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New Units for Newbies?

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I'm considering making a set of units to manage images and audio along with rotations and a small script engine in pascal aimed at newbies so that they can get to grips with designing programs with SDL. For the audio I would plan to use the BassFPC library, although proprietary, it is free as long as you dont make a profit. Any ideas as to whether any of you would think this a good idea?

The reason I came up with this is I just remembered how I started out, and what a mess it was, and perhaps this would make falling from no programming or console (terminal for you nix users) to graphical... Any thoughts?

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  1. WILL's Avatar
    Yeah a new library aimed at beginner programmers would be nice, perhaps make it something like a black box like DelphiX was. I would gear it towards making simple, yet appealing games (platformers, pong/arkanoid, tron, shooters, puzzle games, and all the games we made in CS classes in highschool) with 2D graphics. You can add in 3D acceleration, but be sure to keep the outside functions simple for beginning users.

    Having more than one unit or sets of functions for each area (graphics, music/sound, input, etc) will be confusing for new users so it's best to make the entire library of functions that will be created, well documented (like really easy and simple to read and follow documentation) and simple in concept. I'd start with your outside interface first and work your library/ies to match with that end result. Graphics and music/sound files tools would help, but keep these simple to use as well. For your sake and the beginning programmer.

    Other than that in your documentation you should probably include what distributables they'll need to copy with their games and keep these up to date on your site. Nothing is worse than telling a new guy that he has to go to all these different sites and gather these libraries that half of them aren't even compiled just to run his game. He'll quit on ya and you'll get nowhere.

    Other than those points, great idea. If you make it 100% compatible with Lazarus that'd rock because LAz isn't exactly the easiest tool for games programming these days. Especially when you are trying to do cross or multi-platform.

    I for one would love a simple install of Lazarus for the Mac that works out of the box. Make that happen and it'd one up this idea though.
  2. code_glitch's Avatar
    Im not too sure on the lazarus, since I have never properly used it, so if I make these units, I think they would be aimed at working with fpc. My ide would be in two parts: 1. test out a library that uses sdl and fpc only. and then once thats done, move it to better performance with opengl and lazarus support that way you would have a newbie-beginner and experienced-beginner level for easier transition.

    In terms of progress so far, I was trawling through my old code, and found that I could use about 40% of it in these units since they're stand alone functions... Might get started on a first draft in a week or two. Wont create a thread for this yet...