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Trandafira

The Ultimate Piece of Middleware

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So I'm delving into the re-refining development of making software for software developers. Specifically, I'm working on AI-mechanics. By that I mean, if its about movement then my engine takes care of it. As I'm designing it, its currently a mix of pathfinding and steering behaviours. Quite likely everyone who reads this thread could be considered game developers and as potential users of my (yet to be developed) product I would love to hear your opinions on a few questions... (If you are awesome) I would love it if any and everyone could answer (any of) the following questions regarding to game development middleware: 1. If there was only one element of a piece of middleware that could be done right ( say for reasons of time and money ), what would it be? 2. If you have been a user of substantial pieces of middlewares, which would you say you had the best experience with (2b.) And for what reason? If you do... Thanks! You just made my development that more relevant ( and hopefully successful =P ) ~Jono [Edited by - Trandafira on September 11, 2009 7:31:42 PM]

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Well from my perspective question number 1 has a flawed premise, question number 2 would be a pretty boring answer and question 3 is kind of confusing and abstract.

But since you didn't get anything from anyone else yet, I'll have a go anyway.

1) There isn't one element of a piece of middleware that needs to be done right. All elements of all pieces of middleware need to be done right. If any element of any piece of middleware isn't done right, I will use something else or write my own. However, compromising a little on this, I'm going to say that stability, complete lack of bugs (and prompt fixing of the ones that come up because complete lack of bugs does not exist) and generally doing what it is supposed to do flawlessly is more important to me than the interface or the speed.

2) Best experiences? Blitz3D - spectacularly stable and solid 3D engine in it's time. Bass sound engine - very stable, very clean interface, does what it says on the tin. Newton physics library - others may be faster and have more features but Newton is really, really tight. I think the right word is deterministic? Essentially that with the exact same inputs Newton will produce the exact same results. Very useful if you need that kind of accuracy.

3) I don't really see how A and B relate. They don't seem to be mutually exclusive or complementary in particular. Anyways, A) sounds very good. If I didn't want maximum output from minimum input, I wouldn't be using middleware. That's the point of middleware, to save me as much time as possible. B) I don't really get in an abstract context like that. Perhaps if I had a concrete example of how a 3D engine would be modular or how a sound or physics engine would be modular, but it doesn't really seem like a big deal to me from the abstract description.

I suspect that's not terribly helpful because I've kind of taken issue with your questions, but hopefully it's better than nothing.

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