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Unity [.net] 2D Game

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Hey guys, I'm thinking about writing an RPG-like game. It won't be very complicated (RPG-ish), just walk around and talk and stuff, in fact, it'll be simple at first. However, I have many decisions to face and I was wondering what you guys thought, here's what I'd like: - API/Library/Bindings: At first I saw SDL.Net, and it seems really great, especially since it would work under any platform which mono supports (My main concern is Mac OS X, Windows, and *nix), and I have a friend which will be the artist and he's on a Mac OS X and he won't feel really motivated to work with/for something he can't use. But then I saw XNA and it seems pretty nice as well, so right now I"m deciding between the two, though I feel like I'm leaning more towards SDL.Net now. - Scripting: I'd like a 'true' scripting language. What I mean is, so that it doesn't require extreme programming knowledge. I want the community and my team to be able to write their own features. I was looking at LuaInterface [1] [2], but (Please correct me if I'm wrong) it seems like a hackish solution. From what I've heard, LuaInterface was/is a 'Lua.Net' type of thing, a .Net implementation; not intended for embedding into C#. True, it can be done as seen in the second link, which brings me to my next question; Won't the users be able to access things such as System.IO, creating a security risk? I was also looking at Boo, IronPython, and even C# itself. So I'm not really sure as to what to do. - Map Editor: So that the community and my team could create maps. I've got this pretty much settled, but I'm wondering if I should make it WinForms at the moment (Easier for me) or use Gtk#. If I used XNA then there'd be no point for Gtk# which was going to be to make the map editor crossplatform as well. If I use SDL.Net however, I'll want to use Gtk# (Is there any other cross platform .net/C# GUI toolkit at the moment?). At first I felt that was fine except for that I would have to create an SDL.Net widget, and to my surprise, that very same day, someone posted one, the problem is I'm getting an error but that should easily be fixed. Then, just now as I'm writing this, figured, why use a toolkit at all? I could render the map editor in SDL.Net itself. I'd just like to know your guys' input, I'm pretty confused on all of this and don't know what to do/where to start, what do you guys suggest?

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Although it's not really cross-platform, I thought I'd throw out Krisc's Xna5D as it looks pretty good for wrapping up the 2D functionality of XNA. It promises to have collisions right in the library itself, which is nice.

I also have to throw in a shameless self-plug of BooGame. I started work on it a while ago, aiming to make 2D game development extremely easy on multiple platforms through Tao.OpenGL. It uses Boo for scripting, Tile Studio for loading map data, FMOD for audio and FreeGLUT for window management. Lately I've been updating the design and getting some of the functionality into the .NET 2.0 branch. The .NET 1.1 release sadly didn't work on Mono, but this branch now does (Linux/Windows screenshots). I still have some stuff to port over.

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Regarding scripting, I'd just go with plain .NET assemblies (sorta like DLLs) and let users write them in whatever .NET language they want, including C#, VB, Boo, IronPython, etc.

Regarding security, you can load assemblies into a separate AppDomain and apply security restrictions (do a search for Code Access Security), including restricting file and registry access. I'm not sure if this is performant.

Hopefully someone else can comment as I'm not too familiar with this.

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Thanks for the suggestions Rob, Xna5D looks interesting, but I'd like to make my game cross platform if possible, if not, then it's fine.

Mutex, that seems reasonable and logical, however, the reason I wanted scripting was so that anyone, not just programmers, could write features, and actually I worded that wrong, I mean scripting as in in a map, make a certain player move to the right and start a conversation with another player, 'simple' things like that, I guess I made it sound more of a 'plug in' type of thing, in which case, yes, .Net would seem like a viable choice.

So what do you guys suggest for each thing? I figure Sdl.Net is the only choice for cross platform-ness at the moment. And if I use that I'll either make the map in-game or using Gtk#. Otherwise, if I don't make the game cross-platform, I'll definately use XNA.

Anyways, sorry for the confusion, thanks for the help! Hope to hear more of your input!

P.S. For managing builds on linux and such, what would I use? For example, with C/C++ there's make files, but I figure one can use make files for anything, right? Not just C/C++. But is that what is used? Or is it something nAnt or something like that. If it's makefiles which we use, does anyone know of an article on using it with C#? Or if it's this 'nant' thing, any tutorials/articles on it? Nevermind I guess I can simply create an SVN repository and then create project files for whatever platform I'm on (Windows = Visual Studio, Linux = MonoDevelop, etc.) and just ignore anything other than the source files I guess.

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Original post by blanky
Mutex, that seems reasonable and logical, however, the reason I wanted scripting was so that anyone, not just programmers, could write features, and actually I worded that wrong, I mean scripting as in in a map, make a certain player move to the right and start a conversation with another player, 'simple' things like that, I guess I made it sound more of a 'plug in' type of thing, in which case, yes, .Net would seem like a viable choice.
There are .NET languages that have non-compiling interpreters; Boo definitely supports this, and I believe IronPython does as well. Just provide a simple API and feed the interpreter your map scripts.

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I'm in a nearly identical situation and I'm having a heck of a time deciding on a path. My game is a text based sports simulation that requires lots of standard UI stuff. I could crank it out pretty quickly using WinForms and some of the .Net drawing routines. However, cross platform-ness is really important to me since I might be spending most of my time working on a Mac. Unfortunately, WinForms seems pretty incomplete in Mono. Also GTK# on the Mac is non trivial to set up so that doesn't seem like a viable option either.

I've looked at pretty much every cross platform 2D solution and I still can't decide. I really don't want to spend time writing UI code. In the last game I worked on I wrote a bunch of UI code (wxPython) and I swore I would never do it again unless there was no other option. I own Torque Game Builder which has a pretty good GUI designer/editor, but I'm not a huge fan of TorqueScript. I love Python and played with the various GUI builders (wxGlade, Glade, Qt Designer), but nothing really satisfied me. Yeah...I'm finicky.

I've also considered structuring things so that I could use WinForms on Windows and something like Cocoa# on the Mac, but I REALLY don't want to duplicate effort designing two sets of UIs.

I guess I'm looking for the toolset that would most allow me to focus on the gameplay instead of the lower level details. Torque Game Builder comes the closest, but I don't really like TorqueScript and I'm going to have to hack the engine to get the other things I need (database support, xml parsing, text manipulation). .Net and WinForms would be a good choice if I was going Windows only...

I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice as I've been banging my head up against this wall for far longer than I should have.

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Yeah I was going to mention Cocoa# but I figure it's only Mac. You could always do what I thought of doing in my situation, rendering everything with a separate graphics library such as SDL.Net or something similar, something cross platform. Then again, that seems like a huge hassle. Look for something premade, maybe there's CeGUI# or something haha. That's the problem with C#, there aren't many GUI toolkits out there at the moment. The only one I can think of is Gtk#, but yeah, it's kind of a hassle. I think the only way to go is writing separate implementations, one might use Cocoa# and the other WinForms. You could write your code in a way where it's not a hassle, for example, write everything seperate from the GUIs, and then access it for the specific GUI after. It might seem difficult but it's very easy and easier to keep track of than hard-coding with a GUI from the beginning, plus you gain more experience. If you don't understand what I mean, for example you'd have class MyProgram (Just for example), and you'd do all your stuff specific to a GUI, and then you'd do the same for the other GUI, but it wouldn't be too hard because everything's already written inside MyProgram. People used to tell me to do that in C++ but back then I wasn't as experienced (If I even am anymore experience now haha), so I ignored it, but now it seems almost logical.

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I'm going to thrown in a ticket for Java. I've been making a game for the last month in Java on Windows without any regard for platform independence and it still works on linux and mac osx. I've actually been rather suprised by it, because I've had other Java projects that did not run cross-platform so well.

I've used 100% pure Java so far (that is, it's all standard Java SE API code, no 3rd party libraries). It's fast enough for my needs. From what you described for what you want to do, it should be good too.

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