Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
tbrick

New middleware company, looking for ideas

This topic is 3314 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm working on setting up a new game middleware company. Since I'm more of a pure programmer than a game designer, I thought I'd rather help others create their games than attempt to create one of my own. So far I have a couple of ideas for new game libraries, but I'd love to hear what others think about the subject. Do you need or miss something for your own project? Something that doesn't exist, or that no-one has done right yet? I'm aiming more for the smaller library/tool kind of thing for now, and staying away from huge things like 3D engines (there's way to much competition in that area anyway.) For example, one idea I've looked at is a savegame system, that handles multiple save histories, player profiles, automatic net syncing / cloud saving, and so on. Another project is a scripting language - one that's very different from Lua and Python, and more akin to eg. UnrealScript. The general philosophy is that the projects should fit into any architecture, and with any game engine. BTW: Everything I make (if/when I do) will be free for non-commercials, and possibly also free for indies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Scripting might be pretty cool. You could have a VM for your language that runs in C++/on consoles very efficiently, and have a script editor that you could make stand alone in addition to a plug-in for VC++, and maybe like integration with Gamebryo Lightspeed's tool bench, which supports multiple scripting languages in which you can plug in your own. Lots of choices in that area to really make it good. I do like scripting a lot.

Remember, with middle-ware, the big thing is it needs to save money and time for the developers. Also, they should be able to plug it in and get it working in their engine pretty easy. For example, scripting saves time by having rules that are less strict than C++, therefore less bugs, and make prototyping much easier. Just try to think about that.

If you make it free to indies, I'd definitely by interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A testing suite could be kinda handy. Or some collaboration tool. There's plenty of good scripting languages, but there could be a better way of passing variables back and forth. If you had a tool that could generate a DOM for a structure or something to pass back and forth, that would be really cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Collaboration tool might be good, but the amount of time it saves affects how vital it will be for developers. If it only saves a little time, then it isn't worth it as much. A collaboration tool would have to target large teams, and that might be somewhat more complex. Although it might be cool if you could let multiple people edit the same code file.

Also, another suggestion if you decide on a scripting language. Maybe some way to make the scripting language let you easily save files? Like making it so you could save a level in a script, or something like that, something that lets it act similar a serialization library like XML.

Finally, a new idea I had if it helps you. What about a tool set? Not an engine, a tool set. It could be a suite of game development tools like a level editor, particle editor, physics shape editor, and spline editor, all in one, that can be loaded into a custom engine. This could save A LOT of time without having to developer editors for each game. You would have to make it easy to add plug-ins too for each separate type of game editor. This way your editor is widely reusable and saves much time, allowing plug-ins for extensibility. Just another idea.

-Christian Howe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
There's plenty of good scripting languages, but there could be a better way of passing variables back and forth. If you had a tool that could generate a DOM for a structure or something to pass back and forth, that would be really cool.

That's a good idea. I've previously looked at making something similar to Lua's tables (which are very versatile), but with a way to easily interface them with C++ structs. There are tools like SWIG that can parse C/C++ code and auto-generate a hidden layer in between, making it transparent. But I'm sure there are even better ways to do it.

Quote:
Maybe some way to make the scripting language let you easily save files? Like making it so you could save a level in a script, or something like that, something that lets it act similar a serialization library like XML.

I agree, a way to directly save/load object state (with options for eg. script output, xml or pure binary) would be very useful. I think this would be very possible, especially if it's an object oriented language.

Quote:
What about a tool set? [...] It could be a suite of game development tools like a level editor, particle editor, physics shape editor, and spline editor, all in one, that can be loaded into a custom engine.

I like the idea of an editor toolset, especially if it's modular and engine-independent (although that might be hard to do.) It's something that can be done one piece at a time too, eg. we could start with just the particle editor and see how it goes.

Thanks for the great ideas so far, I'm taking notes here. I'd love to hear even more ideas, if anyone has them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to see a game library that has some of the templates that STL has but it would be more adapted to games - without the 1000 templates where most of them depend on other 5, with a better allocator etc. It could really help me with my next game which I'll build ~after a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry about the long response time, been held up the last two weeks.

So to summarize the ideas so far:

- scripting languages are good, especially if they offer something good and unique/new
- an easier way to save files from scripts
- a set of editor tools and plugins, that (if I understood correctly) are largely engine-agnostic. I like this idea.
- more general low-level libraries that are specialized for game programming
- free or cheap is good :)

Personally I like the scripting language idea myself, and I think it's one idea that's worth pursuing, at least. I've worked on a prototype in the past, called it Monster-script, which I'm now doing a complete redesign for. (The homepage is here: http://monster.snaptoad.com/ .)

I'd love to hear if there's anything specific that anyone want to see in a scripting language though - preferably something that is missing or badly done in other languages. I have a lot of ideas myself, built up from peeves from other languages like C++, and from experience with Lua (which I think is great but is underpowered for many uses, such as a completely script-defined and object-oriented gameplay.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!