Home » FULL CONTROL GAMES » #JAFDEV » Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340044 is a reply to message #339776] Fri, 13 March 2015 12:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Thank you for your comment Mauser.

I also think the most important part is the long term support and commitment from the core devs - or even the
people who made it possible with their help with assets and other stuff.

-> Unity and Unreal is easy to handle, both of them have it's benefits.
-> Both engines have a great community and it's still growing, (Unity have a bigger community right know)
-> Unity's Asset Store offers more nearly game ready (textures / static models) assets, Unreal have
much better quality but it's also expensive and there are only a few assets available compared to Unity.
(Yes, sxdemon posted some nice free assets, I guess there are more available)
-> Both engines are powerful in it's own way, Unreal is generally more powerful for big projects and it's mabye the better choice of it
-> I didn't searched for other peoples project yet
-> Both engines have it's modules - some of them are changeable like the AI in Unity.
-> There are many third party solutions for many problem for Unity. Even something like the Blueprints
(BTW: Unity offers prefabs, which is basically a class Blueprint in Unreal. Or a state machine like Blueprint behavior)

So you're right, it's important to choose the engine where most people are able to help.
It's possible with Unity and Unreal. Valve just released Source Engine 2 to public, and I think Crytek is going to do it later this year.

But the most efficient way without much effort is the way Unreal handels it.
It's easy to model (almost the entire world) as in Unity, but it comes with some nice other features.
Unity and Unreal are both popular.

[Updated on: Fri, 13 March 2015 12:43]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340103 is a reply to message #340044] Tue, 17 March 2015 09:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Do you have any news?
Did you already test Unity a little bit?

I think Unreal could solve many problems we might get, so I really like to use it.
But if we use Unreal, we doesn't have many free assets we can use.
But the simple human mesh is good enough - I don't change anything to it but I think it could be possible to change
mesh parts or the whole mesh - or just attach a new mesh to it. The best solution is to use separate body parts I guess,
so we can switch eg. the upper body if we have a new vest, just designed for it. If we attach a mesh to another,
we could get some problems with the bone weights I think.

Unreal's marketplace doesn't offer many things, but we can't buy anything and use it, because we would release it for free at github.
So we need to think about how we could handle this - one possible solution could be we don't upload the asset to github, we publish it
with our compiled version of the project, so there is no issue with it. If the asset is only textures or sounds, it could work with dummy files.
But if we bought animation or a new mesh or even Blueprints from the marketplace, the guy how purchased it can't upload it to github.
- And need to compile his part of it. There could be other problems happen, like we need this Blueprint or that mesh almost everywhere and its
split apart - so we can't just compile the project by so many people (if it's even compileable).

... What could be the solution for it?
- Don't buy anything from any store. Just use any free resource we can get.
--> Almost impossible, it's too much work for just the few people who are ready to help yet
- Buy some parts, but don't release it to public.
--> Could solve some problems, but we can only publish the compiled version of it, so nobody can change the raw files inside.
I don't know if it's possible to say that the core developer or designer or what ever is a small team who works at this project so we can share the raw files.
But of course, we can't release the raw files to github, so there is only the compiled version of it.


What do you think?

[Updated on: Tue, 17 March 2015 09:58]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340105 is a reply to message #340103] Tue, 17 March 2015 12:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sxdemon

 
Messages:22
Registered:January 2015
Location: Russia
Q:Did you already test Unity a little bit?
A:Yes, a bit. He seemed more difficult than UE. But most of all, the difficulty lay in programming. I had made a demo for the UE. There was implemented RTS camera, minimal interface, the minimap, the initial menu. The day night cycle , and a test texture. And a couple of little scripts switches. I tried to do in Unity. But unfortunately so far not very successfully.

Quote:
Don't buy anything from any store. Just use any free resource we can get.


I think that's a very good idea. There are many free resources. All that you can't download on the Internet, you can do it by yourself ;) well, or access any other way.

Quote:
What do you think?

A lot of people are doing now on TBS Unreal. And we have the opportunity to directly communicate with them and shares his experience and perhaps even materials. Here are some of them. Some things they've posted in the open access

http://unrealpossibilities.blogspot.in/



Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340113 is a reply to message #340105] Tue, 17 March 2015 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Hm, Unity is really simple to handle, but I think its the best idea to use Unreal.
The Blueprints are simple but very powerful. However, there are some cases where it's
bloated because there is no simple way to do it I think.
The best performance is reachable with C++ source code, but it's maybe good to keep
almost everything in Blueprint classes, so everybody could improve it who understand Blueprints.
So there is no need to be a professional developer in C++ if somebody want's to help coding.
Don't understand me wrong here, Blueprints does need understanding of programming, but not in that way like Unity or C++. Just some way different and easier.

Of course, it would be better if we code in C++ but Blueprints are powerful enough I think.

There are some assets I don't want create - like textures or sounds / voices / music.
I just don't want to spend my time creating the assets. This should be the part of
the helpers.

Cool, the videos look good happy
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340116 is a reply to message #340113] Tue, 17 March 2015 20:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sxdemon

 
Messages:22
Registered:January 2015
Location: Russia
Q:There are some assets I don't want create - like textures or sounds / voices / music.
I just don't want to spend my time creating the assets. This should be the part of
the helpers.
A:I think we will find craftsmen. I think that over time people will become more active participation. When the project begins to develop.
The sounds of weapons. military equipment etc Can be found in the public domain.
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340167 is a reply to message #340103] Sat, 21 March 2015 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mauser

 
Messages:799
Registered:August 2006
Location: Bavaria - Germany
Quote:

... What could be the solution for it?


To simply use whatever we can get.

Development on the base game mechanics can start with nothing but placeholders, most assets can be added at a later date, giving the community time to create or otherwise acquire them.

Maybe we could start a Patreon account to get some basic funding usable for assets. Somehow we'll have to sell this project outside of this fine community to maximize conbtributors anyhow sooner or later.

But generally, focusing on open source and otherwise free content should prove the easiest and most practical path for the beginning. Once there is something to show for (you know, a little more than FC had for the JA:F Kickstarter), we could ask for contributions and donations helping in the completion. I am sure there must be enough free open source assets available on the net for models, graphics, animations and basic sounds to at least assemble a working proof of concept. We'll just have to find them. Or ask for them.

☆★GL★☆
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340174 is a reply to message #340167] Sun, 22 March 2015 19:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Yes you are right - but I like to have some basic assets so we can see whats needed and how to handle the animations.
So some basic assets / animations is still needed, I would like to see a almost full set of the needed animations
so we can build the animation system for it if we are at that point. (But we are at the planing right now)

The "main" basics - the core, path finding, event system, combat system, cam, stats etc need to be done first, after the big planing.

There is still the need for money of course, but I see more problems when we collect money
(even through donation) - like someone should collect everything and it must be official etc, and we can't buy any asset for just one person.
There is something needed like a small dev team - maybe even official - so we can share the assets. Sadly, the bought assets
are not possible to release in it's raw format, so only the people who have access to it can change them.
( This doesn't affect legal free assets )

But there are much to do if we want to have something which looks better than JA:F at Kickstarter,
we are still not working on it yet.

So I think we need a good plan how to start.

Maybe we should write our goal in small pieces, so we can take a piece and work on it to get a detailed version.
The goals could be split up in possible classes, after we are "done" with them, we collect them to a generally UML diagram.

With this generally diagram we have basically collected all needed classes at one diagram.

If we have the generally diagram, we need to define a much more detailed diagram of it,
so we need to split it again and work on each class again, so we are going to iterations of each diagram / class.

After we have a detail diagram for each possible "main" class, we could start to write code for it.

This isn't the most interesting thing I could imagine, but we need a very good plan and design
if we want to get good results without writing everything from scratch after an iteration.

This takes much time, if we just start to code we see some results in weeks, but it could happen that we
need to write them from scratch because the design of the class or what ever was bad at that beginning, so that's frustrating and some people are going to leave.

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340184 is a reply to message #340174] Mon, 23 March 2015 14:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mauser

 
Messages:799
Registered:August 2006
Location: Bavaria - Germany
Quote:
but I like to have some basic assets so we can see whats needed and how to handle the animations.
So some basic assets / animations is still needed, I would like to see a almost full set of the needed animations
so we can build the animation system for it if we are at that point. (But we are at the planing right now)


Well, all needed basic and generic assets should be freely available, maybe ask some other hobby or open source developers to borrow their assets? There are quite a lot indie and hobby developers/modders out there creating high quality assets for their respective projects, many very similar to this one. And asking is still free.

Quote:
There is still the need for money of course, but I see more problems when we collect money
(even through donation) - like someone should collect everything and it must be official etc, and we can't buy any asset for just one person.
There is something needed like a small dev team - maybe even official - so we can share the assets. Sadly, the bought assets
are not possible to release in it's raw format, so only the people who have access to it can change them.


I see little problems there asking for donations. Someone will have to make the project lead and also take the financial responsibility. Someone will have to stand for this project with his name one way or the other. One will have to commit to this project fully, organize and drive it even with frequently shifting contributors. Someone needs to be the final authority on what goes and what doesn't. And this person should probably be the one who came up with the idea and started the project.

And even one lonely developer can still produce a quality game without much funding given enough time and dedication. Just look at the likes of Minecraft or Banished. it doesnn't even have to look that spectacular or professional, as lonmg as the basics are just done right and it works gameplaywise. It just needs to show its potential, everything else will then come naturally.
Although i reckon this project will probably need a scale similar to the Skywind community, recreating Morrowind in Skyrim engine. Those guys REALLY create a ton of high quality assets of all kinds from scratch. And once they are done, they might be looking for new projects to test their metal.

Quote:
So I think we need a good plan how to start.


Most certainly.

Quote:
Maybe we should write our goal in small pieces, so we can take a piece and work on it to get a detailed version.
The goals could be split up in possible classes, after we are "done" with them, we collect them to a generally UML diagram.


Well, we'll definitely need some kind of proper development roadmap, plus a solid general organization and resource management. The better this is all set up from the start, the easier it will be to attract contributors and manage their contributions. And efficiency is key here, saving both time and money. There must also be a reasonable timeframe, because the longer this project will drag on, the more likely contributors will abandon it eventually. Steady progress is needed to keep up the trust of the people in it. If development stalls for too long, the chances of the whole project failing will skyrocket. And this is probably the very last chance we get to make a proper JA-style game. In the end, the tenacity and dedication of the project leader and core developers will decide its fate.

Quote:
This takes much time, if we just start to code we see some results in weeks, but it could happen that we
need to write them from scratch because the design of the class or what ever was bad at that beginning, so that's frustrating and some people are going to leave.


There will always be setbacks and frustration during such a project. The key (and job of the project lead/producer) will be, to minimize those as far as possible and manage those who cannot be avoided. And this requires some serious talent and experience, which is why really good game producers aren't that plentyful. And it's gonna be a VERY stressy and demanding job anyhow. The anonymous development collective approach will not work here. Just have a look at how Shanga takes responsibility for this forum and community or Roman for the 1.13 development and releases. Without such dedicated people taking responsibility on their own for the benefit of all, we wouldn't be here and 1.13 wouldn't have come the long way it has during the past decade. This is some serious long term commitment right there! And if one isn't sure to commit to this project in a similar manner, it probably is best not to start at all.

Anyways, a good start would be to create a basic proof of concept with the assets the UE4 provides, then look for free assets as placeholders and simultaneously go ask around in the indie dev and modding scene for possible contributions, advertising the project simultaneously. Once the interest for this project is sparked thusly, a more solid development plan outlining the vision and goal is needed to draw people in and forge a core team.
Selling the idea is gonna be crucial and needs to be done better than what Full Control did with JA:F. And for that, we'll need something to show, at least some decent artworks and the proof that this project is serious.

Using UE4 as the base already is a compelling argument and proof that we don't want to mess around. The Project lead will just have to project the confidence to really pull through with this no matter what.

☆★GL★☆
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340320 is a reply to message #339776] Mon, 30 March 2015 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
I just waited one week but there are no other response.

The idea is started by me, but I´m not going to have the time to do everything behind
it like the financial responsibility or want to spend all my time to organize it.

My idea was to program the project, with it's possible design but not to organize everything
behind it (like advertising etc) because this could be a full-time job in the spare time I have.

The time is our friend, collecting / creating / modifying resources could take pretty much time
and yes, the coding itself too.

[Updated on: Mon, 30 March 2015 14:56]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340353 is a reply to message #340320] Wed, 01 April 2015 15:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3503
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I think it's a very interesting plan, but the organizational effort behind it is huge. Over-the-web projects are ok, but as long as they're about free stuff. And one of the defining characteristics of this kind of teamwork is talent bleeding - you lose people (they lose interest, they have real life projects, etc). If you're not able to sustain the losses with fresh talent, it will take too much.

Imho, the best approach for this is to have a small local team work on the initial project. When the first results are published, if they're promising, they will attract more talent. And possibly funding. Just my 2c.


Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340405 is a reply to message #340353] Sat, 04 April 2015 04:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mauser

 
Messages:799
Registered:August 2006
Location: Bavaria - Germany
Quite right Shanga.

Someone will have to commit seriously and produce the first presentable results, then those can be used to attract more support. As i wrote earlier, there are examples of one man teams which have produced quite astonishing results. I wouldn't wish that workload on anyone though, especially if that person is to have something resembling a job or a life besides. And even then it will be months, if not years until the first presentable demo.

Anyhow, another big point for using UE 4 as basis is the notoriously tricky and restricted moddability of Unity games. And Open Alliance needs to be as open and moddable as possible.

On the other hand, Pillars of Eternity has shown that old school isometric style games can be recreated on modern engines rather beautifully, bringing all the vintage charm with HD graphics and 3D elements. Maybe this would also be an interesting style choice to consider? Although it probably would actually be less work to create everything in full 3D from the start.

So anyways SceenOfDeath, either you start this project on your own and see how far you get in a given timeframe, or you try to find another 2 to 3 capable people willing to commit a good portion of their time and form a core dev team. But i'd advice you to not only rely on this community and go out and search for support also outside in other inclined communities and maybe also try advertising your project, see how much apporval and interest you can get.

In any case, most of the initial workload will be on you.

Maybe you could ask Chris Roberts if he is a JA fan and would be willing to support you with a little funding and support from Star Citizen? Guy has way more money than he needs to anyways. ;P

☆★GL★☆
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340660 is a reply to message #339776] Wed, 22 April 2015 10:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Hi so after a long, long time I´m going to respond. Yay.

Basically I´m very interested in coding this remake and create an Open Alliance for everybody.
But sadly my life circumstances changed due to some bad happenings and I need to deal with it.
So I think I can't work on it for months.
And yes, we are going to use Unreal Engine 4 for it, but as I said before, I´m not able to do any work for it right now.
But my decision is made, we all need an Open Alliance. And we are going to create it.

My experience with 2D graphics are that it's not much harder than 3D graphics.
Why? You need a ton of pictures for one person, instead of using only one 3D mesh.
And the camera angle would be fixed of course.
You can't do fancy things like "disconnecting" bones to remove "parts", you know what I mean? - You need to paint it.
Physics are also a problem here I think, we need of everything parts which is going to be "droppable".
(With 3D meshs it's much easier to handle, everybody loves the ragdoll physics I think big grin)
Also with cool shaders there are very nice effects possible, which I think is easier to handle as textures.
(Think of a way you shoot a ray through something, and you will see actually a hole where the ray hit it - okay, this could be more interesting in a FPS)

But there are other nice way's to handle it, the light calculation is ... automatically done throu the Unreal Engine.
Okay, but here is another one: Colored outlining on the enemy / chosen soldier, even if he moves. This is hard to be done with only 2D textures I think.
Or other fancy things like creating a cell shading - shader. (Okay nevermind, but it would be that hard)
And here is the most important reason I prefer 3D models I think: If you are done modeling the mesh (it takes time) you could attach any object to bones, modify the texture
to a higher detailed version of it, reuse the mesh itself, animations are much easier to handle and of course, animation works with similar objects with the right rigging.
If the model need a little bit rework, you are able to change with less work as with 2D textures. And you could modify things at runtime / bla bla.
I think to create the model wouldn't take so much longer, (it could be in some cases even quicker, like creating boxes or maybe even level modeling).
It is even possible to render the 3D models in a iso metric way to let them look like 2D models, (you can even "bake" them in this way in Blender I think).

[Updated on: Wed, 22 April 2015 10:51]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340700 is a reply to message #340660] Fri, 24 April 2015 20:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sxdemon

 
Messages:22
Registered:January 2015
Location: Russia

We need someone to manage the whole project. =)
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #340707 is a reply to message #340700] Fri, 24 April 2015 23:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bibmos
Messages:5
Registered:April 2015
Very nice someone comes with such an initiative!
I like and fully support that Idea, just recently when i played pillars of ethernity i thought again about JA.
Why not give such a project a try?
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #341547 is a reply to message #340707] Tue, 30 June 2015 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peal

 
Messages:250
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
Count me in!

I cannot code at all, but I'm a creative director in real life so maybee i can be supportive with:

*Level design
*Also I did webdesign in my past, I know all about html + css, could be useful for UI design ...
*I can handle Cinema 4d ...
*Trailer, cutscenes, intro, basically all motion design
*Story telling, quest and main plott.
*Thinktank
*Juicy soft drink skills

[Updated on: Tue, 30 June 2015 12:33]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #344088 is a reply to message #339776] Thu, 11 February 2016 13:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
asgaer
Messages:1
Registered:February 2016
Good day. Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I was wondering if someone is still working on that, and if they do, can I help. Wanted to create a new thread and refer to this one instead, but apparently I can't use links.
Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #344104 is a reply to message #344088] Fri, 12 February 2016 12:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3503
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Full Control taking a complete nose dive and vanishing in thin air kinda put a hard stop to any attempts to extract vital info needed. So we either get a contact at Nordic Games (the new IP holder) that allows us to dig deep or we do it the old ways, getting down and dirty - which will take a lot of energy and time.

Main issue here is assets being locked inside Unity files and no way to load then dinamically (except those pre-programmed by FC).


Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #345550 is a reply to message #344104] Mon, 16 May 2016 14:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SceenOfDeath

 
Messages:28
Registered:December 2007
Location: Germany
Helloooo everybody,

it's almost 14 months since my last response.
I just wondering if there are still somebody who wants a community developed
(perhaps open source) Jagged Alliance, and of course, who's are ready to help.

In the last months many things happends - I successfully complete my IT study, with the degree as - Bachelor of Science - and I'm working as an Software Engineer in C++.

I switched to Linux completly, the Unreal Engine is now open source - and our goal of the "Open Alliance" isn't a single step further. As I see, nobody is ready to start with the dirty part of it, the big concept and designing of interfaces, classes etc. So maybe there are some other projects out there, which can be used - I didn't search for them yet.

I think one of the biggest problem are the assets which need to be bought by someone - and only the "core" team had access to them.

An Unreal project is pretty big, the asset store of Unreal is small compared to Unity's Asset Store. Hmm.. Lets think about it.

So what do you think about the project, should we start it?

[Updated on: Mon, 16 May 2016 14:49]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #345551 is a reply to message #345550] Mon, 16 May 2016 14:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1169
Registered:December 2012
Location: Russia
SceenOfDeath wrote on Mon, 16 May 2016 16:48
So what do you think about the project, should we start it?

There's already JA2 style project being developed for a long time with good results, why start anything else?




Stable 7609+fix (14.09.2016)
Stable 7609+AI (r381 29.01.2017)
Improved weapon sounds
Youtube channel


Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #345749 is a reply to message #345551] Mon, 30 May 2016 13:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bibmos
Messages:5
Registered:April 2015

sevenfm wrote on Mon, 16 May 2016 13:59
SceenOfDeath wrote on Mon, 16 May 2016 16:48
So what do you think about the project, should we start it?

There's already JA2 style project being developed for a long time with good results, why start anything else?



Afaik hes using a mix of available assets. I would not call this a future proof system.

[Updated on: Tue, 31 May 2016 01:59]

Re: Open Source - The future of Flashback - or the future of a new game[message #348207 is a reply to message #344104] Thu, 12 January 2017 13:55 Go to previous message
IronArthur

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2004
Location: EU
Shanga wrote on Fri, 12 February 2016 11:23
Full Control taking a complete nose dive and vanishing in thin air kinda put a hard stop to any attempts to extract vital info needed. So we either get a contact at Nordic Games (the new IP holder) that allows us to dig deep or we do it the old ways, getting down and dirty - which will take a lot of energy and time.

Main issue here is assets being locked inside Unity files and no way to load then dinamically (except those pre-programmed by FC).


That´s not exactly true, main problem is extracting the assets the right way so animationclips works with the skeleton. They are a lot of programs to extract the assets from unity projects, specially older ones like JAF (4.*)
I like UnityStudio
http://i.imgur.com/cwycxqy.png

That´s the main soldier prefab on the left (Grunt, male) and the texture on the right is the garand i think.
Previous Topic: JA:Flashback Mercenary Roster
Next Topic: JAF Character System
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Thu Mar 30 07:40:19 EEST 2017

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01116 seconds