Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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abma
Spring Developer
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08

Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by abma » 11 Jul 2017, 20:32

As i never created a full map or a full game in spring and want to bundle all essential tools at http://github.com/spring/ :

which tools / programs are essential to create

1. game
2. map

from scratch?

(will be sticky until answered)
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gajop
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by gajop » 11 Jul 2017, 20:46

Soon just SpringBoard ;)

This is a complicated question.
A lot of third party tools (Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, $AUDIO_EDITORS) can be used to create assets (units, features, map textures and height).

The only Spring-specific tools which are *necessary* are compilers, that take the textures and produce a Spring map.

PS: If you want to learn the whole process, I suggest joining a Ludum Dare jam, it teaches that pretty well.
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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by zwzsg » 11 Jul 2017, 20:49

For games, since about 2009 no spring-only tools are required.

For maps, mapconv is still needed.

And then game or map makers developed their own workflow, using external tools or custom-writing their own.

For instance there's at least 4 frameworks to create missions.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by FLOZi » 11 Jul 2017, 21:35

For games, indeed no Spring-only software, though I am still most comfortable with Upspring for rigging models, not sure if all the kinks are truly ironed out of .obj or assimp-based formats.

Really you just need a text editor, ideally one that can give you lua syntax highlighting. Certainly nothing that needs to be packaged in a Spring repo.
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abma
Spring Developer
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by abma » 11 Jul 2017, 21:41

oh, awesome. Didn't expect such a good result: i thought upspring is still required for creating a game from scratch.
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zwzsg
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by zwzsg » 11 Jul 2017, 22:02

Since there is no single way, I believe the question should be reframed into what tools each person use, then hopefully from a broad overview we'll spot what needs improvement.

For maps, I use:
- An ancient Paint Shop Pro I'm familiar with, to draw and edit images
- Gimp, for what my PSP can't do (large image, repeating a texture, alpha channel)
- Beherith mapconv (because it loads png so I don't have to store giant .bmp)
- My own .bat to call mapconv, move file around, run spring, and loop back.
- Notepad++ to edit the .smd/.lua of the map
- 7zip to make a .sd7 out of a folder with all the files

But using a generic image editor to draw heightmap is an uncommon method...


For mods, I use:
- Notepad++, to edit all the .lua (and .fbi/.tdf for mods that haven't switched to full lua)
- Gimp for textures
- Wings 3d for modelling (if not a mathusalemiam Rhino3D)
- UpSpring to turn my model in a s3o, or clean, fix & edit other people model.
- 7zip to make a .sd7/.sdz out of a folder with all the files

But I believe there are now powerful and user friendly tools to sculpt and paint 3D model....



Not asked, but:

To make an installer, I use NSIS (it's free and professional grade)

To make a launcher, I use wxLuaWidget (let me code in Lua a small GUI app), and independently, an ingame menu in widgets+commandline spring (hoping commandline running of spring + startscript chokefilled with undeclared modoptions will still be supported!).

To make missions, I wrote gadget+widget to serialize unit data, especially command queue, in a format inspired by OTA. Then I edit it manually to add triggers and other commands that I wrote support for, but not ingame interface. Then it's stored as a startscript. It is the same code that I use for savegames.

Often I write my graphical Lua code first in Love2D or Glush, for faster dev loop, before porting it to Spring.
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code_man
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by code_man » 12 Jul 2017, 14:26

I still work on spring map edit, which is an almost complete way to make maps in an external program that pretty much works out of the box as much as it can.
There are a few things to iron out and i want to put it on gitlab too before i make another stable release.

As for making games all you need is a generic text editor, some image editor like gimp and probably blender to make models.
Audacity and lmms if you want to edit sounds too.

That being somewhat the minimum, from my experience confusing api/wiki and lack of "standard" gadgets are another issue that should be addressed before you can assume that spring is userfriendly for novice gamedevs.
In general i find things chaotic around here, its not terrible but its not good either imo.
It was quite a rough ride for myself, id rather spare others the trouble before labeling spring as insta-rts.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by FLOZi » 12 Jul 2017, 19:10

Honestly putting custom unit shaders and unit_script.lua gadgets in basecontent LuaRules (as opposed to LuaGadgets - i.e. not enabled by default) is something I've asked for for years and years to no avail. This is why ABC arose to include this sort of stuff in a useable package.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by Forboding Angel » 12 Jul 2017, 21:09

Personally I prefer s3o and upspring.

Yes upspring is clunky and old, but it is quite capable and works well if you know how to use it properly.

If you need "advanced" things like smoothing groups and so forth, then assimp is more along your needs (this setup can be done before you import into upspring fwiw). Additionally, I have no need, want or wish to learn blender's nuts UI.
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code_man
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by code_man » 12 Jul 2017, 22:12

Ignorant question: is there a blender importer/exporter for s3o?
Blender ui is pretty nuts no arguing, but many people i know who are very knowledgable in graphics recommend it, so dont dismiss it outright.

Personally i prefer collada, but i guess it doesnt make much difference in the end.
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Anarchid
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Re: Which tools are essential for map / game creation?

Post by Anarchid » 13 Jul 2017, 15:52

Ignorant question: is there a blender importer/exporter for s3o?
There used to be one that worked a few major Blender versions back. It went unmaintained, and now that there's assimp, it's unnecessary.
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