I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

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I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby keenmaster486 » 2016-9-08 @ 04:00

I've been turning this over in my mind for quite a while. We have a wide assortment of incredible talent here at Vogons and elsewhere. Why couldn't we all get together and make a new PC game for old hardware? I know there's been some sporadic development going on, for example Paku Paku, Magiduck, etc. But certainly if we all join forces and combine the best talent we have from various aspects of game development, we could create something awesome :D

We would need 5 teams:

1. Programming
2. Graphics design
3. Level design
4. Music / sound effects
5. Story work / writers

I could work on teams 2, 3 and 5 effectively. I can program but I don't consider myself the best. We have way better people here than me at that - and that's what this is all about, combining the best talent from the respective categories. I know we also have certain people here (hint, hint) who excel at creating highly optimized software.

Of course we would have to decide what our target system is (286, 386, 486? EGA or VGA? Real mode or protected mode? PCM or FM effects? MOD or OPL3 music?) and what sort of game it would be (I was really thinking early 90's platformer style, and not 3D). Whatever the target platform is, we ought to try to take 100% full advantage of the given hardware, and make things as optimized as they can be so we have room to add some "wow" factor.

The story would also have to be hashed out. I was thinking it should be a relatively lighthearted game suitable for children (i.e. not raunchy or terribly violent), but not "made for children" in the sense that an adult would feel an urge to puke upon playing it (like modern "children's games" :dead: ) I say lighthearted because I personally wouldn't want to make a cliched "end of the world" or "dystopian universe" game. We could use an existing character/universe or make something new up.

A goal of mine would be to make the game more amazing, technically superior, more innovative, better graphics, music, levels, etc. than anything that was made for the target platform at the time. I see these awesome demos, mod tracker music, pixel art, etc., and I think "wouldn't it be awesome if we could get stuff like that and make a game with it?"

So... is anyone out there willing to get into this for the long haul? I certainly am; I'll see it through to completion if enough other people will do the same. And if you think this is stupid, please still post with your criticisms :)
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby leileilol » 2016-9-08 @ 04:25

I have this, at least., but that's more of a hackup of a existing completed GPLed game with new data. Targets 6th gen PCs (P2,K6, and everything at least competent with a Voodoo) Most of the effort of mine right now involves wrangling with poor blender exporters, getting the engine to do modern things (GLSL and widescreen), getting the engine to do legacy extensions that got regressed (3dfx color control), coming up with new characters which 99% are female and hit too many spots on the female armor bingo cards, and trying to make lifelike animation without the use of mocap data, doing htings by hand
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby keenmaster486 » 2016-9-08 @ 04:34

leileilol wrote:I have this, at least., but that's more of a hackup of a existing completed GPLed game with new data. Targets 6th gen PCs (P2,K6, and everything at least competent with a Voodoo) Most of the effort of mine right now involves wrangling with poor blender exporters, getting the engine to do modern things (GLSL and widescreen), getting the engine to do legacy extensions that got regressed (3dfx color control), coming up with new characters which 99% are female and hit too many spots on the female armor bingo cards, and trying to make lifelike animation without the use of mocap data, doing htings by hand

Right... well, I guess I'm going for more 486-ish 2D era than K6/PII. But that project of yours is really cool of course. I could use your talent if you were willing to contribute to something in this mold :)
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-9-08 @ 04:48

I have this one, but it's for modern browsers: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/938 ... index.html

Press CTRL for throttle, navigate the balloon to the exits. It has a few levels but I never finished it...
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby keenmaster486 » 2016-9-08 @ 04:55

PhilsComputerLab wrote:I have this one, but it's for modern browsers: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/938 ... index.html

Press CTRL for throttle, navigate the balloon to the exits. It has a few levels but I never finished it...

I could play that for hours, except I can't get past the third level :lol: That's cool. More talent to contribute? :wink:
Edit: I got past it, and... Augh! Moving blocks! (*slaps forehead*) :lol:
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby leileilol » 2016-9-08 @ 05:31

if I made some retro platformer in that spec range it'd probably be more like a PC-88/98 -> DOS conversion. that means 640x200 EGA or 640x400 letterboxed VGA paletted with nice dithered art, fancy border, tile scrolling and opl2 craziness compensating from the audio downgrade from those systems
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Gemini000 » 2016-9-08 @ 09:57

I've considered doing DOS development for future game ideas; it's not like it's hard to do or anything, but there's a number of reasons why I've avoided it:

1. No 1080p support.
2. True-colour doesn't work so well. (It WORKS but it's not very fast.)
3. Limited performance potential.
4. Trying to sell a game which REQUIRES emulation on a modern system seems a bit backwards.
5. DOS joystick support is TERRIBLE. Always has been.
6. Memory management in DOS isn't as reliable as under Linux or Windows.
7. Limited to 8.3 filenames.
8. Whatever you make will ultimately run its best on only the target hardware configuration. Targeting more configurations is a LOT harder and more time consuming than on modern systems.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby VileRancour » 2016-9-08 @ 11:21

^ But why would all these modern-game considerations even apply to developing for an *obsolete* environment?
Working with limited resolutions, color depths, performance etc. should be part of the fun and challenge.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Cyberdyne » 2016-9-08 @ 11:27

7. Limited to 8.3 filenames.

Why the hell is that important in final product. You can develop in other enviromet with long filenames, if you like.

3. Limited performance potential.

DOS has best performance potential, if you just know how to program.

1. No 1080p support.
2. True-colour doesn't work so well. (It WORKS but it's not very fast.)

And these both are not anyhow essential for an exxcelent game.
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby carlostex » 2016-9-08 @ 12:43

I guess it depends on a lot of factors but i would like to see new games to run on 8088/V20 systems. To be able to run properly we need coders that are specifically 8088 assembly competent. I can only code in C/C++, so for that at least a fast 286 would be needed.

But seeing how talented VileR is in the pixel art department i would like very much to see a game with his artistry. I like particularly his text mode graphics in the CGA compatibility tester. Absolutely beautiful.

I could help with limited C programming and by writing some music, which someone else have to program. I'm thinking beautiful FM synthesis.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Gemini000 » 2016-9-08 @ 13:29

OK, before anyone continues to try to rip me a new one, I was explaining the reasons why I haven't pursued making DOS software in today's day and age on my own accord. They are NOT reasons why it shouldn't be done, rather reasons why it doesn't work for me personally anymore and, for anyone thinking about doing it themselves, they're things to consider before taking the plunge.

However, if those reasons are not factors for someone who wants to make a DOS game nowadays then by all means, go for it! :B
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby keenmaster486 » 2016-9-08 @ 13:33

Gemini000 wrote:OK, before anyone continues to try to rip me a new one, I was explaining the reasons why I haven't pursued making DOS software in today's day and age on my own accord. They are NOT reasons why it shouldn't be done, rather reasons why it doesn't work for me personally anymore and, for anyone thinking about doing it themselves, they're things to consider before taking the plunge.

However, if those reasons are not factors for someone who wants to make a DOS game nowadays then by all means, go for it! :B

OK, that makes sense. Still, I would urge you to consider helping even in a small way. It still might not be that bad :wink:
I will say these things however:
Gemini000 wrote:4. Trying to sell a game which REQUIRES emulation on a modern system seems a bit backwards.

We wouldn't be selling the game, it would be open source. We would provide a download of the final version, either as a zip file for running on DOSBox, or as floppy disk images.
Gemini000 wrote:5. DOS joystick support is TERRIBLE. Always has been.

I wouldn't quite say that it's terrible, but I certainly would say that it's perfectly sufficient for any 2D platformer.
Gemini000 wrote:8. Whatever you make will ultimately run its best on only the target hardware configuration. Targeting more configurations is a LOT harder and more time consuming than on modern systems.

That is technically true. I want to use this opportunity to mention that, for example, a game intended for 486 machines would run fine on most Pentium I, II, and III machines, and P4 upwards could use DOSBox, not to mention non-x86 systems which can also use DOSBox. So you really are developing for a multitude of platforms.
VileRancour wrote:Working with limited resolutions, color depths, performance etc. should be part of the fun and challenge.

Yes. Hello VileR! Thinking about joining the party? *^_^*
carlostex wrote:I guess it depends on a lot of factors but i would like to see new games to run on 8088/V20 systems. To be able to run properly we need coders that are specifically 8088 assembly competent. I can only code in C/C++, so for that at least a fast 286 would be needed.

I've thought about that a lot. Maybe the core engine could be programmed in optimized 8088 assembler, with the rest of the code in C so as to better facilitate future development?
carlostex wrote:But seeing how talented VileR is in the pixel art department i would like very much to see a game with his artistry. I like particularly his text mode graphics in the CGA compatibility tester. Absolutely beautiful.

Agreed.
carlostex wrote:I could help with limited C programming and by writing some music, which someone else have to program. I'm thinking beautiful FM synthesis.

OPL3 rules :) We could play DRO files so you could compose in any software, then simply record the song using DOSBox.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Jade Falcon » 2016-9-08 @ 13:38

I'd like to see a dos game take advantage of newer hardware, like from today haha. that would be a lot of work unless if something like openAL and openGL was used/ported.

if you need any testers let me know. I don't have a true dos system but I can test in dosbox. If I do get ahold of a dos system I'll let you know.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Jorpho » 2016-9-08 @ 14:37

keenmaster486 wrote:I've thought about that a lot. Maybe the core engine could be programmed in optimized 8088 assembler, with the rest of the code in C so as to better facilitate future development?
May I suggest that you have spectacularly unrealistic ideas about the difficulties involved here?
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Jepael » 2016-9-08 @ 14:41

I can mostly only code and debug. I think I could do real mode code, algorithms, sound drivers (SB), music drivers (Adlib, OPL3, CMS) and video drivers (VGA), in C, Turbo Pascal and assembly. Well, also input drivers like keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Not so good designing the code/driver architecture though.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby VileRancour » 2016-9-08 @ 17:20

keenmaster486 wrote:Yes. Hello VileR! Thinking about joining the party? *^_^*

Heh, it could be fun, but free time isn't very abundant lately (and what little there is tends to be absorbed in other hobby stuff, heh). I'm all for new games for old PCs, just to show up those C64/Spectrum/etc. guys who still churn them out regularly for their respective systems. So if there's something with really cool potential I'd want to lend a hand for sure, but without even a concept or a target it's kinda hard to say. ;)
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby badmojo » 2016-9-08 @ 23:02

keenmaster486 wrote:A goal of mine would be to make the game more amazing, technically superior, more innovative, better graphics, music, levels, etc. than anything that was made for the target platform at the time. I see these awesome demos, mod tracker music, pixel art, etc., and I think "wouldn't it be awesome if we could get stuff like that and make a game with it?"


:lol:
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-08 @ 23:06

A point and click adventure would be fun. Or an escape the room game before a Vogon reads his poetry ;) ;)
I'd love to help, but I've dedicated all my time into this Aureal project of mine.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby Beegle » 2016-9-09 @ 02:45

Level Designer by trade, but work has taken me elsewhere in the last few years. I miss making maps/gameplay/missions.
If people are cranked up for this, I'd like to give a hand.
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Re: I've an idea: Let's get some game development going

Postby DonutKing » 2016-9-09 @ 06:18

Another forum tried this a while ago... google search for 'zybourne clock' lol

If not for the hilarious 'art', it's at least a great example of how NOT to run a collaborative project.
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