Engine Terminology - Page 2

Engine Terminology

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by zwzsg »

Gah! Stop being stupid! The spring engine download is not an SDK! It doesn't contain Wings, Blender, Scriptor, UpSpring, mapconv, etc...

And the issue is not the name. The issue is that when I put a link to a game installer to the download page, it is removed. So have allow game to post link to their installer on the wiki page. Then newbie will get the choice between "bare engine" and "complete game", the choice will be easy.

Also, have more game make installer and keep them up to date.
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Hobo Joe
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Hobo Joe »

Yes, the problem is not the name, but the lack of a coherent description and fool-proof installers.

There's too many steps to getting Spring with maps and mods into a playable state, and that scares off a lot of newbies.
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hoijui
Former Engine Dev
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by hoijui »

The SDK name idea was abandoned about 10 posts ago.
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AF
AI Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by AF »

My point wasnt so much the SDK naming itself, but that a change of naming and terminology to better reflect what actually happens is necessary, with SDK being the best idea at the time.

Ive changed the thread title since as discussion has shifted slightly adn we've had some good ideas contributed.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Forboding Angel »

The point is, let us, the game devs, distribute our games+the engine instead of distributing a barebones engine which does no good whatsoever and just muddles the water.

I for example can provide install creator profiles so that all a gamedev that distributes via sdz and sd7 would have to do is just dump his game file into the installer.

Other forms are a little harder, but still doable. Spring should not be released as an executable. It should be released as a portable zip with install profiles (install creator) and nsis scripts so that the gamedev can build his own installer, and players should be pointed to those games' websites.
Tobi
Spring Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Tobi »

The use case that everyone in this thread is forgetting is updating existing users. (I'm pretty sure it is the second biggest use case.)

IMO ideally that should be the only use of the installer; people new to spring or people wanting new lobbies, downloaders, games, maps, mods, you name it, should grab a complete game installer like e.g. the KP or S44 one.

In particular I would prefer this because maintaining the installer takes quite a bit of work (although luckily I haven't had to bother with it for a while, thanks to hoijui mostly ;-)) and maintaining an installer that only installs the newest version of spring.exe and base content is a lot less work, plus it saves all the conflicts over what can/should be included, what not, what should be default, etc.

tl;dr: I suggest getting rid of everything in installer except spring.exe, base content, unitsync and AIs, and calling it `spring_$VERSION_update.exe'
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Forboding Angel »

+1 @ tobi's post
kremmy
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by kremmy »

The problem here is that Spring isn't an engine. This whole effort to rebrand it as an engine was ill-conceived from the get-go, but why?

Because an engine is nothing without the flagship game that uses that engine, and this entire effort has included the idea of complete separation of the engine from any of the games.

Look at the big first person shooter engine developers such as id, Epic, and Valve. Every once in a while these guys release a shiny new game running on the latest version of their engine. People even give id a hard time about how all of their games are tech demos for their engines. But that's the key, there's no such thing as a standalone engine.

As long as Spring is developed and distributed only as a standalone engine, it has lost sight of some of the very things that made it possible for it to be developed to this point. The games.

Spring used to have a flagship mod, XTA. It gave a strong focal point for engine development and advancement. It gave them context, a basis for improvement. The problem here really kicked into gear because of splitting the engine from the questionable-IP content without replacing the questionable-IP with something solid.

Without a flagship mod, the engine stands alone. Just stands there, not doing anything. To solve the problems with the branding, we need a flagship mod to push the engine.

Because it's absolutely true that nobody plays Spring. Because you can't play Spring. Spring needs to have the game it was developed for. All of the people who came around when it was TASpring can understand that, there is no draw to an engine that doesn't have a game, even if that engine has plenty of awesome games.

Existing users have their game one way or another, but it's probably not because they heard about this awesome engine, it's because they heard about a game that uses it. Spring took a huge step backwards in public relations by disconnecting from the game, and in order to allow it to blossom that needs to be undone.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by FLOZi »

I'm sorry, who are you? And I absolutely disagree.
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AF
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by AF »

It is possible to have a game engine for which Jo games have been implemented yet, just as much as it's possible for an engine without a flagship game.

Look at ogre or crystalspace

Heck it's even in the title of every single page
kremmy
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by kremmy »

OGRE and CrystalSpace are 3D graphics rendering engines first and foremost, not game engines. There have been any number of developments to assist in using them to create a game engine, but that's irrelevant. It's not comparable in this context. That would be like expecting Direct3D or OpenGL to have flagship products. Taking into account the modules unrelated to graphics, they grow closer to frameworks such as DirectX and SDL. These things are utilities, they provide certain groundwork to ease the development of a wide variety of different kinds of applications.

Spring is a real-time strategy game engine. Engines and frameworks are similar in design but completely different in purpose. This marketing problem exists because these distinctions aren't understood. This thread is a fine example to show that these distinctions aren't understood. Market the games, improve the engine's support for the games, improve Spring as an engine, improve Spring's potential to become a real-time strategy game framework.

I bring up flagship products because there's no direction for development of an engine without the products the engine is supposed to be good for. There are some excellent games using this engine, the marketing of those games IS the marketing for the engine. When a developer asks what this engine can do for them, you want to present the games and be able to tell them how the engine provides for the game.

Okay, so I might have chosen a rather roundabout way to get to the point of marketing the games rather than the engine, but there's a lot to take into account that few people who do the talking about it seem to be paying any attention to.

The best way to market the engine, in my opinion, is to work closely with the people developing the games for the engine, help the engine become more stable and flexible through the games that run on it. The problems with the process outlined in the original post aren't quite marketing problems. The engine should stay out of the player's way as much as possible, which it actually does very well. Take the marketing pressure off of the engine, it's not here to be sold to players, the games it runs are.

As beautiful as the idea of true separation of the game engine and the game might be, the reality is that the game is the primary vessel by which the engine is developed and marketed. This is synergy, I feel like many of the problems here are because a lot of people just don't understand that.

My apologies for any misunderstandings of my wall of text.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Forboding Angel »

Well the issue with flagship products is "Favoritism".

Full Games I can think of off the top of my head that are IP free:

Evolution RTS
Gundam RTS (However it is fan art and I'm not sure how that applies in this case)
S44 (Still very much in development from what I understand)
Cursed (Still in dev stages iirc)

And many more... Still in the dev stages.

Would s44 be happy if Evo were the flagship game? Would Evo be happy if gundam were (Actually I would be, but nevermind that because I'm trying to make a point here)...

Point being, how do you choose a "Flagship" without pissing all of the other gamedevs off? Imo, Evo is the most complete of all of the above, however, does that mean it should receive special consideration? I don't think so imo.

Why have a flagship at all? The spring site could easily pimp the games that are the most complete and show off stuff the engine can do. Also, that way none of the gamedevs get butthurt about anything.

However (through no fault of the engine or the engine devs), BA has become the de facto "Flagship" and that is extremely hurtful to spring as an entity, because the only thing that BA shows off is the fact that spring is capable of doing graphics from 15 years ago.
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enetheru
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by enetheru »

Tobi wrote:tl;dr: I suggest getting rid of everything in installer except spring.exe, base content, unitsync and AIs, and calling it `spring_$VERSION_update.exe'
I am as yet still nobody within this community. but I was thinking this exact thing yesterday when looking inside the archive(minus the naming).
Forboding Angel wrote:The point is, let us, the game devs, distribute our games+the engine instead of distributing a barebones engine which does no good whatsoever and just muddles the water.
I also think this is a good idea.
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AF
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by AF »

I support Tobis idea, it takes it all and leaves us with no doubt what the purpose of the file, and minimizes maintenance costs too.
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SinbadEV
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by SinbadEV »

I may be dumb, but isn't Spring Downloader (http://trac.caspring.org/wiki/sd ) capable of all the awesomeness we want... single download that can then fetch everything necessary to play a game on spring... just need a way to tell it you've never installed spring before?
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iamacup
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by iamacup »

I think kremmy has hit the nail on the head here completely, and it is post like this ÔÇ£I'm sorry, who are you? And I absolutely disagree.ÔÇØ That are, in fact part of the problem.


Put it this way - what do you think the ratio of people searching Free open source RTS game is to Free open source RTS game engine to develop in? i.e, How many people want to find a game to play vs how many people want to find an engine to develop in (or a game based on a specific engine).

You then need to market to the larger consumer base, which, as long as youÔÇÖre not a complete retard is going to be the people who want to play the game ÔÇô there are more people who play games than develop for them. (although it could be argued that in the current spring community if itÔÇÖs like it was whenever I last visited there are actually more developers than players, but we, I assume are talking about attracting people to the community - Once you have more players, you will automatically get more developers.)

I just have no idea why spring is still trying to market itself as an engine after all these years, yes its an engine, but who gives a shit? The average GAMER (and, as mentioned earlier, this should be your target audience) wants to play a good GAME. How many of the thousands of people bought mass effect 2 because it was powered by the unreal engine? No one, they got it because its a kick ass game.

I completely agree that you need a flagship game, and that should be whatever is the most popular (ba/ca ÔÇô I donÔÇÖt know I donÔÇÖt play spring). The community should focus on making this IP free and then marketing it as a single thing. What is actually happening however is akin to a company Google trying to release their entire current product portfolio back when they were running out of a garage. Too much stuff, not enough focus on a core marketable product that people want. There are too many games, over half of them are in perpetual development, no one knows whatÔÇÖs going on.

Again I will say ÔÇô gamers donÔÇÖt give a shit about the engine as long as the game is good. You want more gamers not developers. Take on board kremmys advice. Ditch the spring engine as a marketing tool until you have tens of thousands of players ÔÇô a long way off.


Love and kissed


Cup
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by FLOZi »

Go away, Cup. :P

I agree with his second post, which is totally divorced from his first. For the same reasons as Forb. The idea of a flagship game i.e. BA is the problem, not me.

Spring IS an engine. It should be marketed as such. To developers. Spring is not BA.

Evo, GRTS, S44, KP, CA, BA, XTA these ARE games. They should be marketed as such. To players.

Marketing of both is not mutually exclusive.

If we follow your advice we'll end up back where we were 3 years ago.
Last edited by FLOZi on 14 Jul 2010, 20:42, edited 2 times in total.
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very_bad_soldier
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by very_bad_soldier »

FLOZi wrote: If we follow your advice we'll end up back where we were 3 years ago.
IIRC we had more players back then. *duck and run*
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Forboding Angel »

We?

Who exactly is "We"?

Were things better then? No.

Has spring progressed muchly since then? Yes.
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Neddie
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Re: Engine Terminology

Post by Neddie »

very_bad_soldier wrote:
FLOZi wrote: If we follow your advice we'll end up back where we were 3 years ago.
IIRC we had more players back then. *duck and run*
We had more BA 1v1 players. Not more players period.
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