#pentagram@irc.freenode.net logs for 28 May 2006 (GMT)

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[00:34:00] --- Kirben_ is now known as Kirben
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[03:18:21] <ShadwChsr> Hey :)
[03:19:41] <SB-X> hi
[03:20:37] <ShadwChsr> Haven't been here in quite awhile - I assume pentagram is still being worked on? :)
[03:26:23] <SB-X> The most recent update on the website was last month.
[03:26:47] <SB-X> so I'd say yes it is :)
[03:27:05] <ShadwChsr> ahhh sorry :) I checked a few months before
[03:27:35] <ShadwChsr> I was wondering what would be required to become involved with the project
[03:29:22] <ShadwChsr> I had been working on my own project but it's so similar to pentagram that I wonder if there is even a point :)
[03:30:05] <ShadwChsr> Plus I keep avoiding C++ off and on but I probably should just give up and write real apps in it again.
[03:30:37] <ShadwChsr> I had stopped for awhile... certain limitations were aggrevating me, but I was probably just being a baby ;)
[03:42:59] <ShadwChsr> I can't remember - do you program at all SB-X?
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[13:41:12] <SB-X> I'd already gone AFK last night when ShadwChsr asked me that. I'm back now.
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[15:00:33] <wjp> I was asleep at the time, unfortunately
[15:08:02] <watt> oooh. potential new member :-)
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[16:25:07] <wjp> hi
[16:25:16] <ShadwChsr> hi
[16:26:12] <wjp> the short answer to "how to get involved with pentagram" is: find something that isn't working and try to fix it :-)
[16:26:31] <ShadwChsr> :)
[16:26:59] <ShadwChsr> I noticed there are a variety of makefiles/project files. Is there a specific compiler all the devs use?
[16:27:50] <wjp> I use gcc myself
[16:28:05] <wjp> which platform do you use?
[16:28:12] <ShadwChsr> XP
[16:28:22] <wjp> any preferred compiler?
[16:28:33] <ShadwChsr> I noticed there were some VS05 project files, but I'm not sure if that's just an afterthought or if you are directly targeting that compiler
[16:28:47] <wjp> Colourless uses VS
[16:28:50] <ShadwChsr> Ahhh
[16:29:25] <ShadwChsr> Right now it compiles into a single EXE, correct? (except for the libraries like SDL)
[16:29:44] <wjp> there are some separate tools
[16:30:19] <wjp> pentagram itself is indeed a single .exe (using some more or less standard, possibly dynamic, libraries)
[16:30:38] <wjp> it also needs some data files, which can be embedded into the pentagram executable
[16:30:59] <wjp> (but I generally leave them out to make it easier to quickly change them)
[16:31:06] <ShadwChsr> *nods*
[16:31:58] <ShadwChsr> One of the reasons I moved my engine into C# was for strong class library support - I'm a little rusty in that area when it comes to C++.
[16:32:31] <ShadwChsr> If I remember it's pretty fragmented and OS specific (exported function based DLLs/SOs, COM, etc etc)
[16:33:08] <wjp> what do you mean?
[16:33:36] <wjp> all libraries we use are plain C, by the way
[16:34:06] <ShadwChsr> Well I was thinking of things like the SDL graphics or the file loaders - can they be abstracted away feasably in C++, as apposed to being tightly linked?
[16:35:04] <ShadwChsr> I'm interested in helping the pentagram project, but also building a system that could be used for new games that would be free of any liablity towards EA
[16:35:10] <wjp> We use standard C++ i/o functions for file access, but SDL is (by design) quite deeply integrated
[16:36:00] <wjp> SDL is extremely cross-platform, so we decided it wasn't necessary to abstract that away
[16:36:11] <ShadwChsr> That would either mean branching small portions of it, importing the non U8 code into the project (doubtfull that would happen), or using some sort of abstraction that would make it easier to plug in external code to replace the specific U8 loaders
[16:36:51] <wjp> we have a pretty well modularized 'backend' for graphics, audio and file access
[16:37:02] <wjp> and configuration file support
[16:37:11] * ShadwChsr nods
[16:37:16] <ShadwChsr> The code looks very clean :)
[16:37:33] <wjp> most of which should be entirely independent of the fact that pentagram happens to play U8
[16:38:40] <wjp> if you're looking at backends to 'borrow', scummvm might be interesting to look at as well
[16:38:40] <ShadwChsr> In my engine I had split the game "client" code from the standardized world/common classes, and put any file loaders or hooks to the specific game into a separate DLL as well.
[16:38:48] <ShadwChsr> But that's more a C# design than C++
[16:39:04] <ShadwChsr> I'm not really looking to borrow a backend per-se
[16:39:42] <ShadwChsr> I'm interested in U8 in itself, and getting involved with that project. But I'm *also* interested in using the engine for other things too :)
[16:40:00] <ShadwChsr> Building new games with new graphics and media files
[16:41:16] <ShadwChsr> Most of the code I wrote probably parallels pentagram anyways - it's based on the same type of isometric layout
[16:43:50] <ShadwChsr> C# may be "sort of" portable and a very clean language - but it limits future growth to other platforms or devices *shrug*
[16:44:23] <wjp> I have no experience with C# at all
[16:44:28] <wjp> (reading or writing)
[16:44:33] * ShadwChsr nods
[16:45:18] <ShadwChsr> It runs in Linux under Mono and the core libraries are open source, but Microsoft will never directly write frameworks for anything except the OS that shal not be named ;)
[16:45:49] <ShadwChsr> It's also nice to share class libraries between the various tools (resource editor, map editor, etc).
[16:47:42] <ShadwChsr> It's going to be a major (primary?) game development platform for Xbox360 and Vista as well, so its nice they're taking it seriously now.
[16:48:09] <ShadwChsr> But it's still too specialized. You can't beat C++ for cross platform and the ability to port to devices and things.
[16:48:46] <ShadwChsr> Console developers are duking it out and lowering their dev kits to unheard of prices ($2000 or less) and launching electronic distribution to indie devs
[16:48:50] <ShadwChsr> Things like that.
[16:52:17] <wjp> I also have no experience with consoles at all :-)
[16:52:27] <ShadwChsr> Neither do i :)
[16:52:39] <wjp> not much desire to spend time developing for hostile platforms
[16:52:50] <ShadwChsr> But I'm willing to bet they aren't "managed code" friendly :)
[16:53:28] <ShadwChsr> It's a tradeoff - here I have all this extremely clean, working code I wrote in C#, and a huge game framework coming out for it (XNA)
[16:54:12] <ShadwChsr> But then again I doubt I would ever complete it, and there's less options for porting or expansion *shrug*
[16:56:34] <wjp> in the end it usually boils down to personal preference
[16:56:48] * ShadwChsr nods
[16:58:26] <ShadwChsr> The engine I'm trying to build is still going to be similar to U8's though *shrug*
[17:01:48] <wjp> using a reverse engineered engine is typically not very suited for new games, though
[17:02:24] <wjp> it usually has many hacks, implicit assumptions and such targeted at the original game
[17:02:30] <ShadwChsr> Well, I'm not really reverse engineering U8 though. I have a large amount of game art that I can use that uses the same tile size as U8
[17:02:50] <ShadwChsr> Weird co-incidence, and much of the art is public domain or "open".
[17:03:02] <ShadwChsr> So it made sense to write the code in a similar way.
[17:03:58] <ShadwChsr> But at the core I don't see why you couldn't use a reverse enginnered engine. You would end up with the same thing they used to build U8 in the first place.
[17:04:12] <ShadwChsr> All the hacks could just go in the specific loaders for U8 *shrug*
[17:05:03] <ShadwChsr> I'll probably keep hacking away at my silly project - I just wish there was a language in between C++ and C# ;)
[17:08:55] <watt> wjp:Got a bit farther - need libpng now, but the only available versions are ppc ones (one through fink & one native framework) - I think I'm going to go for option 3 in this case and bundle libpng.
[17:11:24] * wjp nods
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[18:07:01] <wjp> hi Fingolfin
[18:07:11] <Fingolfin> hi Willem
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[19:41:00] <SB-X> Who names the screenshots?
[19:41:28] <wjp> I think Colourless and I named them
[19:43:01] <SB-X> hehe just curious
[19:43:16] <SB-X> i thought it was watt or darke
[19:43:54] <SB-X> Of course I meant the captions, not the filenames. :)
[19:46:11] <wjp> looking at the commit logs it does appear watt named the initial batch
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[22:54:44] <watt> ok, pentagram's compiling - now the real test - ultima8
[23:12:25] <watt> Victory!
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[23:30:50] <watt> So, can I add libpng sources directly to the repo as system/xcode/libpng-1.2.10 ? Or should I do something else about that one?
[23:50:48] <SB-X> :)