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Member Since 10 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Nov 21 2013 04:52 PM

Topics I've Started

How do you feel about using dead/unmaintained libraries?

21 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

Say I'm looking for a certain kind of third-party library/framework/engine to fill some role in my game. I find a library that fits my requirements, or at the very least fits my requirements better than similar libraries. The only drawback is that the project is apparently dead. The web site hasn't been updated in years, the forums are empty, and the source repository seems inactive.


The library is open source, so it's not necessarily lost. But then I'd have the responsibility of maintaining the library myself in my own project. The alternatives are (a) using a worse but active library or (b) implementing the library functionality myself and possibly killing my project again.


How do people here feel about using libraries that aren't maintained by anyone anymore? Does it ever depend on the project and/or what the library does?

Handling time travel from faster-than-light travel

13 November 2013 - 07:06 PM

When pondering my pipe dream space opera game, I looked up some things on that infamous sci-fi plot device known as faster-than-light travel. Today I learned that not only are there physical limits on actually getting past the speed of light, if you could magically outrun light you get time travel for free.
This presents several challenges to designing the setting and plot of my (admittedly theoretical) game. I'd have to figure out how an interstellar society with time travel would work. For the actual game, which would basically be an RPG/strategy hybrid akin to Heroes of Might and Magic, I'd be obliged to simulate the time travelling somehow; the time travel couldn't just be a plot device like in Chrono Trigger. Finally, there's the likelihood that the game's original sweeping tale of Jedi robots punching zombie dragons would get overshadowed by all the time travel stuff.
I'll note that the idea I had for my game is a bit unique in that it would actually be a fantasy set in space, with Harry Potter and Doctor Strange stye wizards zipping around the stars. But the ability to magically control reference frames seems a bit much.

Non-random evasion in turn-based games?

31 July 2013 - 03:18 PM

I've been thinking about the Playstation game Bushido Blade (here's a video). It's a fighting game without health bars. A character dies instantly if struck in the head or torso.


The one-hit kills place a premium on evading and blocking attacks. This makes sense from both a realism and a cinematic perspective. e.g. Batman typically has to do backflips or something to avoid gunfire.


Bushido Blade, as an action game, leaves the evading and blocking to the player. I'm left wondering one thing: how would I possibly adapt this for a turn based game?


In every turn based game I've seen evading attacks are represented by a random chance for an attack to do no damage; a "to-hit" rating. If I combine that with Bushido Blade style one-hit kills then a character's life is entirely in the hands of the Random Number Gods ("The only people who should roll dice are those who are prepared to roll a 1.").


Are there any non-random ways to represent evasion in a turn based game?

Detecting when libRocket GUI handles input

04 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

I'm giving libRocket a try (again).
When sending input events to a libRocket context, how would I tell whether or not libRocket handled the input? Because if libRocket didn't handle the input I'd want to pass it to my main game logic. If I have a game map with a GUI on top, I'd like to tell whether or not I clicked on the GUI or on the map, since if I just clicked on the GUI I don't have to pass the input to the map logic.
After looking at some sources and docs, it looks like there actually isn't way to tell whether or not libRocket handled the input. Apparently all of my interactive game objects are expected to be in some kind of libRocket element, including my game map. Not really ideal in my opinion, but it's something I might be able to work with if someone confirms that this is the case.
I tried asking this on the libRocket forums, but it doesn't seem to be that active anymore. unsure.png

Managing pop-up GUI items

12 May 2013 - 05:49 PM

In a GUI system, what would be a good way to represent pop-up items such as menus and dialog boxes?

My GUI system is based on trees of widgets, e.g. a panel has a button has a label. Now I need widgets that are on top of other widgets instead of just inside them. Some pop-ups are modal, like dialog boxes, but some pop-ups like collapsable menus would only block the widgets directly under them.
One idea I had was to have all my widget trees in a stack. The tree for my main interface would live at the bottom, and any pop-ups would be additional trees pushed on to the stack. A widget tree could also have a flag for whether it's modal or not, likely kept in its root widget.
I'd also want to position some pop-ups relative to another widget, like a menu that's under a button. I'm not sure how I'd be able to do that aside from working out the screen coordinates of the parent widget. I wouldn't make the pop-up an actual child of the parent widget, since that relationship is for widgets contained by other widgets.