Pave

An Idea of OpenXenonauts

13 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

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(( Why this is posted specifically to "Community Edition"-section is, well, because it would be primarily community driven; just saying this right away just in case. ))
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Some forewords:
This thread primarily I meant to gather more information in general as an aspiring video-game-producer (read: manager / semi-leading-boss / *insert a fitting occupation* ) specializing to remastering.
This not a declaration of mine or anything else similar to actually privateer(?) a project, at least immediately / right away.
At minimum we could "hothouse" / brew(?) some ideas and general information that could be adapted to relatable projects too.
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Body-text:
Having read again more about the development of Xenonauts, especially the things mentioning the engine ("Playground SDK" by "PlayFirst"), I've been thinking of the idea of completely re-write Xenonauts in the future in similar fashion as say "OpenXcom" has been made (note, this is just an idea; my "coding-abilities" are only limited to basic "algorithms-maps" written on piece of paper).

(( I am aware there has been one singular mention of "OpenXenonauts" on these forums, but that's about it:
http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/13435-xce-devs-ability-to-substitute-final-mission-with-a-landed-ufo-mission/#comment-156510 ))


Now the case with OpenXcom and various other related projects was that those used to be semi-abandonware, as in that the company who original coded those didn't exist anymore by the time the opensource-projects began.

In case of Xenonauts the company (Goldhawk Interactive) is seemingly doing well and in the process of making "Xenonauts 2". Alongside of course that "Xenonauts 1" no way can be considered as "Abandonware" at all (especially with the on-going "Community Edition"-project.

However, the primary idea of the "OpenXenonauts"-project would be the complete-rewrite into much more functioning engine, which has been said to be one main reason for the modding-community not to fancied to mod this game (this is according to many hear-say observations though).
And since this would work in similar fashion as the other already mentioned and the relatable opensource-projects, you would still need to purchase "Xenonauts" in order to have the assets the "engine would run".

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So probably the most important question is, that could maybe also best answered by @Chris, him being the "big-boss":
Legality and such standpoints-wise, how "illegal" "OpenXenonauts" would be? Would there some permission or other licensing things the project would require and so on?


I have sort of understood you / everyone involved having the lingering good-old "if we ever could rewrite this game"-feeling. So I really do hope this idea I've been thinking of doesn't come out as a disrespect (especially to you all guys fixing the bugs I especially have been reporting).
But on the other hand it has been told that "Xenonauts 1" is in "maintenance-mode", meaning it's not actively being under development (obviously since you are now hands-full with "Xenonauts 2")




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(( some random abbreviations of "Xenonauts" I wanted to write down at bottom: Xenouts, Xen-auts, XenOuts ))

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Edited by Pave
Just fixing some typos

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OpenXcom is legal because it requires the assets from X-Com in order to work; you have to own X-Com for it to work. If someone made an OpenXenonauts with a similar setup then I'd be perfectly happy with that ... but quite honestly I'm not sure anyone would want to do that. It'd be an awful lot of work!

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So speaking with some actual experience involved :) - it would be pretty much nuts to do OpenXenonauts with such an arrangement. Re-implementing the game from scratch would be a comparable amount of work to developing it in the first place. There's a reason OpenXCom took something like 6 years to develop!

It seems to me that there's a much better chance of getting "Xenonauts on a better engine" by modding X2. There may be some big differences between X1 and X2, but the core of the game is still the same, while X2 is built on proper modern tech. It would certainly be easier for mods to change the game in a way that resembles X1, comparing to re-doing X1 from scratch!

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11 hours ago, Chris said:

OpenXcom is legal because it requires the assets from X-Com in order to work; you have to own X-Com for it to work. If someone made an OpenXenonauts with a similar setup then I'd be perfectly happy with that ... but quite honestly I'm not sure anyone would want to do that. It'd be an awful lot of work!

Well, let's just say that if I am indeed eventually able to get into "remastering"-business, I am very certain we all there wouldn't afraid of "awful lot of work"; otherwise we wouldn't have people like "CF Project Red / GoG.com" or "Night Dive Studios" for example.

 

7 hours ago, Solver said:

So speaking with some actual experience involved :) - it would be pretty much nuts to do OpenXenonauts with such an arrangement. Re-implementing the game from scratch would be a comparable amount of work to developing it in the first place. There's a reason OpenXCom took something like 6 years to develop!

It seems to me that there's a much better chance of getting "Xenonauts on a better engine" by modding X2. There may be some big differences between X1 and X2, but the core of the game is still the same, while X2 is built on proper modern tech. It would certainly be easier for mods to change the game in a way that resembles X1, comparing to re-doing X1 from scratch!

Heh, well the OpenSource-clone or other more or less voluntary-projects after all are well "voluntary" work and hobbies. And not everyone is "Kaldaien" either (referencing to "one-man-power-coding-houses), so it's is understandable recreating something via reverse-engineering takes its own times, even if the goal is to code a "better-clone".
Lack of (business-enforced-)deadlines also has the own effect. But fortunately nowadays "nightly"-version are a rather popular solution for "customers" roo (as in both showing the project is still active alongside sating the *something* of the customers.


I can agree modding "Xenonauts 2" could of course me one solution; it wouldn't be the first time there would have been "total-conversion"-mods done to bring the old-games to newer engine
( E.G. "Trine - Enhanced Edition", even with some "not so huge"-gameplay-changes ).

Having been told so by you, I also believe we could "Unity" "Xenonauts 1", even if might be some funky effects happening (E.G 3D-camera-spinning with the 2D-sprites; I think "Grandia" is one of the games with this effect).


Even with some saying that "Unity 3D is not means for 2D-games", I for one also believe it could turn out to be better than some commercial products out there, especially when "Community Edition"-team has their hands on the source-code of the game itself (saying this in more of "archival"-perspective.
"Unity 3D"-engine also is semi'ish-"opensource" (there is a link later), and getting the source-code seems not be a huge riddle itself, and as it has been said, this engine seems to be far more flexible to begin with, especially is this old-blog-entry is to be believed:
https://blogs.unity3d.com/2009/03/20/why-you-probably-dont-need-a-source-code-license/

At the minimum, "Unitied Xenonauts 1" could at least turn out to be well better made than say "Pixel Piracy", of which I've wrote quite a detailed (for its time) review here:
http://steamcommunity.com/id/PaveMentman/recommended/264140?snr=1_5_9__402
Summary: The game mechanically is simple (I.E. not complex), and the performance is horrid.


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Thank you very much for the replies so far: This has at least turned the sparks into a small but well healthy ember; let's just keep the "fire seed" alive for the future ("fire seed" is a hot charcoal covered in ash; this way you don't need to use the tinder or any other lighting tools again as long as the charcoal "stays alive").
(( For reference, the Japanese story is called "The Great Year's / New Year's Fire" in which I was able to find the words I was looking.
Episode 194 of "Folktales from Japan"-animated-series tells this story for example.))

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(( Obviously I just once again throwing out some "thinking-out-loud"-throughs of mine; I apologize if my text seems "dismissive" occasionally, which is not the intention of mine; I just prefer to have written some kind of acknowledgement if not only for the sake of my  tangibility-relying-memory of mine. ))

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Hi Pave, do you know you can make games without paying money and without programming skill?  It's a good way to learn more about game developments! :D

Unity 5 has some nice tutorials and is relatively easy to get started.  Unreal 4 is another, but I'd say it's more intended for experienced teams.  Both are free and "cross platforms".

Once you have spend a hundred hours or two and have a basic understanding, you can start think about the next step.  Spoiler: you will need to code to reuse game assets.  Lots of codes.  And even with lots of code, expect to fail to reuse some assets like lua scripts, which big mods like XCE and X-Divisions depends on.  Rotation is another part that I think will disappoints you.

Good luck, aspiring remaker.  I hope you'll read this as an encouragement. :rolleyes:

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8 hours ago, Sheepy said:

Unity 5 has some nice tutorials and is relatively easy to get started.

To the point where learning Unity as an experienced programmer is more difficult.

Seriously, their tutorials are aimed at complete beginners. Those who know programming also have to sit through long explanations of the very basics of programming - in video form. Ugh!

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23 hours ago, Sheepy said:

Do you know you can make games without paying money and without programming skill?

I am fully aware, and I do have programming skills "beyond algorithms": My entry to "coding world" was "Turbo Pascal", and we did some simple poker and dice-rolling-games during the classes.
Well, by "we" I do mean that I personally wasn't able to get past making "text-generation" because I believe I had hit the "language-capacity" of my brains (having previously pretty much been devouring all the things related to HTML, which thankfully I can nowadays plow-through with E.G. "HTML-kit" by "Chami").

(( Heck, having mentioned the HTML-Kit, I've even yet to make the eternity-project of my archive-website, so I am not rushing into remastering-scenes as a producer yet (well, at least not as a "boss"; I evidently do help around other developers if not only financially). ))

Generally speaking knowing my limitation when it comes to "memorization"-heavy works (like playing more technical instruments such as piano or guitar (although some say these are more "motor-skill" reliant)), I rather have decided to specialize into the more "physical" / practical / pragmatic(?)-troubleshooting and the conceptualizations (or "designing").
"Actual coding"-wise I am clad there are far more talented or otherwise better than me people around; I am not able to memorize any further alphabets (E.G. cyrillic), so memorizing more "code" is simply far too overwhelming to me  (even when using reference-papers and such).

Heck, I've yet to even grasp the concept what "code" actually is! Well, primarily I do mean I have yet to find the most "simple-english" explanation as a "tangible"-comparison of "what are the little codes made of"-style.
Probably closest so far (and very comperehensive) article I found is this one:
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-ford-what-is-code/
(( This is basically referencing to how I learn new things; I pretty much always need to "get to the bottom of everything physics-wise" in order to learn new things. ))
((( And to to be fair, I've yet to fully master "printed circuit board"-physics either. But maybe one day... )))


I know this all sounds pretentious especially with the saying "you can do anything if you just try or really want to". But I am quite old-fashioned and have to disagree with that; Not everyone needs to be good at everything
(but I do still advocate on people being more or less multi-talented as in being able to employ in multiple types trades instead of just  singular-one (or to put more simply: everyone should have some basic knowledge of "blue-collar"-work)).

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(( I know I got into the back habbit of mine being "self-centered-hijacker" topic-wise. But I'd say this was topical enough worth replying to, even if it turned out to be this long-winded; nothing, for the most part, is not a simple matter when it comes to me.
Or to put it more simply: I just simply can't resist replying "personal"-messages. ))
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10 hours ago, Pave said:

My entry to "coding world" was "Turbo Pascal", and we did some simple poker and dice-rolling-games during the classes.

I hope you've been able to get the psychological help you need and recover from this horrible abuse.

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Given that X2 is reimplementing the game mechanics of X1 currently; I would suggest waiting until we expose the codebase to the community coders again.
We're tagging the code in the repo appropriately so you should be able to get the codebase into the state where it implements X1 when we do start diverging, but with the added benefit of a modern working environment.

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1 hour ago, Gijs-Jan said:

but with the added benefit of a modern working environment

But what if I like having to hunt down a 10 year old compiler??

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3 minutes ago, Solver said:

But what if I like having to hunt down a 10 year old compiler??

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, here he goes.

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