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Up Topic General / General / Are you still there?
- - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 13:35
Starting this thread as a little headcount.

Who is still with us and is willing to work on OC? I noticed a definite decline in development in the last months. Christmas is coming up and the usual call to action hardly sparked any attention.
I get that the server crash was a major setback but I hoped it'd now be better with working snapshots again. Soo. How is still here? Still willing to invest time and effort into OC?

Just to point out, this thread is not intended to cast blame. I definitely not cast the first stone here as I am absent a lot. My excuse is my final exam (Zweites Staatsexamen) coming up in April and preparation and learning just erode a lot of my free time at the moment and leaves me stressed out when I finally have some time of my own. Thus, my contributions were minimal as well. But, personally, for me to come around and get up to invest for work in OC, I'd like to actually other people to work with. I understand if anyone does no longer want to do that and drop out of the dev team.
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2018-11-08 14:20
I am still here. And I still hope to be able to finish the CCAN2.0/Larry integration in some close future. The current blocker is still the server backend - and I worry that I also have to do that myself in the end. Kanibal?
Parent - - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 14:39
Good to know. Would love to see Larry soon!

Are you interested in any other short or longterm projects?
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2018-11-09 10:04
Maaybe.. but I don't think it would be too wise to start more projects in parallel
Parent - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-09 19:01
Okay but that won't be your last contribution to OC? I was rather asking that. :)
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Parent - - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-08 19:25 Edited 2018-11-08 19:30
I've been checking out the forums recently to see how much value there is in putting effort into any OC Project. For sure, nobody can guarantee anything. But since I have gained some experience I thought a ot about finishing nanoMill in a lot more stable mannner (probably revamping it with react or atleast adding a proper model component (most likely redux) since that has been the most instable part).

Besides the echo to your post, what do you (or anyone else) think would be the thing(s) that benefit OC the most? I am not yet experienced enough (or willing) to dive into any heavy OC c++ code, but I always found that the development pipeline from 3D Models has a lot of hurdles, even after the great rework from randrian. Also some tutorials from blender to a working object in clonk would be great.

On the other hand the gameplay itself sometimes feels too unpolished. Someone might have to iterate on existing things to see if there are ways to make things feel more satisfying (crank up Accel and Decel values from the Clonk for example).

I could talk about much more of these things, that I think hinder OC to be playable and encourage to create own content (what's clonk for me about and the only reason why I always come back to it). But I always fear, that OC has become oldschool enginewise or gameplay wise. But the latter might have to be reevaluated after years of game development. I don't think we need BattleRoyale in Clonk, but more something into the direction of putting less value in repeatable action. Adding automation, Carry-heavys are a good approach. Probably add some kind of magic/pseudo-science(e.g. Teleglove) to empower settling with time. Do we have a working well-defined Flora/Fauna? These things are all implemented, but I wonder how straightlined they turn out in practice and how much it makes fun to play when achieving settlements goals. Simple "living" in a scenario should be great on its own, without eagerly doing ones best to fullfill the goal.

So my main question remains: Are there any parts of development pipeline or the content itself, that changing would be make a difference?
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Parent - - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 22:39 Edited 2018-11-09 19:04
If nanoMill is a promising thing, is in the end - I'd say - up to you. Does OC desperately need an IDE for scripting? I'd say: no, not desperately as simple editors like Notepad++ do the job just fine. Is it absolutely bad to spend time making one? No.

Currently, I think, the biggest obstacle in OC development is getting started and finding your way around. If I look at someone just coming to Clonk and having no idea of its past. Clonk Rage and previous titles could count on having fairly extensive tutorials and basic scripting information. I think that is something we lack. Our current info page for devs is...not very helpful in the end. 'Read a style guide', 'Have a look at the very generic documentation that has no practical explanations whatsoever'. So, in addition to any IDE we'd need tutorial material. How to get started? What do I need to do to get the source files? (How does c4group work in that regard?) What is a possible software setup and workflow in scripting and testing? Can I have a simple scripting tutorial, showing me how to make a simple object / scenario?

As a newcomer, you'd probably be overwhelmed by very specific, in-depth information but other than 'you can develop a lof of things in Clonk!' you wouldn't know where to start. So, creating tutorials is something that anyone who mastered basic scripting stuff can do. Tutorials can be written in the wiki (on this page), be somewhere or utilise powerful web features like videos (something I started to do but haven't picked up again, I know). Speaking of what I did, learning the editor (so non-scripting development) would also be something that needs explanation.

> On the other hand the gameplay itself sometimes feels too unpolished.


I'd say this is definitely something someone can do without diving heavily into C++. Tweaking values in the clonk's behaviour, writing small code snippets to aid its movements. E.g. I wrote this to fix the issue of not being able to climb to the top of vertical loam bridges.

As to the rest...yeah, major changes in gameplay are major effort. Coming up with ideas of how to modernise clonk, how to make the world actually look like something that works together (different systems reacting to each other).
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Parent - - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-08 23:38
So you unpack .ocs and all that stuff by hand, dragging them onto c4group? And is there any text highlighting in notepad? I could try to make that ocscript highlighter available in Atom aswell, since its made for ace.

Nevertheless I think an "IDE" (nanoMill doesnt have to get feature complete right now) would still add a lot confidence to newcomers, at least for me, working with something which does not yield the feeling of straightforwardsness always makes me uncomfortable and I tend to let my hands off it.

I really like to get nanoMill going, at least for myself. So I'll aim for a robust working product with the least amount of features possible to be able to start "hacking".
But independently one could block out some basic tutorials, which I'd like to post in public to iterate over feedback. Some ideas for that?

I think of these:

- A very basic building, showing on a very basic level how to model something and transfer it into the game.
- Something like a small critter, with few animations and add some life to it
- Probably something like a scroll, using Effects and particles

I might focus onto the first two, to not overload myself again and get nothing done. Small steps...
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Parent - - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 23:49

> So you unpack .ocs and all that stuff by hand, dragging them onto c4group?


Well, for developing OC itself, I just use the repository that I cloned of course. Other stuff I just build from scratch in the (Windows) explorer.

But if I have to unpack, I open PowerShell* and use c4group from command line.

*: I used to use cmd.exe but since Shift + right click no longer show that option but PowerShell instead, I use that.

Notepad++ of course has highlighting, just not specifically for c4script. The .c file ending makes it use syntax highlighting for C as can be seen below. It served my purpose well enough. I once did a custom highlighting scheme for c4script but in conjunction with overall programme colour schemes, it's tedious work.

But again, I do not want to discourage you developing nanoMill.
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Parent - - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-11 14:26
I've downloaded the snapshot, but there was no c4group. Has it become obsolete? Is the .oc* (un-)packaging process any different from earlier, where it's simply swapping magic bytes and then zip/unzip?
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Parent - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-11 21:25
Hmm, maybe the new snapshot Luchs set up doesn't build c4group.
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Parent - By Luchs Date 2018-11-11 21:30 Edited 2018-11-11 21:35

>Has it become obsolete?


No, c4group should be included in the Windows snapshot. Isilkor?

In any case, you can download individual executables (including c4group) directly from AppVeyor.

For Linux, it's more complicated because the AppImage format has just one entry point. So while c4group is (I think) included, there's no direct way of launching it. We'll have to think of a solution there (another AppImage, or maybe static linking with musl as c4group has few dependencies). It will probably be a separate download then.

>Is the .oc* (un-)packaging process any different from earlier, where it's simply swapping magic bytes and then zip/unzip?


It's still pretty much the same as in CR. Unpacking is fairly easy, but packing has always been more involved because you have to order the files correctly.
Parent - By Isilkor Date 2018-11-19 06:16
The snapshots are now shipping c4group.exe again.
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Parent - - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-12 17:18 Edited 2018-11-12 20:54
Just FYI.
I decided instead of rewriting half nanoMill and then coming up with something, which is at best a ripped version of atom, to add features to atom via their package system.
So far it lead me to a small package which adds Pack/Unpack-Commands in the contextmenu of the tree viewer module. Sadly I havent been able to publish it via apm yet (some weird stuff with github credentials).
Possible features for the future would be: creating from templates (or even pull them from Larry), some additional commands (run scenario in editor, unpack recursively etc.)

But for now, I try to set up context free grammer with tree-splitter and create a language package for reliable syntax highlighting. I even saw an atom package, which based
on that grammer could highlight unresolved parts and mark them as error.
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Parent - - By Luchs Date 2018-11-12 22:27
Cool. Why Atom and not VS Code? The latter seems to be the more popular editor.

I was thinking about creating a language server for VS Code (and other editors that support it). I suppose stuff you create for Atom might carry over to VS Code with relatively little effort anyways because they're both written in JavaScript.
Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2018-11-12 22:53
VSC with C4Script support would be super cool :o
Parent - - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-13 13:08
Would that language server rely on visual studio support? VSCode itself does not seem to support tree-sitter (yet?).
But there is a bash language server which uses tree-sitter.

Also, is there the allowed syntax somewhere documented?
For I have currently a conflict with if () { statement; } and if () {propName = ..};
But I guess the statement {propName = ..}; by its own is not allowed in OCScript.
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Parent - By Luchs Date 2018-11-13 20:25 Edited 2018-11-13 20:28
I'm not convinced a parser reimplementation is the right approach here. My plan was rather to integrate with the real parser to provide diagnostics and to obtain information about symbols for completion and go-to functionality. A separate parser would mean extra work each time the grammar changes. So the language server would be independent from editors, but a VS Code plugin is an obvious target.

My overall goal with this is mostly to have some go-to editor setup we can generally recommend to people. I'm personally using vim and have already written syntax highlighting definitions for that. With a language server, I would improve my own setup as well.

>But there is a bash language server which uses tree-sitter.


For bash, a separate implementation makes more sense because bash itself parses and executes shell scripts line-by-line. There is no whole-file parsing that a language server implementation could leverage.

>Also, is there the allowed syntax somewhere documented?


We don't really have a syntax specification. The parser decides what's valid and what is not. However, for editor support, you always have the option to be more strict or more lenient that what's actually allowed. For example, most syntax highlighting implementations just match on individual constructs and don't understand the overall code structure. This makes the highlighting less precise, but allows highlighting incomplete snippets without extra effort.
Parent - - By Isilkor Date 2018-11-14 19:57

> For I have currently a conflict with if () { statement; } and if () {propName = ..};


The parser does not allow a free-standing proplist definition and always resolves an opening brace at the beginning of a statement as a block start indicator. I don't see us changing this anytime soon either; we'd simply require too much look-ahead to resolve this any other way.
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Parent - By Apfelclonk Date 2018-11-14 20:55
That's totally fine with me.
I just want to reflect the actual syntax as best as possible with tree-sitter (since is promises that without an reg-ex odysee),
so one can actually rely on its visual (and probably error mark) feedback. So one has less the frustration of missing an ";" somewhere and waiting a while scenario start iteration.
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Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2018-11-09 10:03

>what do you (or anyone else) think would be the thing(s) that benefit OC the most?
>... to create own content (what's clonk for me about and the only reason why I always come back to it)


IMO that answers your question and that's also why I think Larry might be important :)

>Besides the echo to your post, what do you (or anyone else) think would be the thing(s) that benefit OC the most?


IMO game content. E.g. the automation/logistics stuff. More stuff of everything (three more arrow types, two more edible plants, five more underground features, bla..) - small things that are in the world to discover. Maybe the blocks stuff - I think that's a generally good direction to go into (because it works into the direction of better prodction chains)
Parent - - By Foaly [de] Date 2018-11-13 16:03
I wonder how much a good walkthrough for exporting from Blender to a working object in OC (with animations and everything) would be worth.
I mean, how many people are still out there wanting to do that and don't already know?
In any case such a tutorial would still have almost no use to someone who does not already know how to use Blender.

Also, I don't think it is that hard right now, to be honest. It looks a lot more scary than it is.
With the documentation there is, I was able to get animated objects exported within about a day.

Also, considering Blender 2.80 is coming out soon, the exporter will probably have to be updated as well.
Or we could just stick with the old version forever.
Parent - By Marky Date 2018-11-13 16:17
Yes, exporting animated objects is not hard if you do everything from scratch.
Parent - By Marky [de] Date 2018-11-08 19:57
Still here, mostly doing external Clonk projects.
Parent - - By Luchs Date 2018-11-08 22:10
I'm obviously still here, too.

I suppose the most important project is still the release infrastructure, though I'm not super motivated for this. I'll probably let this sit until we actually have something to release.

It would be super cool to have some medium-sized project we could collaborate on. Some ideas:

- Make the gamepad controls usable. Might be a bit large to start with, but has a nice mix of script and engine development.
- Continue with Blocks.
- Experiment with new Melees to replace the old ones. I believe there was some cool stuff in that direction earlier this year already. I'm not good at designing new scenarios, but I could help with polishing.
Parent - - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 22:13

> Make the gamepad controls usable. Might be a bit large to start with, but has a nice mix of script and engine development.


This would be a great thing but it does involve coming up with a key-centered control scheme for menus (otherwise we'd force gamepad users into using the mouse as well). That is a major project in my book.
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Parent - - By Luchs Date 2018-11-08 22:31
True. Maybe this is something we could start thinking about in parallel. There's a long-ish dependency chain here that looks a bit like this:

1. Think about how the key-based controls should look like (for keyboard and gamepad).
2. Implement engine support. It's unclear what this will look like. The tricky question is how much of the menu controls should work without network synchronization.
3. Actually implement the new control scheme.

In any case, it's also not the only thing that needs some work. The normal game controls outside of the inventory menu might already be usable, but definitely don't feel as good as the keyboard+mouse controls yet.
Parent - By Clonkonaut Date 2018-11-08 22:40
The good thing is, keyboard controls for menus would also rapidly improve non-gamepad controls!
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Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2018-11-09 10:03

>- Continue with Blocks.


I also still think that might be a valuable addition
Parent - By K-Pone [de] Date 2018-11-09 20:43
I'm also still here, but have been rather inactive recently. I'd still like to be a bit more active here.
Parent - By Caesar [gb] Date 2018-11-10 09:04
Nap time.

Jokes aside, I guess I'm too busy. Working in Japan is fun, but no joke.
Parent - By Sven2 [us] Date 2018-11-25 19:38
Busy with Baby + New House + Amazon now. But I would like to play some weekend games if we can manage to plan a time :-)
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