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RPG’s, development and bugs

Hi all,
This post would be a shortish post about some upcoming RPG’s and the various issues that some of the issues these project are having.

First I would like to share I have/had been fighting within myself whether I should post it or not. After a bit of internal strife I had to write it.

If you have looked at some of my posts in the past then you would know that I’m heavily biased towards RPG’s. The thing is if FOSS has to make an impact then we need everything that non-free software has which means business softwares for work and games for re-creation and education.

Now I have been searching for a long time for some good RPG’s for a long time. While there are many definitions for me an RPG is one where there is tons to explore, some class system, individual or better a party, quests, killing animals,zombies whatever and levelling up and finally ‘saving the world’ or whatever.

Now the problem is there are many good games which simply don’t make the light. One of the games which I was looking forward to play is/was Dungeonhack. I liked the idea as well as some of the lore (not to the level of Tolkein but still near) but the project seems to have stalled for quite sometime. There are two repos with Garvek having the last say on 2nd October. Some of the art assets are really cool though although I have no idea how good/bad would they be on low-end machines like mine. Now they seem to be going for a fifth engine in as many years and god knows how much time that would take as well as availability of people.

Now the other game which made lot of noise in recent months has been a game called pparpg. Now this game again has the same issues. It’s difficult to get the source, let alone compiling. A part of it is perhaps my non-understanding of hg as well. I have been unable to clone the mercurial directory . I wish there was a way for hg to be more verbose than its being atm. This is the output I’m getting when trying to use hg .

~/games/parpg$ hg clone -v http://hg.assembla.com/parpg-core
destination directory: parpg-core
requesting all changes
adding changesets
adding manifests
adding file changes
added 202 changesets with 643 changes to 209 files (+1 heads)
updating to branch default
resolving manifests
getting .hgignore
getting .hgsub
getting .hgsubstate

It downloads for a while and then shuts off, I asked on the forums and got some sort of round answers for the same.

What I would like to know is if there a more verbose way to know what is going on or where while cloning it gets stuck ?

Also does anybody know how big is the repo is in MB or MiB‘s please? The hg repo listing at assembla gives only bytes figures.

That is one of the reasons I have started to like git, git by itself is made verbose so you get more output while svn and/or hg are not that verbose even if its default mode. For e.g. see :-

$git clone git://gitorious.org/orange-engine/orange-engine.git orange-engine
Cloning into 'orange-engine'...
remote: Counting objects: 2546, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (825/825), done.
Receiving objects: 22% (566/2546), 5.85 MiB | 10 KiB/s

Now if you look at the git output especially the last line it says it all, it is giving me precise information as to where I’m at (this is at the first time where I have no idea how much time its going to take and other such things), its also telling me how much space it has taken (so probably there would be rough estimate of the final size and most importantly the speed at which I’m downloading.

Anyways, the more sorta advanced games (meaning they have gone down the development road further) they have issues with having good models, better maps and good story-telling. Without good writers and a good story it sorta like the soul is out.

For e.g. two games which I would say ‘Flare‘ and ‘Hale‘ both fall within this category. While Flare had some official releases out, hale can only be used from the subversion repo to see something good but still it has got a long way to go still.

Both miss the story. Another game which actually is pretty cool is Lambdarouge. This is one of the games which is pretty random and I wish there was a way to avoid permadeath. If that were to be made as an optional component it would be one of the games I would play as well.

There is one game called ‘Sumwars‘ though which seems to have got a particular distribution problem. Now this game seems to have a font called ‘Commonwealth-10’ font which is/seems to be a non-free font. Now that game cannot be packaged for Debian unless either that font is removed or that particular font is in non-free and that gets called whenever you want to install the game. There are not many people who do NOT use the non-free repo so we are left wiggling thumbs. There is a thread about it on sumwars fora but there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

What has been interesting to note is that people have been comparing how things look inside SDL 1.2 and SDL 1.3. Although with Intel integrated graphics as I have I guess one sticks to SDL 1.2 till all the game and all the mixer stuff is ported to SDL 1.3 and is in unstable.

Apart from some of the technical issues I pointed out, one of the big things I wish was usage of better, beefier models but that I guess is an iterative process as can be seen say in Simutrains case.

There are a couple of more games I would have added to the list but guess this would have to do for today. Till later.

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2 thoughts on “RPG’s, development and bugs

  1. I think you are right about story. However, if you have the story, but say, not the user interface programming down, then there is nothing you can do to make programmers want to write your game for you.
    Even if you have developers, it is hard to find any more developers. You better hope you can do it all by yourself.
    The other big problem is abandoned game projects. I know one of my favorites was IVAN, or Iter Vehemens ad Necem.
    The orginal developers abbandoned it, and it needed to be fixxed to compile on newer compilers, but then this added some bugs. (I have some version where you cannot go upstairs or it crashes) I wish I knew where to get the good version of this game and could find a thriving community of players.

    • Your point also goes either way. If you look at the project parpg you can see its going nowhere atm. I can share almost a dozen foss game projects which started and then fizzled out. Just having programmers also does not mean it would work.

      For e.g. another project which I had hoped will continue was dawn-rpg. . Please see https://github.com/frusen/Dawn/ as another project which is in statis which I liked. Here the game is a bit buggy and the programmer does not have time to write integration and unit tests to see that same issues do NOT happen again and again so it all depends.

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