Let's Face Reality and Accomplish Something

Friendly conversations, and everything that doesn't fit into the other forums.
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Dwarf King
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:20 pm
by Dwarf King » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:52 pm
Now let us calm down and take a look at this.
That said, I generally agree with your approach. We need to snuggle up as close as we can to Blender, both in terms of community and providing support for Blender art in the engine. Honestly I think it's our best shot. Also, this community tends to be more full of programmers than artists, so pairing with a community where the balance is flipped would be a great idea.
Yes artists and programmers should work together and do it every single day in the game industry. That is why programmers outsource their art work to good freelancer artists :)
I think its too late for that. Blender is like free photoshop for 3D visualizations, yes, there are alternatives, but with Blender you can get totally trained for a professional job with a zero investment on professional software that cost you thousands, then with that experience you can build a portfolio then land a job, with in-house commercial softs.
Perhaps, but for some landing a job might not be the goal. Also please notice that Epic Games gave Blender Organization around 50.000$ to improve their fbx pipeline. Hence Blender is already taken serious as a tool in the industry. Earning money is now harder than ever and highly expensive subscription models for 3d max or even buying seat licensees are something most would like to avoid if possible :)
Torque3D is trying to fight in a completly different scenario. Here users are indie devs or teams that need to deliver a great, already finished product to archive his own survival. So everything but that a decent engine with a community and a company behind is already discarded. Even worse, since TWO 3D versions of photoshop went FREE and CryE. is 19$ / Month. Not to mention the other zillion open source engine alternatives avaliables as today.
The market is saturated. Such is the game industry when many wish to develop a new game engine and earn on it. It is called competition and it normal for a market to behave like it does when supply and demand does not match each other. It is okay and normal what you see now.
Said it before, and I'm saying it again: With blender you only need to laid the tools and everything else are minor updates here and there (like gimp). In a Game Engine, evey noticeable shifting in rendering technology will FORCE you to deal with large source refractoring that affects on a global scale. And this HARDWARE shifts are happening on a solid 6 months circles because there are quite big guys shipping stuff 4 profits.
DX9 has been used for like ten years? And all DX11 machines also support DX9(actually DX11 can be made to support DX9 as such). If DX9 would stop being supported many Microsoft Windows users woulf not be able to use their games they purchased through steam and on dvds back then. The whole Windows world would scream in agony and anger if that would change ;) You can safely develop on DX9 game engines until T3D MIT is upgraded to DX11 in the near future.
The thing that appeals the most about torque are his somewhat matured features and the full source. But don't be fooled, anyone wishing to make it in the industry will never ever choose Torque when you can already develop for free on behemoths like U5 or UE4. (And by the way, start over to learn an engine from the ground up).
Choice of engine will not decide whether you make it or not in the game industry. That is your social marketing skill, your marketing budget, game play and some luck that decides that. DX9 engines only requirement is a windows machine with a decent CPU, 2-4 gigs of ram and a okay GPU. Windows is about to be free by the way :)
The only guys that can found torque most appealing as today in my opinions are coders. Big con: Coders usually don't deliver enough eye-candy :cry: (which sells).
Yups just like the people at Unity who loves to code in C# or the Unreal 4 users who try to avoid Blueprint when possible and stick to C++... Actually even Blueprint requires you to code. As soon as you hit the need for Boolean variable needs, Branch(if statements in Blueprint) and arrays in UE4 many people get surprised how the logic and thinking of a coder/programmer is still required to make anything. Try to make a door system with keys and sound detection for areas in order make different foot step sounds in UE4 and you will be surprised ;)
Oh and eye candy is useless if nobody sees your game... Codeword is social marketing and some luck :idea:
Vulkan, Dx12, HLGL, PBR, theres just too much shit new everyday to implement, and guys like me that are no coders, learning any modern API means a shitload of investment so big, that anything that I cannot reuse over and over and over again is a big fucking nono. Even at the level of scripting (yes, I'm looking you TorqueS).
For this reasons most artist want a plug and play approach, and torque is in a field that im pretty certain it will never archieve the stablity nor the features, not the standarization the other, mainstream engines already have. (And therefore can safely ignore us) UNLESS
You do not need most of all those features. I have used UE4 for a year to test its capabilities. UE4 comes with more than any indie will ever need for his small game. Also UE4 crashes, it crashes a lot when doing landscape sculpting and Blueprint scripting or working in Persona(animation and blending etc.). I find T3D MIT version 3.5.1 just as stable as UE4 version 4.6.1. Both are nice tools that offer different solutions to problems and needs.
UNLESS torque shifts to a modular approach, where Steering Comitee just develop a FRAMEWORK that just pieces together a buch of open source projects. (Torque6 a nice start)
What T3D steering community is doing now is also what Epic Games is doing on their GitHub with Unreal 4. The steering community is doing it very well.

I receive updates about the T3D MIT repo's pull requests everyday. It is a very much alive and active repo.

It seems to me that you have been blinded a bit by all the marketing as such. I can tell you that many artists hit a wall when they realize they still need to think as a coder/programmer a bit when working in UE4 or Unity 4/5.

Also while we write this at least two more T3D titles has hit the steam store this month. Now ain't that just utterly awesome? :mrgreen:
Last edited by Dwarf King on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Duion
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:10 pm
I never understood this mentality, that you have to do good work and show off just to get hired by someone big and then do something boring that other people dictate you and has nothing to do with what you wanted to do originally.
With Torque or free software in general, there is no need for that, you truly own your tools, you truly own your products and you truly own your company/studio so where is the need to become a slave to someone else? The only reason is that the big companies have the market share and the money on their side.

Everyone complains about the big companies buying the smaller ones, destroying them and destroying the good and original products with it and make boring mainstream products out of it, but at the same time a lot of indie developers just work to get hired by those companies.

If people do not see those logical fallacies there will never be a real solution to all related issues.
Duion
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:08 pm

So what am I proposing? Quite simply, a plan.

1) Identify a core team to lead an Open Game project.
2) Identify the game concept and create preliminary design, technical, and art documentation.
3) Approach the Blender Foundation about co-developing the project.
4) Run an INDIEGOGO or Kickstarter campaign to get funding for the project (or even through Blender.org).
5) Commence the project.
6) Market the project and build the community.
7) Establish a long-term core team with a centralized location (if possible).
1) Core team is me and Ahsan from this community, there was no real interest or support from any other member of this community so far.
2) I have done this, except art documentation, which has to be done later, when the project is more finished.
3) Blender Foundation is something different and not very involved in game development and likely does not care.
4) Kickstarter does not work, it failed hard multiple times with Torque related projects.
5) It is already running for quite some time now.
6) Tried several marketing attempts, just to realize there is no market and the open source games community is much too small.
7) Not possible so far.


You got any better plan now?
chriscalef
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:48 pm
by chriscalef » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:42 pm
On the subject of an open source game... I've been thinking about this a lot, because I have my own plan in the fairly near future to combine the work I've been sharing into my own open source game. The thing with open source games, as Dan pointed out and Duion has been noticing, is that it's really really hard to get any substantial number of people to work on them, because there are as many visions for the final result as there are people involved. While the team may have a lot of agreement on features and components, in my experience when it comes down to final content, story, etc it is nearly impossible to get agreement because everyone has their own vision.

As a solution, I'd like to propose that instead of putting all of our eggs into a single game project, we instead take an approach of putting as much work as possible into modularized components that can be released as separate git branches or resource libraries. We've always wanted solid starter kits for different game types, but with everything going to MIT and git it seems like this might start to be achievable. What if we had branches for commonly used features in FPS, RTS, MMO, etc, and as much as possible broke out independent features in sub branches in as granular a way as possible, and then built our open source game(s) by merging the branches we needed?

That way we could share as much of our work as possible without getting stuck on whether we're going to support X's game or Y's game as "the" open source game for the community. It would take a little more work to keep all these branches up to date with the main engine progress, but it would seem worth it if it allowed the work to be useful to and draw input from a lot more community members than just the team working on one game, and maybe we could get some contributions from some of the non-open-source projects out there as well once the ball started rolling.
Duion
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:55 pm
My project is very flexible, if it comes to different visions and even, if someone disagrees a lot he can just take it and develop his own version, but it is not recommend in most cases since then people have to start from the beginning again.
And the thing with open source is, that it is always automatically shared, at least if the license is not too painful. Also the old idea of making starter kits for others will not work out, who should use them after that? You will need a big userbase to create all the different features, maintaining them, build their own games with them and lots of other people using them. At the moment we do not even have enough users for developing a single feature, how do you plan to do it with multiple ones?
The times competing in the regular engine market are over, the advantage we have left is the open source part, so I don't think selling starter kits to others will work out, even if they are free, you will also need a lot of people who voluntarily maintain all the branches, otherwise the hurdle for others to get into it will be too big.
chriscalef
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:48 pm
by chriscalef » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:01 pm
Yeah, it's definitely a lot of work, and it's probably out of reach at this point to try to assemble and maintain full starter kits for all the different game types, that would only work if each had their own community of interested volunteers working on that type of game.

However for myself, I'm already engaged in my multiple branch strategy and plan to continue with everything I can componentize out of my current code.

The problem with _not_ doing it this way is the problem I've experience so many times before and am currently in the midst of with Ecstasy Motion - you end up with such a massive pile of "everything but the kitchen sink" code piled into one project that it becomes useless to anyone else and very hard to maintain in its own right.

For me this got so bad that I pretty much gave up on maintaining EM as is, and instead I'm grabbing everything useful, bit by bit, and dragging each bit into the future with current T3D and physx3. I plan to open source most of the bits, maintaining only enough closed source code to make the actual end product not be something any idiot can just download for free, but still allowing torque devs to have access to 90% of it. (My real target customers are indie film makers, so I don't think I'll lose a lot of sales with this strategy, and hope to gain some positive feedback and maybe road testing of various features etc by doing it this way.)

Meanwhile re: the game I'm also putting together, I do hope to be able to share code and resources with your project, but even though Uebergame is very flexible, I think what I have in mind is different enough that combining the two projects would not be feasible. Hopefully anything useful from mine will be trivial to import into yours via git merge though, if my multi branching scheme is successful.

While I'm at it I guess I'm spilling some beans here so I might as well spill more - and life is busy of course so don't hold me to a deadline - but the game I want to build is going to be an open world sandbox game, sort of Rust combined with Second Life but placed on the actual Earth using my FlightGear world server project, anywhere the player wants to play it.

Re: the competition between engines, definitely open source is our power - it is actually the only reason I'm back here again, I almost totally gave up on Torque back in the day. In the process I got so burned out on having my core business plan completely under the thumb of a private company that I vowed a solemn oath to _never_ again put my work on top of a code base over which I did not have complete ownership. For this current game I want to make, having it be fully open source is a key component of the plan.

Which reminds me of a question I've had for a while: has there been a thread on this site or GG.com that extensively lays out the current competition in terms of open source engines? I'd like to know where we stand there, is there anything yet that is as game ready as Torque, with editors and efficient networking code out of the box? Not looking to switch, mind you, just wondering.
Duion
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:40 pm
I noticed a while ago that many people left working with Torque do some kind of sandbox games or addons to the engine. That is the strength of Torque since it is simply not possible with all the other engines, since you are not allowed to redistribute the source-code of the engine, the editors and development tools, you are always forced to use the companies official redistribution platforms and their shops and they will get their share of every product you produce.
But the freedom is also a curse, since everyone can do what he wants it is hard to unite people.
For managing code, I did not have that problem so far, I just have my scripts, datablocks and settings, which are relatively good maintainable, even without version control.
I am mainly producing art assets, so there is not much need for managing it, everyone who wants to use it, can use it.
Dwarf King
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:20 pm
by Dwarf King » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:42 pm
Which reminds me of a question I've had for a while: has there been a thread on this site or GG.com that extensively lays out the current competition in terms of open source engines? I'd like to know where we stand there, is there anything yet that is as game ready as Torque, with editors and efficient networking code out of the box? Not looking to switch, mind you, just wondering.
I only know of Ogre3D(MIT), Blender(BSD), Panda3D(BSD) and jmonkeyengine(BSD).

Torque 3D's strength lies in the many long time developed add-ons ;)
Duion
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:14 pm
I could not find any real alternative open source wise to Torque3D, there is just the old quake based engines, which you have no idea how to do anything, if you are not an expert coder and some rendering engines like Ogre3D but lacking the others tools needed to make a game. Now there is also Godot engine, which looks really simple, but it looks to be more made for small 2D or mobile games.
Jason Campbell
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:51 am
 
by Jason Campbell » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:12 am
Also the old idea of making starter kits for others will not work out, who should use them after that? You will need a big userbase to create all the different features, maintaining them, build their own games with them and lots of other people using them. At the moment we do not even have enough users for developing a single feature, how do you plan to do it with multiple ones?
I'm not refuting this statement at all however I must say that having some sort of starter kits or open demos for each major genre would certainly be attractive to newcomers, which we don't seem to have many of lately(perhaps I'm wrong and there are many skilled lurkers around?) As you say, our user-base is small but It would be nice if we could grow it a bit. I realize making a successful game using any engine is difficult, I just think that if people could get through the initial learning curve of Torque, they could see how powerful it really is. It still sort of boggles my mind that there still isn't basic scripted AI in stock Torque that you can just drop in the game and assign simple behavior.

Right now I am crazy busy and I don't even know if I could be useful but my feeling is that I want to help make Torque more accessible to new users. I do think that Torque could attract serious game developers still because of it's openness.
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