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Thread: About the goal of this engine

  1. #1

    About the goal of this engine

    I just saw this news, can I ask, does not one here know about www.pascalgameengine.com?
    Actively developed, supports all common pascal compilers (Delphi from 7 and up, FPC and even Oxygene has a kinda experimental port).
    Supports all major platforms, Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android and even OUYA.
    There is a experimental PSVita port and there are plans to support Windows Phone 8, Flash and JS too via a custom made compiler (already partly done).

    Not only this engine is actively developed and has been used in various comercial game projects (all by me, sadly), it supports all kind of stuff that a game engine needs to have (input, audio, networking, artificial inteligence, video playback, webcamera, localization) it is not only a graphics engine like most other alternative solutions.

    One of the main objectives was to require as few dependencies as possible. Right now it only needs OpenGL to run, and optionally OpenAL if you want sound.
    It is fully integrated with the Steam API too, something that you won't find even on engines from other languages.

    This project was done over 8 years, so I ask, is there any point of doing an alternative from zero?
    The last time I updated the site was 2 years ago, because no one really contacted me about it so I though no one was interested on making pascal games
    I work mostly full time on this engine and my game, so to say that there are no actively game engines for pascal is not true at all.

    Do you guys want to spend years making yet another pascal engine or would prefer to just make some cool games?
    Or if you are really interested in making engines, why not help me instead?

    This picture kinda explains what I think about this...

    Last edited by Relfos; 03-07-2014 at 10:14 PM.
    www.pascalgameengine.com - Crossplatform 3D game engine

  2. #2
    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    If your engine were opensouce you might have and easier time recruting help. I can't imagine your making much money off the engine anyway

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Carver413 View Post
    If your engine were opensouce you might have and easier time recruting help. I can't imagine your making much money off the engine anyway
    Errr... but the engine is open source?
    This engine is just the continuation of my old LEAF engine, that was always open source. I changed the name to TERRA, ported it to iOS, and closed sourced it two or three years ago and tried to sell it as comercial product yes, but since no one was interested I open sourced it again after some time and announced it on the mailing list. And I'm pretty sure most of you are registered on the newsletter, as I have like 500 pascal developers registered, maybe you missed the announcement?

    Still no one contacted me with interested in using the engine, so I did not make a public rep for it, but I did make continous releases of production code each few months. Still had mostly zero downloads, so I thought no one wanted to make games in Pascal and forget about the site and never updated it, it is quite outdated now, but the engine continued being developed.
    If people really were interested I would put it on github or something.

    And note, I'm not talking only about my engine, if you check the lazarus wiki you will see a list of other pascal open source engines. I talk about mine because mine is the one with more features (if this is not true please correct me). As as I far I know ZenGL has a big number of users, altought it is just 2D, and there other 3d pascal engines that maybe could also be used as base if people really don't want mine for some reason.
    So why not just work with one of those open source engines?
    As I said, making a engine as complete as mine took almost a decade, and at least two of those years I worked full time on it, so why spend so much time rewriting the same again?
    Last edited by Relfos; 03-07-2014 at 11:22 PM.
    www.pascalgameengine.com - Crossplatform 3D game engine

  4. #4
    PGD Staff code_glitch's Avatar
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    Carver does have a point and from the site, I can't find any documentation which places it at a disadvantage to other engines, it has no established developer-base and community around its development and use in the field (which means you get the authors perspective and that's it).

    Also, in the 8 years since it's been written a lot has likely changed in the world of code - new APIs are here, new hardware and new mindsets. The PGDCE isn't just about 'yet another game engine' more than being the current game engine open to everybody that reflects the current state of software development methodologies and as such is there to demonstrate that new things can (and are) being done with pascal which aren't being done elsewhere.

    If anything, it would be wonderful to have you on board with the project - seeing as you've managed to develop an engine like that is quite an accomplishment. Just think what the pascal community could achieve if everyone rallied their knowledge and skill under one banner and worked towards a common codebase? That, above all, is the goal of the PGDCE: to unify all the people in the pascal-space maintaining their own engines under one roof so that we can produce a faster, more reliable, more modern engine that is open for everyone while requiring less individual effort from everyone and less maintenance.

    The problem that XKCD comic illustrates is indeed valid under the premise: that no one adopts any standard. The way I see it, it is not the fault of those making the 15th unified standard that there are standard competing in the market and causing duplication of effort. Its the short-sightedness of those working on the 14 preceding standards that despite having been superseded by a better standard (or missed the opportunity to create that better standard) and continuing their 14 standards that is the reason there are now 15 of them. If the 14 previous standards realized this and said - "hey, that new standard does 99% of what we want already along with loads of other stuff - lets just bring the 1% over from our camp" they'd win on maintenance and effort in the long run and everyone would have one ubiquitous, well supported standard.
    I once tried to change the world. But they wouldn't give me the source code. Damned evil cunning.

  5. #5
    Thanks for your detailed opinion code_glitch!

    Quote Originally Posted by code_glitch View Post
    Carver does have a point and from the site, I can't find any documentation which places it at a disadvantage to other engines, it has no established developer-base and community around its development and use in the field (which means you get the authors perspective and that's it).
    There was documentation before. The wiki I had got attacked by spammers, and since no one was really using it, I removed it.
    About use in the field, this engine was used for at least two big commercial 3d projects, one which is a 3d mmorpg for Steam, which I think that shows that the engine is capable for serious work.
    About having a user-base/comunity, well, this one has not even started, it also has not a single user too.
    And I say that people did not contact me, but well, some did, 2 or 3, but of course, the percentage of people that start a game vs the ones that really go through it with it is small :/

    Quote Originally Posted by code_glitch View Post
    Also, in the 8 years since it's been written a lot has likely changed in the world of code - new APIs are here, new hardware and new mindsets.
    8 years in the making does not mean that the engine is outdated, as I said in the first post it is still being worked on.
    It makes use of all latest APIs, compilers, hardware etc. The only thing I don't really make use of its new additions to the pascal language, as one of my goals is total compatibilty with Delphi 7.


    Quote Originally Posted by code_glitch View Post
    If anything, it would be wonderful to have you on board with the project - seeing as you've managed to develop an engine like that is quite an accomplishment. Just think what the pascal community could achieve if everyone rallied their knowledge and skill under one banner and worked towards a common codebase? That, above all, is the goal of the PGDCE: to unify all the people in the pascal-space maintaining their own engines under one roof so that we can produce a faster, more reliable, more modern engine that is open for everyone while requiring less individual effort from everyone and less maintenance.
    I would love to accept this many years ago. But now I really can't dedicate myself for working on such a big project, when I have two big projects already (my engine and my mmorpg) and I also have a full time job as graphic programmer.


    Quote Originally Posted by code_glitch View Post
    If anything, it would be wonderful to have you on board with the project - seeing as you've managed to develop an engine like that is quite an accomplishment. Just think what the pascal community could achieve if everyone rallied their knowledge and skill under one banner and worked towards a common codebase? That, above all, is the goal of the PGDCE: to unify all the people in the pascal-space maintaining their own engines under one roof so that we can produce a faster, more reliable, more modern engine that is open for everyone while requiring less individual effort from everyone and less maintenance.
    I agree that this idea is good and every one would benefit from focused development of a single engine instead of many scattered engines like we have now.

    About the xkcd comic and adopting standards, yes, but there's also no guarantee that this "standard" would be adopted by the majority.
    And finally, I ask, is there really a need for a full engine for pascal developers?
    I think for most pascal users something like ZenGL is enough, developing a 3d game costs lots of money and is out of scope for most devs (just to give you an idea, I already invested like 5k thousand into my 3d mmorpg).

    Finally, my plans for my current engine was to forget about the "pascal" part, since I concluded the market was too small and I had decided to start distributing the engine as a precompiled dll for users of other languages. This will be probably what I will do.
    I guess if you guys really want to make this community engine I can help with some stuff, but I can't really commit myself to it.
    Last edited by Relfos; 04-07-2014 at 12:44 AM.
    www.pascalgameengine.com - Crossplatform 3D game engine

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    There was documentation before. The wiki I had got attacked by spammers, and since no one was really using it, I removed it.
    I think that the lack of proper documentation is the main reason why ypur game engine isn't popular. Nobody wants to use game engine where you have to gues what certain methods doe, how to implement certain feature and why your code doesen't work as intended. Almost imposible to track such bugs since you don't know if it is a bug in the engine, a bug in your yode or you just used wrong implementation.
    I know this dificulties from my expirience when I was trying to make a game about five years ago using Truevision 3D game engine. At first I was using Truevision 3d version 6.3 but later moved to version 6.5 due to some additional features that I wanted in my game. Now since version 6.3 did have a decent documentation I was progressing steadily. But since version 6.5 has no documentation my development progression literally stopped. But later on when development on Truevision 3D game engine has ceased I abandoned the development of my game.
    Not so long later I have found PGD and joined here. From that time on I try to learn as much about the game development I can regardless of the area. Reason? I wanna know enough to be able to make my own game engine if needed. But that doesen't mean I'll go and try to do it on my own. So I must say that I'm quite exited so I could be a part of making PGDCE since I know I'll learn a lot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    And finally, I ask, is there really a need for a full engine for pascal developers?
    Why there wouldn't be? As long as there are pascal game developers there will be need for pascal based engines.
    Now you may say there are existing game engines which aren't necessarily written in pascal but can be used with it. So why don't we use those?
    Sorry for my answer to be the question but: Why did you make your own game engine instead of using one of existing ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    I think for most pascal users something like ZenGL is enough
    Are you underestimating pascal game developers?
    Are you implying that pascal game developers aren't capable of making games which will require much more powerfull game engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    developing a 3d game costs lots of money and is out of scope for most devs (just to give you an idea, I already invested like 5k thousand into my 3d mmorpg).
    If it is so why is there bunch of individual Indie developers who are making 3D based games using Unity game engine which isn't even for free or some similar engines?
    Belive it or not but assets for 2D game can also be quite expensive and I know few games where their developers spent over 5k on game assets.

    [QUOTE=Relfos;146032]Finally, my plans for my current engine was to forget about the "pascal" part, since I concluded the market was too small and I had decided to start distributing the engine as a precompiled dll for users of other languages. This will be probably what I will do.[QUOTE]

    Bare in mind that doing so you might alienate even more pascal game developers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    I guess if you guys really want to make this community engine I can help with some stuff, but I can't really commit myself to it.
    Any help will be apreatiated. Even if you only share your expirience that you gathered during development of your engine it will come in handy to us.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    I think that the lack of proper documentation is the main reason why ypur game engine isn't popular. Nobody wants to use game engine where you have to gues what certain methods doe, how to implement certain feature and why your code doesen't work as intended. Almost imposible to track such bugs since you don't know if it is a bug in the engine, a bug in your yode or you just used wrong implementation.
    Of course, without documentation there's point in trying to use an engine, but was I said, there was documentation before, in a wiki I wrote, I had to delete it because I got hit by spammers that made the wiki grow to 200mb or something and exceeded my host disk quote :\
    Anyway, it is way faster to write documentation for an engine already made that it is to write a new engine from scratch, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Why there wouldn't be? As long as there are pascal game developers there will be need for pascal based engines.
    Now you may say there are existing game engines which aren't necessarily written in pascal but can be used with it. So why don't we use those?
    Sorry for my answer to be the question but: Why did you make your own game engine instead of using one of existing ones?
    What I mean is, the market/userbase for something like this in 2014 is very small, especially now that such things as Unity and UDK exist.
    I'm pretty sure that right now we have a infinitely smaller number of newbie pascal game developers compared to like 5 or 6 years ago.
    To tell the truth, if I was starting right now and wanted to make games I would not use Pascal or C++ or whatever, would just go with one of those solutions. I even have a old prototype of my MMORPG game done in Unity, I just went back to my engine because I needed lots of features only available with the pro license and I was not interested in paying 2000$ for the iOS + Android pro licenses when my engine already had those features (networking, render targets, dynamic shadows and other stuff).

    About your question, theres was two points in time when I decided to develop my engine.
    First one, the first version when it was still called LEAF, it was because I tried to use GLScene and found lots of limitations with it and I think it was not compatible with FPC (and of course, I wanted to learn about graphics programming myself). At that time there were few engines available even for other languages, there was Torque, maybe Ogre, possibly others still in an early stage.
    Then the second point was some years later, I went back to it because I wanted to make mobile games with pascal and there was not a single 3d engine that could be used for phones. Even Ogre had barely functional mobile support :\

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Are you underestimating pascal game developers?
    Are you implying that pascal game developers aren't capable of making games which will require much more powerfull game engine?
    Not understimating pascal developers, but the truth is, the pascal community is very small, and the chance some pascal developer has the means, money, time etc to make a game that requires a powerful engine is very small.
    I don't remember for how long this forum exist, but I've frequented it for a very very long time.
    How many big pascal games were released before?
    I think the number is very very small, what is because such a powerful engine not exist?
    I think that at least 3 "powerful" pascal engines do exist, and I also think that all of them are free to use, if people really wanted to use pascal to make a big game, they could just use one of the existent engines no?
    If the problem with them is lack of documentation, as long as the developers did not disappear from the face of the earth, it would be trivial to ask them. In my case I still have the documentation saved somewhere in my old disk, would be just a matter of updating it to the current features.
    Also making a wrapper for a C++ engine is something that can be done in a week, if people really need to use something like Ogre.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    If it is so why is there bunch of individual Indie developers who are making 3D based games using Unity game engine which isn't even for free or some similar engines?
    Belive it or not but assets for 2D game can also be quite expensive and I know few games where their developers spent over 5k on game assets.
    Of course I know it, I've done 2D games for clientes before and I've been evolved in the Unity community, one of my jobs two years ago was being a Unity game developer.
    True that there are people that spend such money on a indie game there, but this is a small number, there a huge number of Unity devs who just play around with stuff from the Asset store. The ones that do spend more than a few hundred are either small companies, teams that somehow got funding, or in some cases guys like me who saved some money to invest on a game.

    [QUOTE=SilverWarior;146036][QUOTE=Relfos;146032]Finally, my plans for my current engine was to forget about the "pascal" part, since I concluded the market was too small and I had decided to start distributing the engine as a precompiled dll for users of other languages. This will be probably what I will do.
    Bare in mind that doing so you might alienate even more pascal game developers.
    Not really, my plans is to stop adversting the game as a "pascal engine" and provide a engine with bindings for most common languages, to try to get users from other languages. Pascal users could still use it, no problem at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Any help will be apreatiated. Even if you only share your expirience that you gathered during development of your engine it will come in handy to us.
    Sure, I can help discussing stuff etc. Trust me that I have lots of experience in this area, I'm not just an hobbyist. I've been working as graphics engineer for many years in various companies and have developed not only this pascal game engine, but also a C++ graphics engine and currenty working on a Javascript/WebGL engine for another company.

    Also I'm not sure about what skills you guys have. I'm pretty that most of you are excelent pascal developers, and maybe some have worked on their own engines. However I've been seeing people refer to this project with the goal of making powerful engine, using latest APIs/tech, etc. Let me say that one thing is to make a "graphics engine" that can load and displays textured 3d models, another is making a engine that supports all current expected graphical features, eg: - a proper shadowmapping that actually works for any general scene and light setup
    - a very powerful material/shader language (working on raw glsl/hlsl shaders is not scalable, only suitable for small projects/demos)
    - a flexible mesh animation system (just implementing a ms3d loader was enough 5 years ago, today a developer expects much more, auto-armatures, animation blending/trees etc)
    - proper text rendering (bitmap fonts are ok only for demos!)
    - etc etc

    Things have advanced quite a lot since some years ago, and some of this advanced stuff is quite hard to implement even separaterely, and much more to make it all work together.

    I know that there are some Pascal developers who developed some advanced graphic engines some time ago, I talked with some of them, I remember one who had a very impressive engine in terms of graphic features, sadly I don't remember his nickname. If you one of those developers is willing to participate in the development of this engine it would very good, especially if they can reuse some of their code etc.
    Otherwise if there's no one with enough experience and people will only work on this in their free time I would say to forget the idea of making a powerful engine and focus on making a functional project, otherwise by the time stuff is done, the tech would be obsolete. Remember that engines like Ogre took years to get to the current state and I'm pretty sure it is easier to find C++ devs than pascal devs.

    To end this post, and resuming my opinion.
    Making a pascal/delphi engine in 2014, when stuff like Unity exists and is free, and no way a small team can compete in terms of quality with them, well, I think it is not a really good idea. Note that when I started my engine the situation was very diferent, indie games barely existed and the tech available to make them was either rudimentar or cost money that many people did not have.

    Finally, I would estimate the time to get something usable to make a "real" game would be around a year, if everything is made from scratch and no one works on it full time, or possibly more, depending if everyone continues working on it or if some people quit (very common to happen).
    Last edited by Relfos; 04-07-2014 at 10:21 AM.
    www.pascalgameengine.com - Crossplatform 3D game engine

  8. #8
    The TERRA Engine is quite nice, we've worked with it 2 years ago and even tried to port to XE2 (you may remember that or even find that branch ;-) but because the code didn't match our (to be honest quite high) code standard - if you compiled the engine you'd end up with a lot of "warnings" (despite the compiled engine worked well) we have switched over to unity *cough*.
    We would be very happy to see it coming "back" with a proper code base - and if you'd just take a look a the complexity of the engine, Relfos is just right: it does need a lot of more than implementing a 3d engine to be a game engine....

    Btw: Relfos, congrats for your Minimon 3D game!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    The TERRA Engine is quite nice, we've worked with it 2 years ago and even tried to port to XE2 (you may remember that or even find that branch ;-) but because the code didn't match our (to be honest quite high) code standard - if you compiled the engine you'd end up with a lot of "warnings" (despite the compiled engine worked well) we have switched over to unity *cough*.
    Hi Dennis, I remember you yes, that was a long time ago!
    If buying the Unity pro license was not problem or the free version was enough, then yeah, moving to Unity is actually a very good move, mine engine (and all other open source engines) are nothing compared to it, they have a quite huge and capable team always improving it. Just a pity that they did not yet release a proper GUI system and people still have to do their own solution or buy a third party GUI system :\

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Btw: Relfos, congrats for your Minimon 3D game!
    Thanks, I'm working on the final details now, improving the graphic and stuff, once I release it I will announce

    By the way, now I found something that got me even more puzzled about this community project!
    I decided to go to google and search to see what kind of engines are there for pascal, because I've been out of loop for a while, and new things could have appeared.
    And in the first page of results, there was this...

    http://castle-engine.sourceforge.net/

    Now I look at the page, I see an engine that seems to be in advanced state, and totally free to use.
    No only that, it seems to have lots of documentation, as that seems the problem most people were talking about mine.
    Seems to be done by a single developer, I look at the forums, well, they are a bit dead.
    So why people are not using it?

    This engine did not exist some years ago, I think, at least I never knew about it.
    It seems to me that this engine is in quite good state to be improved upon, might lack some features that mine was, but in the other hand seems to have lots of documentation, which would help a lot to get people into it.

    So why would anyone reinvent the wheel when they could just team up and help this dev?
    I'm pretty sure he would be happy if people offered to help develop his engine, did anyone contact him?
    Last edited by Relfos; 04-07-2014 at 12:12 PM.
    www.pascalgameengine.com - Crossplatform 3D game engine

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    Or if you are really interested in making engines, why not help me instead?
    This question was asked by many developers including myself.
    Seems that the answer is - no one interested to "help someone" with his engine/library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    This project was done over 8 years, so I ask, is there any point of doing an alternative from zero?
    Not from zero. Most (if not all) of us has game development experience and even code which can be reused/adopted.
    So we can perform well at least on start.
    Also a team can work faster than a single person.

    This should happen several years ago, but it's better later than never.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relfos View Post
    And finally, I ask, is there really a need for a full engine for pascal developers?
    There is a demand on high-quality cross platform engines. No matter what language was used and even what language a game should be written on.

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