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SimCity remake in TNT! I need programmers...
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06-27-2007 19:26

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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I'm SICK of the direction SimCity has gone, and disgusted that they went away from the true simulation aspect if the original idea. So now instead of complaining about the good old days, WE'RE GOING TO RESURRECT THE ORIGINAL SIMULATION!

I don't mean do SimCity in TNTBasic. I mean, come up with a new, more realistic simulation based on the old concepts -- setting up controls and nurturing a community into prosperity. I'm not willing to learn C, or C++, or JavaScript or any of that other unnecessary garbage. I used to program in BASIC in the '80s and i've done some scripting in HyperCard and AppleScript, so TNTBasic is natural to me (Thanks, Tully!!).

I intend for this game to be completely free and open, but if it's good enough and i get the right people and testers who know what they're doing, we might able to go commercial.

The first thing i'll need is a website. I don't know anything about creating websites, but if one of you youngsters can set something up easily with secure connections, we'll set up shop there.

The second thing i need is a posse of programmers and artists with the following qualifications:

1. Will work for free (unless this becomes a commercial enterprise, in which case fair compensation will be awarded)
2. Program know-how (not necessarily experience) in code, graphics, or data manipulation.
3. Patience, as this will not come together in just a few months.

Specifically, graphic-oriented programmers are going to be VERY important, as my vision for this program will be based on 3D graphics (not isometric tiles).

I'm concerned about making my vision and ideas for this game-sim (which will be called County Commission) too public, until we get a group together to take their place within this project. However, i have been planning this for more than year, and have detailed specs drawn up.

If you're interested either as a programmer or a user, please e-mail me or make your voice known in this thread.

06-29-2007 18:49

Posted by:
allnodcoms

Location:
hertfordshire (England)

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SimCity in TNT, no worries...

but I think you might need to rethink the 3D bit if you plan on doing this in any sort of BASIC. I also used to write code in the 80's, I used STOS to pre-flight ideas as it allowed you to quickly test game play and stuff. All the commercial projects I worked on were written in 68k Assembler though. Nowadays assembler is still used, but it's rare, mostly it's C / C++ / C# / ObjC, or custom 'in-house' software. The simple reason being that these are the languages the industry standard API's (OpenGL etc.) come in.

TNT is capable of doing 3D, just not very quickly (I wrote a 3D example program that you can find in the Directory). I'm currently rewriting the whole engine from the ground up (in C btw...), and TNT2 will be far quicker than the current version, but there are no plans to build 3D support into the initial TNT2 release. Once the current feature set is implemented, 3D may well be next on my list though...

If 3D is an essential part of your design spec, and you still want to work in BASIC, and on a Mac, then I'm afraid your choices are seriously limited. The only one I know of is RB, and it's not great at 3D (at least the version I have isn't). The only other, freely available, complete 3D development environment is Apple's own XCode, and to use that you'll need to know some "unnecessary garbage". I know people will shout Blender at me, but that's no good for the sort of thing you're trying to do. It's free, totally 3D based and uses scripting for its logic, but it's not really the sort of thing you want to be writing 'God Games' in. If you want to check it out you should visit their web site.

If you don't mind altering your GDD to use iso tiles then TNT would be fine, and TNT2 would be even better (as I like iso... hint!). I wrote a magazine article on handling Isometric display issues back in the early nineties, and have worked on a commercial RPG that used an iso display. I've also been involved with several commercial games, from the initial design spec. through to marketing, and would be more than happy to help out in an advisory capacity. I can't contribute further due to commitments with TNT2, my day job, and 'real life' in general. The day job, by the way, is web developer... ;)

All in all, I'm not trying to put you off of TNT, I'm just suggesting you may need to alter some design aspects in order to use it to its best advantage. I wish you luck with your project, and I hope you find your volunteers.

All the best...

Danny (nod the mod)

06-29-2007 22:44

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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Well you suggested 3D, but TNT cannot do 3D.

I am not trying to put you off, but i think you should know your tool fully before trying to make such a big project.

also, i don't recommend big games in TNT in its current form. All code organisation means it has is procedures... not even real functions. also all code must go within one page so when you have thousands of lines it becomes a hard to maintain mess

currently i recommend TNT for arcade/puzzle/platformer not-too-serious games

unfortunately, all that garbage is way more powerful and much more liekly to get it done nicely

07-01-2007 18:05

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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I am SO not interested in iso tiles (it might as well be SimCity Redux), and i've seen rudimentary 3D with some of the examples in TNTBasic, so i will start here. But i am not willing to invest alot of money in a programmer's code package, then i hafta learn MORE language, then try to put something together based on a steep learning curve with the new language. TNT basic is more intuitive to me so we'll start there. IF i hafta switch graphics engines later, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I'm the first to admit, i'm just an idea man. This to me is another art project. I have a vision and i'd like to get the right painters to complete it. If we need a bigger canvas later, we'll switch when we find something better. But from what i've seen with TNTBasic, it can handle fundamental graphics for now.

But if Danny (nod the mod) can help, now or later, it's greatly appreciated. I have another programmer interested and am waiting for a reply.

I'm serious guys. We're not talking hi-end graphics and upper-eschelon speed here. It's a simulation with few animations, but the added ability to view different camera angles. While my mind sees this thing in the Unreal Engine (hefty 3D graphics), i don't want to hafta script it in U language. We CAN make this work.

Who's on board?

07-01-2007 18:45

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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While my mind sees this thing in the Unreal Engine

TNT won't reach that level for years, if it ever does. I think you have too big ambitions for the capacities of TNT.

All the 3D that can be done is very rudimentary, it won't get any better than that before after 2.0 if 3D ever makes it in.

If we need a bigger canvas later, we'll switch when
we find something better.


Actually you can't switch like that... that involves starting again from scratch, perhaps keeping already done graphics but not much more.


am not willing to invest alot of money in a programmer's code package

free C/C++ developer tools are available on all paltforms these days so youcan't really use that argument ;)

it's nice to see your enthusiasm, but right now TNT cannot technically fulfill what you want to do

it's understandable you don't want to learn something more difficult, but you must understand simpler languages usually make simpler games ;)

07-02-2007 22:24

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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someone ELSE please!!

Okay, "someone" in Quebec, you obviously think you're dealing with a noobie, and since you have no way of knowing who's on the other end here, i'll enlighten you...

I've seen enough of the examples and used the language enough to know what it's capable of doing. Yes, TNTBasic graphics is rudimentary, but it's acceptable. I ORIGINALLY had the idea in the Unreal engine, because i knew i COULD (if i wanted to learn Uscript) write it up in that engine. I'm fully aware of my limitations within TNTBasic.

If you read the post, you'll see that my "argument" not only involved money but also time, which is FAR more valuable. I have WAY too many interests to spend the time learning vocabulary, syntax, and application of yet another language.

And yes, if we need better capabilities, switching IS easy, as long as you know the coding system you'll transfer to. Why? Because you have already developed the routines and functions (AND the resources), and all that needs to be done is translate. Plus, if we're moving up, chances are we can ADD capabilities.

Since you don't have any way of knowing how i've assembled my ideas, and haven't even READ my GDD, you're not exactly in a position to say what TNT can do with my premise. I have, and TNTBasic will have no problem handling the data maintenance and the basic graphics of the simulation. You may be tunneling yourself into thinking that the graphics will look like SimCity, which it will not.

It seems you have nothing positive to say, and nothing helpful to contribute. In America, we have very nasty labels for people who enjoy being like that. And, no, you're not being a realist, because, while you actually may know what you're talking about, it's not applicable for this idea.

Now, if anyone would like to bring POSITIVE and HELPFUL ideas to the table, that's who we want to hear from.

07-02-2007 23:06

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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Hey I have not been rude, and since I obviously misunderstood what you wanted ("While my mind sees this thing in the Unreal Engine" sounded explicit to me...) i think you should explain who you are and what you want and not get angry.

I was even using smiley to show what i was saying was not mean in any way

I did not try to push you toward learning another language, I simply was trying to correct what was wrong in what you said.

Well hopefully somebody will volunteer for this project to help you and if you don't want to hear about me anymore then i'll just shut up

07-02-2007 23:20

Posted by:
allnodcoms

Location:
hertfordshire (England)

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OK. Let's keep it polite...

Harbinger, I can see where you could have thought that 'Someone's' comments could have appeared patronising. You must understand that we get a lot of posts from noobs who want to re-create the latest blockbuster in TNT, and we do our best to advise on the current limitations of the system. It's why we're here, to offer support and advice. You did state your primary role as 'an ideas man', and while you also mentioned coding experience we have no way (as you correctly said) of knowing the extent of that experience. I must say that I agreed with certain points that he raised, there are other options which may be better suited to your needs. As you pointed out we are not in possession of all the facts, so if you feel TNT meets your preliminary requirements then by all means go for it, we will remain here to answer any technical questions you may have regarding the system.

Someone, I feel your last reply could have been better worded in places, we must remember that we are not here to give opinions unless they are asked for, we should stick to stating the facts and let people make up their own mind.

So please, let's keep this civil.

Danny (nod the mod)

07-02-2007 23:38

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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I feel your last reply could have been better worded in places


You mean the one i lost my nerve or the other one before?

Yeah i know i could be nicer it's perhaps just that just thinking about making a full-blown 3D game in TNT makes me shudder :D

@Harbinger : okay let's forget it? perhaps explain in depth what you aim to do, and then we can have a real helpful and positive discussion

07-02-2007 23:41

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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(sorry for double-post we need and 'edit' feature)

don't misinterpret what i just posted, okay? i was not too serious saying "that just thinking about making a full-blown 3D game in TNT makes me shudder :D" i just meant it's not a project i would like to do myself, having tasted OpenGl and even Ogre3D

07-05-2007 22:04

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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No mediator necessary...

Well, "someone" in Quebec raises valid points. Yes, he came a little too defeatist for me, but on the other hand, i went and checked out how right he might be...

While 3D is definitely not native to TNT, there are workarounds, for which i'll be posting in a different thread.

But it just goes to show how different people's reactions to a problem can be: one sees a problem that can't be solved given the current conditions. Another understands the issues in a problem, and wishes to find ways around it.
Yet another might say, the problem can be solved, but not with the way conditions exist.

Since i'm the one that took offense, let me say that there is nothing uncivil going on here. "Someone" made his concerns known, i made my reaction to his concerns known, no threats were made, and it seems everyone was conciliatory (that's why i made reference to the fact that our Canadian caller might actually be right about everything he stated). No belligerence was exchanged, only our ideas on what we'd like everyone to know.

With that said, i really don't want this thread to become a string of posts where everyone has to watch what they're saying, because that to me is worse than everyone being negative about someone else's idea. "Someone," if you have ANYTHING to bring, i for one want to know, no matter how my reaction came off to you. And Danny, thanks for your first post in trying to get me to see potential problems i may have not realized. But trust me, we're not AT each other yet...

Now, let's get back to the subject.
After looking over the language and the capabilities of TNT, i may be able to fake 3D. But the graphics may be a little slow, and i will DEFINITELY need some trig (y'know, sin, cos, square root of 2, etc) -- most of which i've forgotten since college. I need an important question answered, which you will find in the "Sprite Rotation" thread in the "Programming" heading.

07-05-2007 22:44

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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Hi,


"Someone," if you have ANYTHING to bring, i for one want to know, no matter how my reaction came off to you.


Actually, i have =) Perhaps not what you expect, but still! Danny is currently rewriting TNT as you know. I am personnaly very interested in making 3D possible in Blender, and when Danny's VM comes to a usable point i will definitely experiment with bringing 3D in TNT if my time schedule allows it.


Now, let's get back to the subject.
After looking over the language and the capabilities of TNT, i may be able to fake 3D. But the graphics may be a little slow, and i will DEFINITELY need some trig (y'know, sin, cos, square root of 2, etc) -- most of which i've forgotten since college. I need an important question answered, which you will find in the "Sprite Rotation" thread in the "Programming" heading.


Fake 3D is definitely possible in TNT, and it has been shown. However, having done a little 3D theory, I can tell that for physically correct 3D you will need more than sin, cos and square root. It will be needed to set up projection matrices, rotation matrices, perhaps a basic shading system so that objects are not solid colorblocks with hardly visible shapes.

It will also be needed to implement some sort of Z ordering (it was not necessary in demos but for real games may be) - for obvious speed reasons Z buffers are not possible, and other even more advanced techniques are out of question, so the best bet would be distance sorting (draw items far away from the camera first, drawing those close last) which would give correct results most of the time. If you build something like e.g. houses that are on a grid and the camera doesn't rotate but only translate this part will be much simpler.

Also then will come picking/collision detection, which involves again more maths, fortunately many websites give formulas.

This is why i say i wouldn't do 3D in TNT - when you use e.g. OpenGL it does most of this automatically for you. However 3D in TNT is possible, and how much 3D math theory do you have?

Of course, if you don't want to display real 3D models but only 2D sprites standing on a 3D terrain, it would be much easier.

07-05-2007 22:45

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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[stupid boards without edits]

I said: I am personnaly very interested in making 3D possible in Blender

And obviously meant: I am personnaly very interested in making 3D possible in ***TNT***

hehe =P making 3D possible in Blender, funny :)

07-06-2007 00:45

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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oh yeah : you will also need to desing code that does not involve resizable arrays/vectors since TNT doesn't have them

07-09-2007 18:00

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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More trig, please

I will definitely need an expert in trigonometry to help with the math but it can be done. In the next couple of days i should have specs on the THEORY of doing 3D in the current version of TNT, and then we can go from there. I am also still currently (re)writing the game specs from a programmer's perspective. Keep an eye out.

Yes, i will hafta compromise on the total package on my vision for this game-sim, but perhaps later versions can account for 3D from a vector point of view.

Since we're on the subject, if i could have my wish, i'd like to see TNT handle 3D by scaling texture planes. While this is a very rudimentary way of handling 3D images, it may be the easiest to code for. Imagine taking a polygon with a texture painted on it, and issuing a TNT command (like TurnX), which shows a virtual turn of the plane by scaling and rotating the polygon, reshaping and redrawing the image to its new polygon. This can almost be done with the current Scale and Rotate commands on a sprite, except that scale resizes the original sprite rather than the rotated sprite image. (Thanks for testing, "someone".)

07-09-2007 22:48

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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Since we're on the subject, if i could have my wish, i'd like to see TNT handle 3D by scaling texture planes. While this is a very rudimentary way of handling 3D images, it may be the easiest to code for. Imagine taking a polygon with a texture painted on it, and issuing a TNT command (like TurnX), which shows a virtual turn of the plane by scaling and rotating the polygon, reshaping and redrawing the image to its new polygon. This can almost be done with the current Scale and Rotate commands on a sprite, except that scale resizes the original sprite rather than the rotated sprite image. (Thanks for testing, "someone".)


Well actually we have OpenGL which makes it very easy to implement basic 3D, so i would rather implement real 3D than methods of faking it, since it's not hard ^^ i seriously find the hardest about 3D is loading models and levels from files, and also making a level editor. displaying 3D with OpenGL is not anything hard unless you do advanced shaders and stuff

07-10-2007 12:02

Posted by:
allnodcoms

Location:
hertfordshire (England)

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Temporary work around?

"This can almost be done with the current Scale and Rotate commands on a sprite, except that scale resizes the original sprite rather than the rotated sprite image."

I know it's an ugly bugger of a thing, but you could always perform your rotation, paste the rotated sprite to an offscreen canvas, grab it back as a new sprite and scale that... It's by no means the perfect solution but it should work as a temporary fix to test your ideas.

Just a thought...

Danny (nod the mod)

07-10-2007 22:18

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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Wow, somebody as smart as i. That was EXACTLY my workaround. I was going to run some tests to see what kind of speed we're talking about. While i won't be running lots of animations (all we'll be doing is looking at 3D city map), i want to make sure i'm not losing so much that it makes drawing the screen lethargic. What we need speed for is redrawing the current view from a different angle.

07-10-2007 22:24

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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Well actually we have OpenGL which makes it very easy to implement basic 3D, so i would rather implement real 3D than methods of faking it, since it's not hard ^^ i seriously find the hardest about 3D is loading models and levels from files, and also making a level editor. displaying 3D with OpenGL is not anything hard unless you do advanced shaders and stuff

Oh and BTW, we'll focus on basic image rotation and scaling, and worry about lighting and complex structures (meshes) later. For now, let's see if we can get an array of different sized colored boxes to draw correctly and quickly from various angles.

I know nothing about OpenGL's capabilities, only that a lot of non-commercial apps need it. So tell me what you think it can do for us.

07-10-2007 23:36

Posted by:
someone

Location:
Quebec ( Canada )

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I know nothing about OpenGL's capabilities, only that a lot of non-commercial apps need it. So tell me what you think it can do for us.


Actually, all commercial 3D games that run on Linux or Mac OS X use OpenGL to render their graphics, and also many games that run on Windows and also many consoles i believe.

So just look at the shiniest commercial 3D OS X game youcan think about, this is what OpenGL is capable of ;)

07-11-2007 19:06

Posted by:
Harbinger

Location:
Florida,USA

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Now that i've been searching the forums of SimCity users i've notices that one group has begun in earnest to develop their own simulation over at http://urbsurbis.com. (You hafta register to participate -- a rather painless process.)

I will link them over here when i assemble my ideas in html format. But i'm still hard at work at it, and will love the chance to exchange ideas.
I am concerned about the platform and the OS they're going to use. It's easy for users to think that just because i'm a Maccie that i'm using OSX.
Plus, graphics are not universal, as you hafta access the tools of the platform you're using.

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