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Discussing "Heart of the OHR"
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NayusDante




Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Developer keeps 70%, Microsoft keeps 30%. It used to be that if your game went on the featured games list, the ratio was reversed and they kept 70%, but I think they did away with that.

Ideally, the end result of the port would be a Visual Studio project template. When you open Visual C#, you make a new project with the template, drop in your *.RPG file, and compile. Then, you get the file that you submit to the marketplace for review.

I'm not sure if I like the umbrella group idea. You're not allowed to publish an unlimited number of games on one account, it's more like ten. It might work if we did some kind of "showcase" account, or an account whose proceeds go to charity, but I don't think a dedicated OHR publisher account would work well.

Also, keep in mind that we really don't need to port anything except game.exe. If you wanted to do something like Kodu and allow game sharing over XBL, I suppose a port of custom.exe would have a purpose, but that's probably not worth bothering with. Maybe a simplified version of custom with some sample content, like Enterbrain's RPG Maker series would work, but I wouldn't put that very high on the priority list.

How would we go about maintaining an XNA port? Would this be a forked project, or could we completely move everything to C# with multiple build targets?

If we go through with this and open up OHR to a commercial market, I would strongly suggest the establishment of a review council. All we need is a set of guidelines and a few reviewers to enforce a certain degree of quality. If a game completes the voluntary review process, they get something like the Nintendo gold seal, and are assigned an "approved game number." Copyright the logo, and grant permission to include it in approved games, so we have a case against anyone who fakes it.
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NayusDante




Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C# isn't really all that different from C++, and there are Linux compilers for it. There's also SDL libraries for C#. If we're going to seriously think about a project like this, moving the project to C# and XNA is the best way to go, in my opinion.

As far as the Wii goes, your only real option is homebrew. That's an odd beast. The PSP scene is about the same.

PS3 was supposed to have some kind of open development library, fire-something, but I don't know what happened to it.

Porting to Android is a great idea, but I don't think it's the most secure platform if you want to profit, as I've heard a fair bit about piracy. If you just want to open your games to more people, though, THIS is the way to go. It's going to be absurd how many Android devices there will be in the next few years.
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Bob the Hamster
OHRRPGCE Developer




Joined: 22 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was talking to TMC and Mike about this on the dev mailing list.

Of all the platforms we could port to, XNA is one of the hardest.

The first port we are likely to see is Mac OS X. TMC already did a lot of work on making freebasic stuff compile on BSD, and BSD is the core of Mac OS X. Maybe this will happen this year. We will see.

The next step in porting is to move away from FreeBasic to C++. The FreeBasic team is working on a C code generator, so that is one possibility, and TMC has plans for a freebasic-to-C++ code translate, and that is probably the most likely path to succeed. This might be a few more years, maybe?

Once a C++ version exists, That opens up the path to iPhone, Android, and others, but NOT to XNA, because XNA doesn't do C++ code.

But at least at that point we could re-evaluate it, and see if a path to .NET portability has become visible by then. From where we sound right now, an XNA port looks like it would have to be a total rewrite from scratch, and as we all know I have zero interest in that (and I think when TMC was talking about the possibility of an XNA port he didn't know about the .NET limitations.)

EDIT: no, the difference between C++ and C# can actually be really huge. For programs that don't do any crazy pointer voodoo, maybe the distance is smaller, but I have yet to see a C++ program larger than "Hello World" that failed to be chock full of crazy pointer voodoo.

I guess my point is, we are now standing at the starting line. a Mac port is a 5k fun-run. A port to C++ capable platforms is a marathon. A .NET port is swimming the English channel. Not impossible, but we should focus on the easier goals first.
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TMC
On the Verge of Insanity




Joined: 05 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Paige wrote:
While we do have a reasonable long-term plan to work towards porting the OHR from FreeBasic to C++


We do? I thought the plan was to stick to FB, but possibly compile it via alternative means. I hold no hope of convincing you to write C++ code, nor would I want to!

James Paige wrote:
Wii does do C/C++ code, but has an extremely open-source-unfriendly developer license, so that would have to be homebrew only

Are you aware that the iPhone developer license is extremely unfriendly towards us as well? An OHR port would violate at least 2 clauses that I'm aware of: use of a language other than C, C++, or C# via automatic translation to one of those (3.3.1), and use of an interpreter (3.3.2). These clauses are specifically designed to disallow "frameworks" and translators that also target other devices, such as the Flash to C++ translation that Apple hated so badly. There are other game engines for the iPhone which run interpreted code, it's completely up to Apple whether to enforce their license, but I'm personally not interested in spending time on a port that has every reason to get killed by Apple.

James Paige wrote:
The first port we are likely to see is Mac OS X. TMC already did a lot of work on making freebasic stuff compile on BSD, and BSD is the core of Mac OS X. Maybe this will happen this year. We will see.

A lot of investigation, not work. But I've mostly given up on achieving a port to OSX through any means other than C or C++ translation. I think the FB devs feel the same way. fb2c++ would be a much better use of time than trying to learn fbc and gas internals in order to fix bugs in them (Apple's gas's support for intel syntax is terrible).

James Paige wrote:
The next step in porting is to move away from FreeBasic to C++... This might be a few more years, maybe?


Not that long. I think I'll probably resume work on fb2c++ if there's no substantial progress by the FB devs in, say, half a year. Maybe before then.

NayusDante wrote:
If we're going to seriously think about a project like this, moving the project to C# and XNA is the best way to go, in my opinion.


Not an option: that would mean having to run on a CLR virtual machine on handheld devices.

When I thinking about the possibility of an XNA, I knew there would be limitations. But the idea is that most of the OHR source does not use pointers, and when it does it's usually in a fairly mundane manner that would have a simple C# equivalent. fb2c++ could be modified to spit out C#, and the FB runtime library reimplemented as a wrapper around .NET. Going from FB to C# via C++ would be impossible. The biggest problem would be the (new) script interpreter, which would have to be not just rewritten but rethought... and it isn't even written yet! Some other small bits would also have to be rewritten, so it may be better off as a fork.

All in all, it would be a bigger task than a C++ port, so I'm with James: we can consider it when we get that far.
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Bob the Hamster
OHRRPGCE Developer




Joined: 22 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mad Cacti wrote:
James Paige wrote:
While we do have a reasonable long-term plan to work towards porting the OHR from FreeBasic to C++


We do? I thought the plan was to stick to FB, but possibly compile it via alternative means. I hold no hope of convincing you to write C++ code, nor would I want to!


What I more or less meant was adding C++ as a compilation target. I meant "towards C++" but if I said "away from FreeBasic" I spoke in error :)


The Mad Cacti wrote:

James Paige wrote:
Wii does do C/C++ code, but has an extremely open-source-unfriendly developer license, so that would have to be homebrew only

Are you aware that the iPhone developer license is extremely unfriendly towards us as well? An OHR port would violate at least 2 clauses that I'm aware of: use of a language other than C, C++, or C# via automatic translation to one of those (3.3.1), and use of an interpreter (3.3.2). These clauses are specifically designed to disallow "frameworks" and translators that also target other devices, such as the Flash to C++ translation that Apple hated so badly. There are other game engines for the iPhone which run interpreted code, it's completely up to Apple whether to enforce their license, but I'm personally not interested in spending time on a port that has every reason to get killed by Apple.


I think that the open-source unfriendlyness has been relaxed. I know that Battle For Wesnoth got in. I think the anti-interpreter clauses would be the hard part.

But yes, they are pretty arbitrary and random about how they enforce these things, so I would be happy to endlessly re-submit with trivial tweaks until I got lucky enough to be reviewed by a more lax Apple Inquisitor. :)

I suppose if I got sick of trying after a while i would just got and compile a Jailbreak version instead.

The Mad Cacti wrote:

James Paige wrote:
The first port we are likely to see is Mac OS X. TMC already did a lot of work on making freebasic stuff compile on BSD, and BSD is the core of Mac OS X. Maybe this will happen this year. We will see.

A lot of investigation, not work. But I've mostly given up on achieving a port to OSX through any means other than C or C++ translation. I think the FB devs feel the same way. fb2c++ would be a much better use of time than trying to learn fbc and gas internals in order to fix bugs in them (Apple's gas's support for intel syntax is terrible).


Oh, I mistakenly thought it was working on Darwin BSD already, and just needed app bundling. My mistake.

The Mad Cacti wrote:

James Paige wrote:
The next step in porting is to move away from FreeBasic to C++... This might be a few more years, maybe?


Not that long. I think I'll probably resume work on fb2c++ if there's no substantial progress by the FB devs in, say, half a year. Maybe before then.


Very nice :) (and yes, this is where I misspoke in saying "away from freebasic")
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NayusDante




Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple relaxes rules on interpreted code...

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/apple-throws-developers-a-bone-relaxes-restrictions-on-third-party-tools/38985?tag=nl.e539

It's still a bit restrictive, but it's a step in the right direction.
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Rya.Reisender
Snippy




Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FyreWulff wrote:
Yeah, the only way to make a free game is to make it beatable in less than 8 minutes.

I heard you can override this limitation by simply adding a save feature that saves frequently.

Also I'm pretty positive that there would be quite some people actually willing to pay 80 MS points for the better OHRRPGCE games (if finished).
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chronoboy
Into the past with a splash




Joined: 04 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about going off topic. I came to this post to hopefully see a discussion of "Heart of OHR" and now it's a dev forum on what to port OHR to next. Kudos. Raspberry!

Regardless, I'll add to this off topicness... Are there no other FreeBasic compatible compilers out there? Or are we forever doomed in their clutches until they fix their mess?

Another idea would be to begin work on O.H.R.RPG.C.E. 2, if you know where I'm going. I'll start another post devoted to this idea... This post got off topic so much already.

I say we should rewrite OHR in Intel Assembly, but not compatible with AMD. Ha ha ha!
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TMC
On the Verge of Insanity




Joined: 05 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chronoboy wrote:
Are there no other FreeBasic compatible compilers out there? Or are we forever doomed in their clutches until they fix their mess?


There are a huge number of BASIC interpreters and compilers and translators out there. None are FB compatible (don't ask me how close they are in terms of amount of work to port). I've looked at a number, and though I probably haven't looked at all the best ones, I can say that FreeBASIC is orders of magnitude better than most of them. Sure, FB development is very inactive, and it appears bug-ridden, but that's just because compiling source code is an extremely complex task compared to almost anything else a computer program could do.
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Camdog




Joined: 08 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that I'm trying to push you on making an XNA compatible version, but I was just wondering, isn't C# just a superset of C? If we have a FreeBasic to C translator, wouldn't the resulting code be a lot easier to get to run on XNA than whatever C++ stuff you add on top?
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Bob the Hamster
OHRRPGCE Developer




Joined: 22 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Camdog wrote:
... isn't C# just a superset of C?...


Nope. Although C# was designed with C and C++ programmers in mind, and has plenty of similarities to those, it is not a superset.
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TMC
On the Verge of Insanity




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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't remember exactly, but I think C# running on the XBox, and some other environments, can't use pointers at all, making it just about as far from C as you can get :)

I suggested above that a working fb2c++ translator could be adapted to output C# instead (still requiring LOTS of hand editing). It would be a pretty huge task, but maybe we'll attempt it once we have accomplished everything else ;)
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NayusDante




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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The deadline is really close, and I've finally got a preview release of Eternity Fragment up for review before I submit the final version.

http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=71409#71409
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Rya.Reisender
Snippy




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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's an old thread that already went far off-topic, but since it's related:

RPG Maker VX is now compatible with XNA, in other words, you can release RPG Maker VX games for XBox now.

Example:
http://www.gamingtruth.com/2011/09/08/doom-destiny-xbox-indie-review/


Edit: On an additional note, it's not directly compatible. I contacted the developers. You need to add some programming efforts to it.
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