Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Radakan is pretty

Radakan's devs have decided to use the jME aka jMonkeyEngine, just like JCRPG does! Neat! I admit that I was expecting the project to evaporate, it just had too pretty a website and some team member was very concerned with picking the right wiki and installing a flash audio player on the site, while there was nothing of the game in sight. (I also was afraid the team would come up with some idea like "Hey, let's make our own 3D engine! Right?")

I'm glad I seem to be wrong, the first tech demo video has been uploaded. (I'm not sure if that's not just some engine-bundled terrain and model, but even if it is, what the hell! They're grappling with it! Enough proof of interest and engagement for me!) I just hope they won't let the plans for game story get in the development's way. But I might be wrong worrying about that - Radakan is a "single-player sandbox 3D RPG". Sounds like something that is free of the bug feature "storyline" and like something one can have fun with, without touching any code. Yay for spawning 1k melons mid-air and abusing rag doll physics!

La Croix Pan, some game made with AGS

I tried to find an open source 2D adventure game engine and also was given some recommendation in the last post's comments. Wintermute Engine (WME) and Adventure Game Studio (AGS) caught my attention, both are closed-source freeware. What surprised me, was that AGS has been ported to Linux and MacOSX! Thanks to .Net and Mono (the open source .Net implementation) I suppose.

SceneEdit, one of WME's tools

I visited WME's IRC channel and asked Mnemonic (the only developer, since the beginning of the project) about his views on open sourcing the engine. He said approximately "not now and not anytime soon". These are his reasons: Leading an open source project means stress, because people whine about your code. It requires work, because the code has to be put in a readable state for others. It requires even more work, because submitted patches have to be tested, to make sure that they don't 'feature' new bugs.

"Simply dumping the source on SF.net" was right out, a decision which seems logical. After all, why should you make a project open-source, if you're not able to manage foreign development to take place in it? But on the other hand: If one has not enough time for maintaining an open project, maybe "dumping" the code isn't so bad a thing? In the end it shouldn't do any harm to the project and if someone decides to fork it, it can only be good for the gene pool.

I haven't talked to anyone in the AGS team. I hope I'll get round to catching up on that.

Update: (thanks to the comments) There is only a client, no editor of AGS for linux. Also there is Adventure Game Goddess, something about being an open source adventure game engine. I don't know, read it yourself ;).


KIAaze said...

My comment on http://meprogrammer.blogspot.com/2008/03/why-no-open-source-adventures.html
seems to have gone unnoticed.
But since AGS made it into this article, I think AGG is also worth mentioning:

It makes installing AGS games easier. :)
And it's GPL!

Anonymous said...

The author of the code doesn't need to maintain anything at all. All he really needs to do is publish the code (warts and all) somewhere (sendfile.net, rapidshare.com, filecloud.com) under a free license and inform the world of his intention to not support it. A community will (probably) form around the code and they can take care of themselves without any dependency upon the original author.

qubodup said...

This is completely true, anonymous - but from the position of a developer this might seem stupid. For example the belief that in reality no code gets picked up by foreign programmers seems to stick. It might be mostly true - but the reason is probably that most code sucks (just like most things in existence suck). The programmer also might be ashamed. And last but not least, and probably the most interesting one: Perhaps there is an instinctive fear of someone actually picking it up and creating something better than the dev was able to achieve..

Anonymous said...

You all almost gave me a heart attack! When you said "2D Adventure Game Engine" I thought you meant something like cave story (man I love that game). Oh well, I'd learn programming but apparently C++ for dummies never met my windows computer. :(

qubodup said...

anony: I wouldn't call cave story an 2D adventure game. I would call it "a well done 2D platform game with a very *very* good story".

Anonymous said...

Ah well. I'd kill for a good open-source sandbox RPG -- I'd model stuff, I'd track down and fix bugs, I'd record voices, whatever it needed... But Java?

Have I mentioned that I've never succeeded in getting anything but the most trivial Java game to work? Last time I tried a 3d RPG type Java game, about a year and a half back, all I got was an afternoon's worth of utter frustration until I gave up. I tried several different JVMs, multiple revisions thereof, tweaking this and that, different graphics drivers. Portability, my butt.

qubodup said...


Well, the only VM that you can use in reality is sun's. And yeah, sometimes you need some help from the devs or some forum or irc channel.

pzi said...

maybe mantar meant different sun jvm versions. anyway jme rulez ;) bhaha... check jcrpg :P

qubodup said...

By the way, I have also problems with jre right now. Shouldn't have installed Debian's sid O_o.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of 2D adventure game engines, there is a ScummC (scumm compiler) http://alban.dotsec.net/7.html that allows you to create Scumm v6 games, and it's under GPL. Resulting games can be played with ScummVM.
They just released version 0.2.0, together with a new demo game called OpenQuest (an AGS game ported to Scumm!!!)
Hope this helps the difficult quest of finding an adventure game maker for Linux ;-)

Anonymous said...

JMonkey maybe is not the best choice but it looks good really.

Anonymous said...

Hi, the developer of Adventure Game Goddess here.

AGG is not a game engine it's a "small" utility that makes 2 things:

1) It takes games information from AGS website and builds a database that you can filter, search...

2) It downloads the game and the AGS engines for Linux (ported by EvilTypeGuy, not me) and "prepares the game for Linux" automatically.

So, it just makes easier for a Linux user to find and play AGS games. The real hard work was done by others.

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