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Thread: Open discussion: What game devs need from Delphi

  1. #21
    PGD Community Manager AthenaOfDelphi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    It certainly is and I'd like to do that from Linux.

    Edit : that sounded a bit confrontational
    Yes, it does sound a bit confrontational (I'm assuming you were commenting on my comment, on re-reading it, I'd agree)... apologies for that.

    On the whole, I'd like to see a Linux version and a Mac version of Delphi (possibly in that order). I currently take two laptops with me everywhere I go... my MacBook Pro and my XP laptop. I have all my creative software (Cubase, Scrivener, Tinderbox for example on my Mac) and my business software and development tools on my XP laptop. I know I can run Parallels or Bootcamp etc. but for various reasons I choose not. Having Delphi on the Mac would be one step closer to me being able to ditch the XP laptop which would be great, so in essence I agree, but personally I think there are more pressing issues that Embarcadero have to deal with, hence my 'this is how it is, get used to it' stance.

    I'd just like to add this thought to the melting pot as well while I'm posting... not all games rely on graphics APIs etc. My web based game relied heavily on databases and the VCL for it's tool chain. So, dropping the VCL and stuff like that that 'game's development hardly use' isn't necessarily the right thing to do. My next game is also likely to rely heavily on such things, again for it's backend server system and the administrative and design tools used to build and manage the game. Sure, the client will talk to a server and will be OpenGL based so it will have no need for databases and the VCL etc. but the backend will definitely need those things. Splitting them out would cause me a problem if I were faced with the decision of picking elements from a list of bits and pieces.
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  2. #22
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    Oh sorry I mean I thought that my comment sounded confrontational

    I agree with your point that mass multiplayer, web based and certain other server based scenarios would make greater use of the VCL.

    Perhaps that's something that Em. could concider - a lot of Delphi strengths lend well to game server scenarios being that they can be similar in requirements to database/web applications.

    They are well positioned to push that angle, a few comprehensive working samples, making good use of the VCL, geared towards such things wouldn't break the bank. It's right up their street and there's definitely a market.
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

  3. #23
    I must say ... i totaly agree with sascha thoughts...

    If emb want to catch Lazarus/FPC it must create a Delphi7 cross platform IDE with the latest OpenGL,Sound,NetPlay,Input Headers with no BullS@#$t licenses and have a minimux community forum with IDIE developers...

    Then i think a lot of people come back and soon money from this stage fill the emb pockets...

    Thank you...
    Last edited by azrael11; 28-07-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  4. #24
    oh wait, they could also release free, stripped 'basic' edition and then 'pro' version with rebranded GLScene components for 2k euros

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by WILL View Post
    Free is not a viable option
    Except it is. Borland did it for years. Then they've made shitty Turbo Delphi, crippling it from ability to add custom components, like it was up until Delphi 7 Personal (dunno if Delphi 8 had Personal edition), then they sunk and had to sell Delphi.

    They should get back to releasing non-crippled (except in terms of out-of-the-box components and maybe database support) Personal editions like Borland did with Delphi 7. After all, 7 is the lucky number.
    Last edited by Darkhog; 29-07-2013 at 09:48 PM.

  6. #26
    People have pretty much covered it but here is what I believe is essential in a Delphi for Game Developers Edition:

    Crossplatform compiler (x86, x64, ARM...) (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, IOS, Windows Phone...) - Must be easy to target any platform without any (major) changes in code.
    Solid list of libraries - You know one of the big reason I like Oxygene for Java? I get the entire JDK library and can find pretty much anything on the internet. I don't expect Delphi to compete with Oracle on the size of the default library, but any data container, file reader/writer, stream system etc. must be included in a preferable memory efficient and high performance version.
    Game/Media specific libraries - I don't expect Delphi to be included with all the game frameworks/engines out there, but as everyone else is saying: "At least get up to date headers for OGL, DirectX, OAL...".
    IDE - a really good editor must be included. Visual editor would be nice for tools programming, but the code editor must be great. Anything that can be automated should be (with possibillity to turn off) to improve code production. A great debugger with memory inspection etc. is also needed.
    Profiling tool - If you want to be serious about your games this is a requirement. You need to be able to inspect your memory usage and find bottlenecks, so you know where to optimize your code and where you can add a bit of extra wow to your game.
    Cheap - and no stupid licensing requring you to pay additional fees if you actually make money.

    I'll admit it's been a few years since I last actually followed and used Delphi. I went with FPC since it was just as good for my needs (if not better) and a lot cheaper. After receiving a free license for Oxygene for Java I've been using that and plan on continuing to use that paying for an upgrade when I need it.
    However I have a hard time seeing Delphi regaining customers who have switched to FPC/Lazarus. Delphi's force is database applications and that kind of things. They do it well and their prices may be fair for that kind of usage. However it's mostly useless for indie game devs. Yes there will be times when databases are needed for games, but for most people this isn't a must.
    If you strip away the things we don't need from Delphi it doesn't really compete well with FPC. Yes Delphi will be crossplatform eventually, but they will need to do it so much better than FPC or Oxygene and offer a lot more, if they want to sell me a copy of Delphi versus downloading FPC for free.

    IMO Delphi is just not for game developers. Sure if you need Delphi for anything else then you can use it for Game development as well. If you just want to make games in Pascal; FPC is fine, and if you're not set on using Pascal there are plenty of other free solutions out there. I'll always have a soft spot for Delphi. It was the first programming tool/language I ever used but I feel like we've grown apart and a reunion is not likely.
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  7. #27
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    As much as people would like a free Delphi, it's not going to happen. They just won't do it anymore.

    I won't even bother getting involved in any "make a free version" conversations, because I've talked to them directly and they said an emphatical no every time. I didn't even bring it up myself, one time! They tried it when they were in-between (when they were called CodeGear) and to my best guess Embarcadero squashed it shortly after.

    I think that they could make a new Edition of the Delphi compiler that was more comfortable and behaved the same way that those who are used to THAT tool have grown accustomed to it and make their low-end market sales (involving the game developers) that way. Make one for each major platform IDE (code editor and core essentials only) and make them single platform sell them at a low affordable code of about $50 - $100. That way they could allow you to still develop cross-platform by buying one for each platform you want to develop on. A solution that they would probably agree to if they really are interested in selling something to game developers that we may buy.

    Of course this is not taking into account where ever the compiler quality and stability state is right now.
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  8. #28
    There's only one thing I disagree, we still need some kind of local database component/library. It's easier that way IMHO than using text files. Also want to point that average indie will welcome any cheap dev tools they can find. Access to majoy graphic libraries is a must not only OpenGL, also DirectX & SDL. Having popular game engines headers will not hurt anyone, but will high product price someway (they could be sell as optional packages).

  9. #29
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Well there should be DB libraries out there that don't need to be hooked into the whole "components" concept. In fact we don't need anything from that side of the house. Plus now you have the option of finding and using what you like, much like before, but not everyone has to pay the extra price for having them pre-packaged. That just seems way better for everyone than getting hung up on the edition not having it all under the hood.

    Instead of text files, I'd highly recommend XML which actually works amazingly as a great cross-platform game data container. To be honest I didn't see the value in the concept until Stoney turned me onto trying it for one of my games. It fixed all my binary data endian problems and made switching between my Windows environment and my Mac environment so much easier. It became almost a thoughtless process even.

    I agree that a version of Delphi bundled with all the latest and greatest libraries and translated API headers would be excellent, but I'm wondering if enough people would actually buy into that as a pre-packaged product? Would anyone buy into that if it were another set of tools like Oxygene? (I'd list Lazarus too, but since the tools are all free I doubt someone would pay for something that is all parts free.)
    Jason McMillen
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  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by WILL View Post
    Well there should be DB libraries out there that don't need to be hooked into the whole "components" concept.
    You can always make yourself "custom database" using Typed Files. http://delphi.about.com/od/fileio/a/fileof_delphi.htm
    The article only shows having single record type per file (signle table per file). So if you want to have multiple record types stored in signle file you have to combine that with the use of mapped files. Article about this on my To-Do list. Time of compleetiomn unknown

    The main advantage of making your own "custom database" is that your records can contain fields of almost all Pascal based variable types while most existing databases limitsto their internal field types. The only limitation is that the field variable must have fixed size, no standard strings or dynamical arrays.
    Main disadvantage is that such database might not be compatible with non pascal based programs and you have to use mapped file approach if you want to have multiple record types in same file.

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