Last night, I did some initial work on Fremantle support. That's going to be really hard. No pygame for Python3, and no libsdl1.2-dev to compile it. Then, there's all the concerns regarding the 800x480 display. It's gonna' be a tight fit. I'll need to make the enemy ship view dockable, and reorganize the UI, but hey, that's why i'm making Layouts!
Also, I've been experimenting with pickle, to handle gamesaves, and speed up loading time. It's pretty sweet.
Sleeper Service wrote:Interesting project.
Hi. I'm glad you dropped in to chat. Thanks!
You might be a little late to the party though.
And that's a good thing, too! The FTL community has already documented a lot of the information I need to figure out.
I also feel like a lot of people are already deterred by the need to download a mod manager, therefore I think the more steps are necessary to get your modded game working the smaller your userbase will get.
I agree. At the moment, it's a major pain in the ass. You need to use command-line tools just to install it. Windows/Mac users generally *hate* the command line. I think py2exe should handle windows packaging pretty well, but I'll need to look into it.
In the long-term, there will be no need for a separate manager. Clonebay will keep track of all the mods available to it, and allow you to select which ones are applied when you click "New Game". I'll probably build the FTL importer into it too. IIRC, there's a python-based unpacker somewhere. I do not want to bring in Java dependencies.
You obviously won't be allowed to redistribute the vanilla gamepack. I guess clonebay could be told where your vanilla install is located and use its data as a basis? CE could serve as a standalone game-pack, but taking away vanilla is like taking away the tree the CE treehouse is build around. CE adds about the amount of events the base game has I think, but it makes only up for about 50% the ships and it only adds very few music tracks and soundeffects. This is integral stuff to make the game playable and if clonebay should work without vanilla assets then you'll need that stuff to come from elsewhere. The amount of work that would take would essentially reach that of making a standalone game and would result in a game that is fundamentally different from FTL anyway.
Yes, it is a Sisyphean task. Short-term plans for the Clonebay Gamepack are just to get something together that will let you jump around without it crashing because it couldn't find something it needed. Probably just a handful of assets to start. A really nice, fleshed-out version would take a very long time, I would expect.
If you're running on obscure hardware, you might want to know that the software works, before you spend the money to get Subset's proprietary data. In this way, the Clonebay Gamepack will also function as a 'demo' version.
I mean you are making an engine here, right? And you need to recreate a ton of assets to make it "legal" as a standalone, but as modable as desired by the constantly dwindling FTL community. Why not do away with the whole FTL stuff and make a standalone game?
Because, If I do that, I still won't be able to play FTL on my Raspberry Pi, or my n900, or my Archlinux tablet, or (a looooong time from now) Android. This is some pretty niche stuff. Support for stuff like Windows and MacOS, where FTL already runs just fine, is mostly an afterthought: merely a result of Python's wide compatibility. I'm scratching my own itch, but in the process may also soothe some of yours.
Of course, one of the reasons I am rewriting FTL is to gain insight for building my own game. FTL is clearly-defined, and already has lots of great assets, so for now, I can just focus on the programming and watch a great game take shape right before my eyes. It has already been, and will continue to be a valuable learning experience. Hopefully, my work on Clonebay will gain me a good enough reputation with the FTL community, that some of you would consider supporting me in my own endeavours.
Just a thought, you can do whatever you want of course.
But even if clonebay comes life in half a year or so there would still be the need to actively encourage people to actually mod the game and use the standalone thing instead of the vanilla deal.
If it's the only option to play FTL on your platform (Raspberry Pi, etc.) it won't require a lot of encouragement beyond a notice that exists. Some rpi gamers will be pretty stoked. (No, HumbleBundle's asm.js thing doesn't cut it)
But a cool thing about free software, is that it can show up anywhere. If it winds up in the Debian repositories, (and therefore, by extension, Ubuntu, Mint, etc.) people who have never heard of FTL
will play it for decades to come. If so, it will have good company, with clones like FreeCiv, OpenTTD, OpenArena, ScummVM, OpenRA (Well, I don't think that's in Debian yet), and countless others.
Thanks for your feedback!