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Thread: Write an engine or use an open source one?

  1. #1
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    Write an engine or use an open source one?

    Hi all,

    I've been working on a college project investigating the impact of social/casual gaming. In particular, my slant relates to Facebook (currently the largest social network) gaming, the way more users are gained, and the financial viabillity of the microtransaction model (and if it can last). It's my Masters thesis, so it is IMPORTANT to me

    To this end, a large part of my data will be based on my own findings - the plan is to write a (simple) game, integrate it with FB, and monitor growth, patterns etc. It won't be using microtransactions - no money involved. This part of the project is researched differently.

    Anywho, this leaves me in a position of having to write a game that I can use as a model So after MUCH reading, I find myself here, asking some advice. I have the following in mind:

    Platform: Flash and Actionscript (have not yet decided which versions - advice appreciated)

    Style: Isometric / Tiled 2D

    Features:
    - Zooming (set levels of zoom, not free zoom)
    - panning
    - scrolling
    - full screen
    - quality options for graphics for slower machines (probably just poor or good)
    - z-sorting
    - multi-tile objects
    - masking (if necessary)

    I'm not a programming newb, but neither am I doing this for a living. So far I have been playing around with the gotoAndPlay() tutorials, mostly tonypa's isometric tuts. They cover alot of stuff, but some of the leaps were quite large for me to make, and I wondered if finding an Open Source iso engine with editors etc. supplied would be easier...

    Opinions?

    RM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    Yeh, I suggest you use an open source engine out there, like flixel or pushbutton. If you are determined on isometric stuff, you will find a good list here: http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2010...in-your-games/

    Using a engine has its own set of strings attached to it, and there's still some learning to do. But it's better than doing something from scratch, especially since in this case the end-product matters to you more than the process involved. Well, you will still get a good glimpse of the work needed if you do want to apply all of those features in there.....
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  3. #3
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    from my experience with the flixel and flashpunk libraries, im a litlle dissapointed. Some time ago i was writing a game, also 2d tile based, so i tried both of these engines, but it seemed that a lot of the stuff that these engines take care for you, i would have done differently. I mean that for example they try to be universal, but that has other drawbacks... I ended up instead of programming the game, trying to understand how the engines are set up, and how the author wants me to use them, well ofcourse the docs are for that, but not always helpfull. So after that i started my own engine from scratch, the big benefit is that i know every single bit of it, i know exactly where is what and what to change when i need to. This is my experience and opinion, you should try for yourself however, just dont go taking engines expecting that they will save all your problems

  4. #4
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    also about the versions. I suggest targetting flash player 10, it is much faster than any older ones, i dont know if performance is a priority in your project but even without using any optimized as3 classes like vectors, you still get better speed

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    skewg, if you are used to OOP designs and programming, then flixel has little to no learning curve (I haven't tried pushbutton though). And if you use as3, then following OOP will get you a lot more benefits than the as2 way of doing things. Also using a engine is better cause you don't have to reinvent the wheel. And nobody says you have to do everything the way the author of the engine wanted you to. You can easily inherit code from those engines and use in your own project according to your own workflow......that's the benefit of OOP.
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  6. #6
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    who says im not using as3 and oop? Yes i know, you dont have to reinvent the wheel, but i like the wheel to be different, to be exactly something that i need for my project.

  7. #7
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    If you understand Tonypa's tutorials then I'd suggest basing the game on them and using as2.
    It's a big chunk of your work done for you, and as2 is quicker to develop with.

    Squize.

  8. #8
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    Heya all,

    Thanks for the responses! Some good food for thought there. I've done a little reading up and asking around, and I've come to the conclusion that for me, it may be best to write the engine myself, based on the tonypa tutorials. There are a number of reasons for this.

    First off, I find AS2 reasonably easy to grapple with - it's more procedural than AS3 and I have never had much experience with OOP, so the learning curve would be steep. I don't really have time for it at the moment, but for sure I will revisit it in the future when the pressure is off. Secondly, this engine only needs to be fairly simple. A few modifications to freely available code would give me something to work with quite quickly. Thirdly, and I may be wrong about this, there seems to be alot of information on the net about AS2 isometric programming, but relatively little using AS3.

    I'll no doubt be posting lots more questions soon :P

    Thanks!

    RM.

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