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Looking for help to renew Stars! game... Thu, 28 March 2013 06:29 Go to next message
Tomasoid is currently offline Tomasoid

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 182
Registered: December 2005
Location: Ukraine


As I can see, Stars! commnity and playing is slowly decaying and fading away...

As opposite, VGA planets continue to develop and already have online multiplayer free server (http://planets.nu/)

I have an idea to create a completely new game engine/platform.

It will be a little bit more flexible then just a solid game module - with allowing of XML model for game state and scripting-like definition of game rules for each turn generating. I will use complete abstraction so any game can be created in such engine.

To test, AND, to renew Stars! game, of course, I choose Stars! as the fist candidate for creating XML model of game and scripts for each turn generating rules. Of course, UI and client will be developed separately for each game (or each set of similar games).

Main point is - timeframe. The project should not last for more than few months for the first good running. I'm bored by (actually too slow) Supernova and other Stars! clones development. One of the solutions to speed it up is make it simpler to develop the game itself, while platform will take the most responsibility on the technical/programming part.

To achieve this, I will start from the very simple Stars!-like game with only simple ste of rules and definition, that will be later expanded to the full Stars! game rules over time. Expanded not by me, but rather by other developers interested to make it complete.

Also, the final thing here to speed it up is that I would not care about the precision of caluclations (like, for example, exact population growth numbers and some other numbers rounding issues). If we will actually need to make it as exact as original Stars! till the smallest piece, we will work on that later - this will be merely a work over the pieces of turn generating rules and will be easily achievable later. So, from start we will create new Stars!-like game.

I will take most platform development part onto myself (have good experiense on creating similar platforms). I doubt that I will be able to pay/hire other developers. Possibility to use kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/) is very doubtful (this is not a solid program or game development, but a web server platform that seems not allowed there). ANyway, if anybody wants to join - welcome.

To sum it up:
The goal is to create a platform first of all, where game creator would be able to concentrate on writing game rules rather than all the other complex stuff related to the development in general. First version will be tested on attempt to renew Stars! game, starting from simple version of Stars!-like game and evolving it over time. Once goal achieved, platform will be officially released and available for other games creating.

Just for start, following is a bit of technical info:
--Server side (responsible for turns generating and games creating etc.):
Server API coding language: Java
Server platform: Jboss
Computer platform - any (Jboss and Java run on large variety of operation systems)
Communication protocol: HTTP (possinle Web services, but later)
Game model definition: XML
Game initial state definition: Binary encoded XML for player definition files, otherwise - XML
Game turn data (sending/receiving) : Binary encoded XML (though not decided yet)
Game rules definition: JavaScript scripting as a set of rules that will apply one by one during turn generating
Game state storing at the server side: filesystem files
Players registration, statistics etc. - Hypersonic database or some free simple DB
-- client side:
Editor for game definition - simple Flex or HTML5 web app
Game UI - simple Flex or HTML5 web app

Any other details - write me down and I'll share/discuss them on request.

Approximate project start date - start of May, maybe earlier.

WBR, Vlad

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Re: Looking for help to renew Stars! game... Mon, 01 April 2013 10:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars


Messages: 2740
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
Sounds good! Cool

I too have been toying with the idea of going beyond a mere "turn sanitiser", but I've only got as far as basic Map creation. Whip

Amazingly, my concepts for building an entire "Stars! server" are pretty much the same as yours. Rolling Eyes

Perhaps our two peoples could join forces to ensure this troublesome universe is properly conquered. Cheers

So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Looking for help to renew Stars! game... Mon, 22 April 2013 13:04 Go to previous message
Tomasoid is currently offline Tomasoid

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Messages: 182
Registered: December 2005
Location: Ukraine


Ok, I'm starting writing a brief specification of server and scripting rules, a kind of abstraction and abstract base for development of elements of game.

If anyone can help, post few thoughts here to add to requirements. I have more or less clear picture of what is needed, though I could miss something.

WBR, Vlad

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