Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Time To Go To School

So, as I write this, I am getting more and more disenchanted with Game Editor.  It works fine for what it does, but I really want to expand my game design capabilities.  Here's what you need to know -- Biff's Adventure 2 needs at least a 1.2G CPU to run properly under Linux.  Given some of the stuff I've seen Linux creators make (Zaxxon RR comes to mind), there is no real reason for this.

Well, okay, there is one -- Game Editor is bloatware.

I'm not ditching it yet.  I've settled on what my next game design is going to be, and I'm starting prep work on it now.  But, with me getting ahead with my game reviews and Sound Waves #4 ready to be lettered and work resuming on Stress Puppy, I have a little spare time, and I've decided to...yes...I'm going to try a new programming language.

C++ is unbelievably tricky.  I can get it given time, I have no doubt.  The problem has to do with doing more than the stock configuration.  C++ compilers come with the C++ standard library.  And you can make console programs no problem.  But if you want to do more than just simple data, variables, and loops, you need more libraries.  And there are so many with so many kooky licenses, C++ is not easy (there are crossplatform libraries like Qt, but getting a license for that will cost you over $5K.  If I had that kind of cash, I wouldn't be a garage programmer, now would I?).  And don't get me started on the "beginner" books.  I keep reading ones that teach you how to do something from a "monkey see, monkey do" perspective.  They don't really delve into what makes things tick except only as it applies to what code they are showing you at the moment.  It's like those books that teach you how to play the piano through rote memorization but don't teach you the first thing about music theory -- you are repeating something, but you haven't really learned anything.

Likely candidates so far:

1)  Lazarus.  Uses freePascal.  It actually not only works pretty workable (and similar enough to C++ that it won't be much of a mental leap), but things for, say, text output control are part of its standard library, and lots of people making stuff with it.  I am definitely looking it over.

2)  Python.  I know, I know, I said I hate runtime languages, but Python has a huge, friendly community, is pretty straightforward to learn, and thanks to it being ported everywhere, I could even run my stuff on one of the new ARM-powered Linux machines.

3)  Ecere.  Based on C, like Game Editor, it claims to be leaner, meaner, a lot more friendly, and can do 3D as well as 2D.  Uses the modified BSD license.

Notice that each of these are open source.

Now, I'm not going to put my projects on hold, I'll just tinker with these until I find something I like, then move on from there.  My next game project, Germ Warfare, I've started working on and hope to have it finished by the end of the year.  At least it scratches the itch while I consider my options.
Tags: art, computers, germ warfare, haven't we suffered enough, important life lessons, linux, open source, technology is a beautiful thing, this ought to be interesting, video games
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