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ConradAlistair

Leadwerks needs tools like this...

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for simple drag and drop game functionality and produce endless conceptual artwork (as beautiful as it may be) with nothing more substantial behind it.

 

Simple drag and drop will allow more people to put substance behind their pretty screenshots easier and faster.

 

 

Why take it to the point where its 99% there and then leave the last 1%.

 

That 1% is a never ending thing and is different if you ask people what they think it is. Every engine out there today still has that 1% that stays around. Sometimes that 1% can be "fixed" by adding tools around it to mask it.

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Guest Red Ocktober

Simple drag and drop will allow more people to put substance behind their pretty screenshots easier and faster.

 

That 1% is a never ending thing and is different if you ask people what they think it is. Every engine out there today still has that 1% that stays around. Sometimes that 1% can be "fixed" by adding tools around it to mask it.

 

if it were just 1%, i might be more inclined to view your argument as having some credibility... but in fact there is a lil more than 1% that still needs to be fixed...

 

 

we are now at the same position that we were in 2.23... an almost ready to go level of features and performance that would enable developers to work on completing their projects... all that needs to be done is attention paid to the existing issues to bring em up to speed... then close the book on 2.32 and head towards 3.0...

 

 

but no... lets not do that... lets jump on the 3.0 magical mystery tour... with the walrus, the flowgraph meanies... the point and click game development rainbow... and all the other beautiful visions of pandora floating around in our heads...

 

 

meanwhile... what about those who signed up looking for a game engine that we cvould code against and make out games... how many years... and how many upgrades will we be expected to wait before that simple dream sees the light of reality...

 

no... what your proposing and supporting is illogical, counterproductive, and misdirected...

 

the outstanding issues in 2.32 can be redily identified and resolved in aq short time frame... much shorter than heading off on a quest(3d) like oddyssey for the do al be all editor...

 

what say we give the game devs a chance... what say we get 2.32 feature complete (allowing for that 1%)... then jump on the tour bus to the next version...

 

 

 

--Mike

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It's really no surprise Josh is going this route. He's said a number of times that he feels artists are the people who make games. Making a more user friendly, more efficient editor helps those artists put actual functionality into their games. It also helps programmers create more modular code that artists can plug and play because it puts a design around how these modular code pieces are to be created/used. It's an interface that programmers can follow to allow for easier sharing of functionality/code that all can use.

 

Currently every program creates their own structure and so sharing code is not very streamlined. A common interface is required for that and it'll only be accepted if it comes from Josh because everyone accepts his design as officially supported.

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I'm not working on version 3.0 yet. I want feedback now so I can plan the tools for 3.0. I am working on version 2.32r5 right now.

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Guest Red Ocktober
I am working on version 2.32r5 right now.

 

EXCELLENT!!!!

this is encouraging to hear... and greatly appreciated...

 

 

ok... dreamers... you may proceed... with my apologies for the interruption...

 

--Mike

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Ok … so things are becoming a little clearer. So the road map for Leadwerks users appears to be either:

 

sit and wait for some future homogenised lowest common denominator design your game with lego brick style game components Leadwerks (nothing wrong with that ... it's just not where I want to be or what I believed Leadwerks was originally about) or

 

use the existing API to the best of your ability but don't expect any help down the line from the developer because he either has no interest or that's not where the money is or both. So if something core doesn't work, isn't fast enough or is simply missing then unless you can devise some work around that's your project up the proverbial creek without a paddle!

 

hmmmm ..... maybe time to start looking at other engines because none of this is filling me with much confidence :)

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sit and wait for some future homogenised lowest common denominator design your game with lego brick style game components Leadwerks (nothing wrong with that ... it's just not where I want to be or what I believed Leadwerks was originally about) or

 

Seems your view on what this can be is a not happy one :) Would you consider Crysis engine to be a lowest common denominator because that's what Leadwerks is leaning towards and most people would disagree that it is that.

 

 

hmmmm ..... maybe time to start looking at other engines because none of this is filling me with much confidence

 

Hardly any engine would fill you with confidence then. The trend on game engines is to be the component based. You can have a component based engine and still be very very powerful and flexible.

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Guest Red Ocktober
Would you consider Crysis engine to be a lowest common denominator because that's what Leadwerks is leaning towards and most people would disagree that it is that.

i really don't think that's what he's saying Rick... at least that's not what i got from reading his post...

 

i really have to say that i think that Pixel's concerns are legitimate ones... he's been around here a bit longer than most of us, and he's seen Leadwerks progress from a bright idea in Josh's mind to almost a feature complete game dev tool... several times already... :)

 

 

and, how can you be sure where Leadwerks is heading... not too long ago it was heading in one direction... now the emphasis seems to be another... who's to say what the direction will be 3 months from now...

 

since you think Leadwerks is heading in the direction of the CryTEK engine... just how long do ya think it'll take us to get there... i mean, so i can plan my development schedule... :)

 

 

i just don't know where you come up with these statements from... or where your conclusions about what other people are posting come from, or on what they are based on (it's certainly not based on anything that is being posted)...

 

also... where you come up with your summations as to how they feel about a particular issue (you've done the same sorta thing with my statements)...

 

 

lastly... have you actually coded anything using the CryTEK engine... last week it was Unity... this week it's Crysis... i'm just asking as you seem to be so knowledgeable as to the trends in game engine development...

 

 

--Mike

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and, how can you be sure where Leadwerks is heading... not too long ago it was heading in one direction... now the emphasis seems to be another... who's to say what the direction will be 3 months from now...

 

You are right. I can only talk about the direction it seems to be going today. Some won't be happy with that but some will. I'm sure Josh is well aware of that. No doubt it's a risk.

 

since you think Leadwerks is heading in the direction of the CryTEK engine... just how long do ya think it'll take us to get there... i mean, so i can plan my development schedule...

 

Not saying it'll get there any time soon. I've never stated a timeline. It'll take a really long time, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't try.

 

 

lastly... have you actually coded anything using the CryTEK engine... last week it was Unity... this week it's Crysis... i'm just asking as you seem to be so knowledgeable as to the trends in game engine development...

 

I haven't, but that doesn't mean I can't see trends. I don't wear/buy designer pants, but that doesn't mean I can't see the trend to what the "kids" are wearing these days. It seems rather clear that the trend is going more visual programming to make games. Programmers are still needed to extend the visual objects, but game studio's would rather have designers being able to use these visual objects to piece together logic for how a game works.

 

 

i just don't know where you come up with these statements from... or where your conclusions about what other people are posting come from, or on what they are based on (it's certainly not based on anything that is being posted)...

 

I'm working with the same amount of information you are. I'm just looking at what Josh posts, and reading in between the lines like everyone has to. Josh says he's been in contact with people about getting capital. He's moving towards more platforms that are less powerful than PC's. Things like iPhone and such. This is much like Unity had done. It seems very obvious to me that if someone is going to put a bunch of money into Leadwerks, it has to be able to sell to the masses to make that money up and then some. You do that by making a very comprehensive editor because that becomes the face of your engine. The editor does need to sit on top of a very good API also though. So I'm taking all the fragmented forum posts that I see Josh make and form an opinion on the direction I see it going.

 

I talk about those opinions, you get pissed and post against them. And so the world goes 'round.

 

 

[EDIT]

The things I've said about Josh's views on artists being the people who make games are things that he has said. He's made a blog about it in the past. I'm not making these things up. When you get this kind of information about what Josh is thinking and that this engine is a business, you can start to see why things are done the way they are or the way they will be. I'm not saying I'm dead on, but watch and see. It almost seems like a natural progression for an engine. He's switching it to C++. He went more towards scripting. My thought is it's no doubt he'll go more towards flowgraphs. It's the evolution and has been fun to watch. Every one of those things Josh started out against (or he made it seem that way), but eventually he learns about them, and since he thinks artists make games, and these things allow artists to do more, it's clear that becomes the path. I'm just extending the line with the information I have.

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I promise we are not gimping the engine to make a point and click game maker. The plan I have designed makes the engine easier and better for both programmers and non-programmers, and it allows them to work together.

 

C++ programmers will still be able to write their games.

 

Script programmers will be able to create reusable components designers can use.

 

Designers will be able to drag and drop parts to make a game.

 

 

It's about designing a cost-efficient workflow for groups of people to produce games, instead of making a game engine for idiots. Typically you would have one or two programmers designing the basic game, a handful of script programmers designing components, and a lot of designers making the game levels. John Carmack doesn't program every single monster scare in Doom 3. He just provided the basic framework, and the level designers planned the action.

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It seems the fear some have is that you will or are, focus(ing) on 1 aspect of those 3 more than the other. I think you can do all 3 at the same time though. They all sort of flow together. The core API is strong enough as it stands (well once in C++ maybe) to support the other 2.

 

 

I promise we are not gimping the engine to make a point and click game maker.

 

The funny thing about that is that's exactly what flowgraphs do, and as long as the community can extend the flowgraph objects using Leadwerks code, it won't be gimped ever. You can make an entire unique game all with point and click via flowgraphs, and it in no way would be gimped. Flowgraphs are just logic. It doesn't matter if it's created by typing or visually. It's kind of like thinking that Visual Studio gimps making Windows UI because it has a visual interface as opposed to typing the code for all those controls out. It's just not true.

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Guest Red Ocktober

if there is any fear that i have... it is of dying of old age before there is one feature complete Leadwerks version released...

 

we are soooooo close now... all we need is the little things that we had before... bullet holes (decals), decent refracting water... with waves... and a few other small, but really important things graphics wise...

 

a usable net library... a bit of pathfinding code (not essential right now)...

 

without breaking any exisiting code and editor functionality...

 

and then i think we'll be there...

 

 

after that, the platforms... porting to macintosh and linux... the codebase is there, nothing new to make.... just some time spent porting the existing code...

 

 

then we can start on the new stuff... converting over to c++ (not really necessary in my opinion)... the ease of use things...

 

 

anyway... thx for the reassurances Josh... good to hear that we are still on track, more or less...

 

 

--Mike

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we are soooooo close now... all we need is the little things that we had before... bullet holes (decals), decent refracting water... with waves... and a few other small, but really important things graphics wise...

 

a usable net library... a bit of pathfinding code (not essential right now)...

 

That's the problem though. Everyone has a different list and so the list gets bigger and bigger and would be enough to last Josh 2 years of work. Knowing the water perfectionist he is he could spend 6 months on water alone.

 

All I'm saying is give the community better tools and a better structure and they will create those things or it'll even make it easier for Josh to create. It'll make it easier for us to plug and play different water. Decals can be game objects. Hell, if he allows C++ plugins someone can put RakNet into the editor to give already testing and reliable networking code functionality. Pathfinding is also something that can be a game object. I've seen it done and it works well. That is why I'm pushing for this. For some reason everyone thinks Josh has to be the one to make these. He doesn't. If he gives us the tools and interfaces we can make this and distribute them without any fear of compatibility. With a structure like this in place, we will stop relying on Josh for everything and more rely on the community. I think if mods have taught us anything it's that a community can really drive things. Now instead of just Josh having to make something, others can make it and if he likes it he can even take it and make it "official". It's like a bunch of free employees. Hell, we even paid him for the system. :)

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I've been busy with real (as in: boring) work for a couple of months but am now using LE again. I personally like the direction LE has been heading towards since 2.3 very much. I didn't see much need for Lua before but it has made the engine really flexible. The Editor already HAS the potential of being a point and click game maker.

 

It's up to the community now to create instantly usable characters/models/scripts: there's nothing stopping it from being as easy to work with as FPS Creator for instance (but much more powerful of course).

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I guess I need to express my concerns a little more precisely. I am at the point where I am reasonably happy that the Leadwerks Engine had the definite capability to provide the foundation for an excellent modern game engine built on top of it. I have put a lot of work in order to convince myself that this is the case but now need to up that effort many times to make the engine a reality. I have fully workable path finding and destructible objects and a good working combined editor/game engine framework but need to now put a huge amount of work into the AI and Animation side.

 

I have no concerns about the future direction of Leadwerks going down a more game component direction so long as that is not to the detriment of others not following that course. I'm not about to put the amount of work in without being reasonably confident that I have a developer that will address issues in the core API should those arise down the line. If I believe that that is unlikely to be the case due to resource being redirected towards far longer goals then I'm really saying that represents probably too greater risk for me. You see a lot of other engines have a tried, tested and proven core API and many titles under their belt to attest to that. So far Leadwerks has nothing, I’m looking forwards to seeing Naughty Alien's game but cannot use that as any current measure as absolutely nothing has yet been demoed!

 

It's not my decision how Josh runs his Business or what direction he takes, it’s his business and his risk and he has to make a profit to survive. But it's very much my judgement as to where I decide to invest my limited free time and I need to feel confident that issues should they arise will be addressed in a timely manner.

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You see a lot of other engines have a tried, tested and proven core API and many titles under their belt to attest to that

 

Just out of curiosity what other engines would you include in this and what API features would you consider core?

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Guest Red Ocktober
That's the problem though. Everyone has a different list and so the list gets bigger and bigger and would be enough to last Josh 2 years of work.

 

forget everyone's wishlist... most of these are things that we already had in Leadwerks... not from any wishlist... just put em back in... stop going back and forth and adding all this ancillary stuff right now...

 

just put back in what was in there and make the thing comeplete...

 

that surely aint gonna take Josh no 2 years... all the magnificent dreamy stuff that you're proposing will...

 

i'm not saying that some of the suggested features aren't good... some of it definitely does look good... but realisitcally, it aint gonna happen no time soon... and that's what you can't seem to see...

 

so you have a choice... waiting for an indeterminate time... or spending 2 weeks putting back stuff that already existed... another week cleaning and testing...

 

Just out of curiosity what other engines would you include in this and what API features would you consider core?

 

none right now... just fix what's in there and put back in what was removed...

 

to me the choice is a simple one...

 

 

---Mike

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UDK would be the first engine to come to mind. Although its toolsets are rapidly advancing and in somewhat of a state of flux its core API is fairly established and its ability to make modern titles adequately demonstrated.

 

The core API I see as the functions exposed by the Leadwerks Engine. Those have not yet been completely tested in a fully fledged game and as such may need revisting in light of that. The basic functionality is there I believe but not neccessarily the speed and many may exhibit issues when pushed. The physics/engine interaction has not been realiably tested yet either to my belief. These are all unknowns that may never come to fruition and hopefully not, but are non the less unknowns. Should any of these become issues or should a basic bit of additional engine functionality prove to be required I would like to think I had a sympathetic developer who would look at these things. My current impression is of a somewhat disinterested developer who has his eyes firmly set on a bigger and better Leadwerks Engine which is all well and good but won't neccessarily help those actively involved in building an engine based on the current offering.

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But the reason he took some of that out was because he wasn't happy with it or it wasn't working right. He hated his old water but some people liked it more than what is there today. I think water is one of those things that you just can't make everyone happy. People will want different things. Technically water is complete because there is a water system in place today. You may not like it, but there is one. I also thought decals was in the engine already? Are they not working? Pathfinding is a big can of worms.

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Guest Red Ocktober
Technically water is complete because there is a water system in place today.

are you friggin serious... it looks more like a flat bowl of jello than water... :)

 

You may not like it,

i sure as hell don't like it... just look around at what passes for acceptable water... look at your god Crysis... look back at the old water... go under and see the refraction effects we had... then tell me that the current water is better...

 

I also thought decals was in the engine already?

they were... you fire a rifle... the bullets hit something... instant bullet hole...

 

these are things we had... put em back in... fix what needs fixin... forget everything else right now... we don't need any more features right now...

 

who in their right mind would insist that adding an hd video system to a car should be a priority when the fuel injection system on the engine isn't working, thus rendering the car useless as a vehicle...

 

 

--Mike

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Voxel water is probably the final solution. It allows you to deform the water from every angle, make 3D particle splashes, tunnel-like wave breaks, vessel trailing waves, etc...

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UDK would be the first engine to come to mind. Although its toolsets are rapidly advancing and in somewhat of a state of flux its core API is fairly established and its ability to make modern titles adequately demonstrated.

 

One has to wonder how much is core API vs tools in UDK. I mean you have to use unreal script with UDK don't ya? The free version of it anyway. So really, much of what we might consider core API could be the tools around an API giving that functionality. So it's not really an apples to apples comparison. Leadwerks is trying to get to a place where UDK is. Having lots of tools around it to support it so a game can be made faster. This is my argument. If one considers Leadwerks API to be 95% complete, that last 5% isn't stopping anyone from making a game with it. At that point, it's the lack of tools to support it as a game engine and not just a graphics library. The tools wouldn't be part of the core engine, but they can fill the holes (one person might call them) that the core API has. Examples would be water. Water doesn't need to be a core API feature in Leadwerks. It can be extended on top of the core API. The core API has everything there to make water. Decals can be viewed the same. These types of things are just game features that can be built with the Leadwerks API and therefore can be created with tools. Really only true bugs would be considered core API issues. I'm sure there are a few of those that probably need being cleaned up.

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they were... you fire a rifle... the bullets hit something... instant bullet hole...

 

I'm confused as to how that flow you just gave should be part of the API. The ability to make bullet hole decals is there with the existing API. This is where the tools come into play.

 

are you friggin serious... it looks more like a flat bowl of jello than water..

 

I agree. I'm just saying it's there. Most don't like it but there is something. Water is also one of those things that are kind of specific. Because of the bad system Leadwerks has today, he feels like he has to create the one true all water. Instead, if he had a more flexible system, he could play with making 5 different water types on top of what other people make and everyone can pick their own. That's why I'm saying it doesn't have to be core API stuff but addons with tools. Water is just a plane & shader system, which the Leadwerks API has functionality around.

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Guest Red Ocktober
This is my argument. If one considers Leadwerks API to be 95% complete, that last 5% isn't stopping anyone from making a game with it.
Examples would be water. Water doesn't need to be a core API feature in Leadwerks. It can be extended on top of the core API. The core API has everything there to make water. Decals can be viewed the same.

 

so does the directx api... your argument is here is oximoronic...

 

Leadwerks had really decent looking water, but it was taken out and replaced with something far less convincing... and now you use that to justify that it shouldn't be looked at... absurdity beyond comprehension...

 

the same with your assesment of decals...

 

so essentially... your argument is that removing all the good stuff is analguous to making Leadwerks better...

 

[added]

 

I'm confused as to how that flow you just gave should be part of the API. The ability to make bullet hole decals is there with the existing API. This is where the tools come into play.

 

what friggin flow... tools... what tools are you talkin about...

 

 

just take a weapon from the pallet... add it to the scene... run the game and shoot the darn thing... that's what we did before... no tools... just a friggin gun...

 

now you want some tools to do what we used to be able to do with just an 'object' off the editor pallete...

 

gimme a break...

 

if you want UDK tools... go use the UDK... if ya want Unity tools... go license Unity... why does leadwerks have to be a clone of an already existing 'engine'...

 

 

--Mike

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One has to wonder how much is core API vs tools in UDK. I mean you have to use unreal script with UDK don't ya? The free version of it anyway. So really, much of what we might consider core API could be the tools around an API giving that functionality. So it's not really an apples to apples comparison.

It doesn't need to be a like for like comparison, it's a question of trust in the basic gaming functionality how ever thats constructed and the Game Engine Developers ability to support the end developer. I still think your missing the point I'm making Rick.

 

When I started working with Leadwerks the engine seemed to be about providing a solid core programming API for making games. That's all I'm asking for, not loads of higher level tools as nice as they might be. But as you rightly say, the emphesis has shifted towards providing that level of toolset and maybe that's a good thing. I'm happy to go along with that.

 

If one considers Leadwerks API to be 95% complete, that last 5% isn't stopping anyone from making a game with it.

What evidence do you have for making such a statement? The exact point I'm trying to make is that this is not currently known and proven without doubt. What type of game are you referring to? Are you including all game genres in here! No one has pushed this engine yet and I don't buy those sorts of statements!

 

I would love to be proved wrong but I fully expect to find some issues as I really start to push it. All I'm asking for is that the sole owner, programmer and designer of the engine doesn't get so caught up in future development that he in unable to fix issues as and when they arise, and yes I'd like some confirmation of that!

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