyone to play, and still lets modders do their thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Narts wrote:
I thought we were going to solve the customisation problem by making the engine simple enough to mod that that there would be no need to maintain a regulated monolithic version of Custom Wars. Anyone wanting to see their content in game could just make their mod and distribute it to others.

Although I'm inclined to think that the engine already is customisable enough simply by virtue of being open source. It's just that no one really gives a shit.


Oh, I see, making the engine almost exactly like MUGEN is.

It reminds me of what you did with Serpentor Wars (pardon me if I didn't get the name correct.) You took the main code and created your own modded game off of it, then distributed it to us. We were able to play your game off the server because essentially, it was Custom Wars. You could make as many different types of mods as you want. They would all run essentially the same because the base engine remains constant.

Well, technically it is possible to still do this anyway. Modding is just manipulating data within the program. However, creating a easily modable engine has a few effects...

- It will completely obliterate the old CW data (unless someone wants to mod a version of CW for distribution). I don't know how many people actually care about the old data anyway.

- It also opens up the possibility for CW not only to host AW games. But any other tile based RPG game out there (FE, FF, Disgaea... you name it)... If they can mod it, they can have it here.

- It increases the amount of time the engine will take to make. The more features wanted for each modded game, the more the engine will have to meet the demand of those features. Also those features might automatically have more preference than others. (A.I. might eat major back burner time, whilest Fire +1 for all units might be a quick mod for the engine...)

Actually, there is a project geared directly towards this motion, TRPGM. However, that has been on the back-burner forever. There is no way I'll tell you to go there, yet. I think that we as a community have to make a decision, on what we want for the future of CW.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OPTION 1

1) MUGEN: Making this engine moddable, expandable, and extendable. People will be able to take AW based tile games and make them easily with this engine.

Coders: We don't actually have to make the game, we give you the tools to make the game. Any bugs or problems not related to the engine falls directly onto the creators.
Server: Everyone's mods has access to the same server, they can use the servers to hold the save files of where units are and whose turn it is.
Gameplay: Lies solely in the hands of the creators themselves
Content: Lies solely in the hands of the creators themselves

Like:
-Fully customizable (no more voting systems)
-"You don't like it, make your own game"

Dislike:
-Server will be used for many types of mods. (Might need more server space)
-No guarantee all engine items will be utilized/can't optimize engine (slower fps)
-Games rely solely on mods (unless programmers make one themselves)
-Features will have no apex (endless feature programming)

My Take:
It is like, Battle of the Mods. Each mod will go in a big gladiator style arena and duke it out to see which one will be the most popular.

- It is great competition wise, because we are always sure the most popular mod will be on top.
- It is bad because all the mess will be left in the server. We might end up with plenty of files that are being unused and zapping server space (better have some good auto-purging...)
- Also, the mod that wins might not be willing to let other people create content for that game. Therefore, forcing them to make another game in order to have their content.

I dunno, the battle of the mods surely is a double-edge. On one side, you are guaranteed your content will be in if you program it. On the other, you might be the only sap who cares enough to play with your content. I don't even think regulation will be able to stop the onslaught here... only time will tell.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OPTION 2

2) CUSTOM WARS: Making this engine fully capable of dealing with AW/AW2/AWDS/AWDoR(AWDC) games only. Customizable content will be limited to these few options...
-CCO's, Terrain, Maps, Units, Campaigns
However, we'll try and guide this content to be easily creatable on one's PC so playtesting is possible. Content into main game will be "loosely regulated" via forums.

Coders: We are solely responsible for making sure the AW engine stays in tip-top condition. All issues and bug fixes will be solely our responsibility. Developers will need to be assigned so game remains aesthetically sound. (Everything looks and sounds like it fits in the game world)
Server: The server will only have to keep track of how much content we allow it to. The only expandable content would possibly be game-saves and maps.
Gameplay: Lies solely on the community, programmers will alter the game to meet the criteria.
Content: Lies solely on the community via the "loosely regulated" terms.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is "loosely regulated"?
Well, kinda like a voting system. But not. Just a small window on what a "loosely regulated" system could look like.

I realized one thing. Voting is only good when something needs to be removed. Therefore, the only voting that'll occur is when something you don't like is in.
-50% community vote, content removed...
-owner request, content removed...

To get content in, there will be no vote. Just requirements.
Example... A CCO...
-4 rates (A-Rank or better)
-SpriteSheet (Must be complete)
-Music (Must have a theme)
-1 paragraph bio (Must be complete)
-D2D, Powers (Must be complete)

Meet the requirements, get your content in. 100% rule. Applies to everyone, including the creators. This way, content is sure to be flowing in, and creators know what is expected of them. If you want the content to be more or less strict, we can have the community decide. Of course, only a window on what a system like this could be like...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like:
- Organization++: Since the coders know what we are making, the game will be created faster (in general).
- Quality: The quality of the game will rise both gameplay wise and graphical wise
- Forum: Most likely remain organized as well, at least moreso than option #1. Community has more control over the direction of the game, but game progress ultimately remains in coders.
- Control: Easily, the coders can alter the program to give more power to the community, depending on what is needed.

Dislike:
- Baby Steps: The games alpha and beta stages will be longer (due to coders having to worry directly about features).
- Bugs: If careful programming isn't practiced, bugs will hinder the progress of the entire game.

My Take:
It is a little tougher initially on the coders end, but in the late stages it'll be a whole lot easier to manage.
-Most of the late features will be able to be programmed early, since we are only allowing only a little bit of places to expand. (like A.I. and AWDoR functionality)
-The game will look cleaner and run faster, since all of us will be working closely together to get work done.
-Features will be limited solely toward the customizable content. Meaning there will be an apex for how much each type of content will be able to come up with new features.
-It will remain a fully AW based game.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CLOSING

Actually, the engine can go either way. We have a pretty talented group of programmers as I said before, so it really doesn't matter to me which way people decide. As for deciding which way the engine goes, I think a new topic might be of use here.

-JSR


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:42 pm 
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I see the CW2 map editor is coming along nicely, but I just wanted to ask: does it read .map files?

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:41 am 
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Uhhh... not yet, but it will... even if I have to comb through the archives in order to find the formatting for it myself. Stef will be able to give a much better answer than me though; he has been working feverishly on the editor.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Internally a Map object is used that contains units, cities, etc. This Map can be loaded from various files by using different Map Parsers. So I'm delegating the request to jsr because he handles reading from map files. this probably should be on google Issues to.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:01 am 
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JakeSamiRulz wrote:
even if I have to comb through the archives in order to find the formatting for it myself


viewtopic.php?p=78551#p78551
that what you are looking for?


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:07 pm 
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:D Thanks, yeah, that was exactly what I was looking for... The map editor should be able to read these files, and other map formats as soon as they become available (and I learn how they are split up :)... )


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:59 pm 
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I AM THROWING RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PROGRAMMERS AND THINGS LIKE THIS WOULD PROBABLY BE BEST LEFT TO PMS
BUT


I've wanted to revise the UI for a while now, and there are some things I'm still not very clear on. I know gameplay's the big priority, but uh - let's say I come up with a new title screen, or...better example, Main Menu. I have a very elaborate idea with scrolling menu items, but I'm not a programmer. At all. I know incredibly basic Java (I can draw an 70% opaque blue rectangle with round edges. WOW.) and in the past I felt like I was constantly nagging the programmers. ):

In other words:
Image
All I can do is draw that semi-transparent square in the corner there. Could I get help on the other stuff if need be?
(Biggest issue though, is making the menu items scrollable. But I'm a total knob and can't figure out how to put images into the game correctly)

I can have everything appear, and in the proper places, just...
I can't make it actually WORK ;_;

tl;dr i suck. i want help plz T_T

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Well...

As of now, kiwi is holding the reigns for CW etc...
CW2's menus are controlled by me, as well as map loading...

A scrolling menu is, well, second nature to me. But, I am trying to remain focused on completing CW2 as quickly as possible. Stef has been coding and coding and coding, his perseverance really makes me want to complete this project. In a way, I guess he is my inspiration. But, I should get back to the point....

Narts and kiwi are handling the programming end of CW. 2 options...

1) You can run the idea by them and see what happens.
2) I actually can use some graphical consulting when it comes to the new game. So I really don't mind working with you to create an aesthetically sound game.

Choice is yours Kosheh...

JSR...


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:37 am 
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psh I'm no programmer, I just got bored enough to make CHANGE
if you need someone to program stuff, ask Narts, CoconutTank, stef, smart guys in general

so yeah I defer to their knowing how to do stuff, soon as I find the source code and more free time


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:49 am 
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I don't want to spend one second on programming menus if I don't have to. Find another programmer or simplify your design.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:07 pm 
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o okay guys ):


Well one change is rather simple, like flipping the map select position. I can take care of everything else in those menus. :E


i'm not a total dunce when it comes to Java


...just mostly a dunce

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:14 pm 
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There is a PopUpMenu class(can use it for normal menus too) in cw2 that allows you to add images and/or text and render it, and it will handle the selecting/mouse hover for you. :D

Jsr made a test for it @
http://code.google.com/p/customwars/sou ... tMenu.java

of course it would be easier if you saw an example, I really need to fix the webstart :| .


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 4:44 am 
hey, I haven't checked here in a while. So, have you guy's made any progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:29 am 
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yes no maybe check back next year


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:42 am 
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Is the project still being written primarily in Java?

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Hello DP,

The program is actually split between two programming languages.

The main program is being written in JavaScript, which allows us to run this program almost exactly like you'd be running say, AWBW. The added bonus for running the main code in JavaScript is that we can play it on more than just the desktop and laptops.

There is also a client currently in progress that will be written in Java. It will have the exact same functionality as the CW Beta 27 counterpart. Except, I'm really striving for a much cleaner interface, a semi-decent map/campaign editor, and trying to set it up so the game runs by its locale. (In non-fancy terms, it means that it can find the human language it needs to display depending on the country it is in.)

Everything is going to be merged together into one huge program. Lots of the features that you'll be able to do in the desktop will also be on the online version. So, in terms of work split, after a while you should start to see it approach 50/50 between JavaScript and Java.

All this means is that you'll have a lot of ways to interact with this program. You'll have the option to play it in browser, offline, or online. (It also gives us programmers a safety net of not putting all our eggs in one basket.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 am 
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In my perusal of various independent gaming projects, I've learned that Java and Javascript are rather frowned upon. Of course, no one as yet has stated why, though I suspect it is the compatibility and performance issues in the long run. Have you considered the strengths and shortcomings of the programming language?

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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:57 am 
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Java and JavaScript have always had a sour history when it comes to gaming. I want to give you a little bit of insight to why. I also want to cover why we'd be backing this technology for this game.

To put it bluntly...

Java and JavaScript's lack of popularity in gaming can be traced to these two roots...

Java has always been slow in comparison to C.
JavaScript was never meant to do gaming.


History lesson in C...

In fact, C/C++ has always lead gaming projects. The reason for this is, all the major gaming companies use C to create their games. This has some great side effects when it comes to programming for C...

All graphic cards are catered directly to the C programming language.
All libraries made for gaming are directly catered to the C programming language.
Games made in C get major backing and support from major companies, boosting the respect of those games.


The support and overall libraries available for C/C++ is very vast in comparison to any other game programming language, period. Games created in these languages are able to be directly used in the PSN Network, XBox Live, Steam, and other gaming portals very easily.

So why choose Java and JavaScript?

Well, to put it in one word... time.

The only weakness that C has is that in order to target different platforms, I would have to re-write my program differently for each platform I want to target. This game is being coded by 3 individuals working off of free time. I want all of our work done to do hit as many individuals as possible. Java and JavaScript allows me to do this easier...

Tell me about these languages...

Java has been known to be a slow language. However, when they compare anything to Java, they are comparing it to C. Java gives us programmers a way to hit multiple platforms while only coding once. (Plus, we are not making an First Person Shooter online, where speed is 100% necessary.) I chose Java because for this games case, we are not going to need to use high end graphics to get a good game. It'll make sure that people with other Operating Systems will still be able to play with the engine.

JavaScript is a little bit different. At first, it was not intended to be a programming language to play games. It was a scripting language allowing people to display graphics easier. Due to this, it was not built to handle gaming loops or other heavily application heavy items that games require. It wasn't until recently, that Google decided to completely overhaul JavaScript to be around 500% faster. It made gaming in JavaScript possible. However, not every browser is keen to supporting the accelerated JavaScript engine functions. So, we have to basically wait for each browser to catch up and support the features.

So... why use them for Custom Wars Tactics?

My goal for Custom Wars: Tactics is to create an engine where you will have the ability to play it from anywhere. I want to hit as many people as possible with this engine, so people don't have to look online for another alternative. I am taking the risk of the game being a little bit slower now, in order to make sure that the game can last into the future later.

Java and JavaScript are rather young technologies still trying to establish their footing in the world of Computer Science. Over time, both Java and JavaScript are getting faster. The good news about putting your program into young technologies is that you'll get the most cutting edge features. Also, if these technologies become really big, you can guarantee support for your game will go alongside it. (In other words, setting groundwork for CWT to last way beyond your lifetime.)

I fully understood the weakness of putting CWT in Java/JavaScript. That is why I've been putting a lot of effort into researching how to keep the engine running at a playable speed when running these 2 technologies. So far, I can say that the rewards of doing it this way has far outreached the risks. The game is performing at a greater speed then we ever thought would be possible. If successful, it could very well be an example of how these technologies can work together to create a good gaming experience.

TL; DR version

Using Java and JavaScript to target as much people as possible. Use my programming expertise to keep the game at a decent speed. Most of all, make sure we'd be able to use all the assets (including code) on multiple different platforms. Time is always against this project, I want to make sure that my team's coding time is used to hit as many people as I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Programmers Questionnaire
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:07 am 
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JSR, god of long-winded explanations.

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