Monday, October 23, 2006

TA:Spring Rewrite

There's a storm of comotion in the TA:Spring community after the lead developers announced intentions to rewrite the entire Spring engine stating unclean code and a desire to utilise external libraries like OGRE to both reduce the codebase size and introduce new features already expertly handled by said libraries.

The two major debating points were the critical "what about the modders" and the ever-so-important "what name should we give the not-started barely-planned mod". In all seriousness, the modders are the essence of the playing community and really make TA:Spring the eye catching open source project as it is - without them it would just be an engine for commercial content. They give the project the massive momentum it currently enjoys and the developers really need to listen to their concerns, which fortunately it appears they are doing.

Some of the highlights of the proposed rewrite are dynamic lighting, inbuilt C# scripting, and the engine being a generic RTS engine (as opposed to a TA-oriented one).

Ground-up rewrites are normally a really, really bad idea. However, this may be one of the exceptions. Not only are there several motivated developers and an enthusiastic community pushing them, but it does seem that there are several trends in the current codebase that make iteratively rejuvenating the codebase an unrealistic prospect - or at least more work than a rewrite. Still I hope they make rapid progress towards basic features rather than creating some grandiose vision that will not be attainable.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I think it's a great idea, I tried TA: Spring a while ago and it just wasn't good, it was incomplete, and the interface was confusing. Making a generic RTS engine would be even better as I would love to see something like a free warcraft 3 game or starcraft game, or better yet, an action-RPG out of the RTS engine :)
Implementing C# scripting will be possible through mono it seems, that's one of the things the free software community should strive for: Making quality products, and if possible, even commercial products out of free software (as free software only stands for freedom not no-cost).

Anyway, great idea.

Z said...

hmm, I actually loved TA:Spring once I got it up and working. and TA:Spring is basically a generic RTS, they didn't have working melee style combat, but that might be changed with the new engine. I really hope this happens and I have a feeling the finished product will be awesome.

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