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FEXP to Python Conversion?

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1 FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:06 pm

Klokinator

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I've talked with Xeno about this and he's on board, I'm interested, and I know a few other people that might also be interested. So lemme explain what the general idea of this is, in case you missed the irc chats.


Basically, taking the FEXP engine, converting it from Ruby to Python (A similar, but faster and more popular language) and making it a standalone FE game creator instead of just an RMXP project builder.

Advantages:

+ Speed
+ Versatility
+ Ability to design our own UI ingame and in-editor
+ Community Support (Python has many more users than Ruby and is more flexible)
+ Completion (Not relying on an update from Yeti which will likely never come and finishing an engine ourselves)

Disadvantages

- Time consuming
- Possible unforseen roadblocks
- Difficulty with certain conversions of certain things (For example, not needing to use a 32x32 to 16x16 conversion script for tilesets might be nice, but we'd have to recode the whole thing from scratch possibly)
- Chance a coder or coders might quit leaving us with an unfinished engine



Aside from the above, there's a terrible lot to consider.

- What did yeti do that we might need to do differently?
- Did he do anything incorrectly?
- Do we stick with certain systems exactly as he designed them or do we rewrite them entirely even if it takes longer?
- How do we handle complicated parts like the ingame UI? What about the RNG?


We have to take into account how we'll redo the animation system, as using RMXP's animation engine may not be terribly perfect but it's still quite functional. Boo suggested using .gif files but even that has flaws. What about the character/actor/class systems? I can think of many way better ways to handle those (I would have preferred there to be a master actor list with all the attributes an actor would need in one section instead of spread out over 5 different scripts and database entries, as an example.) but will we be able to cleanly implement them? And even if the engine is finished, will it be like FEXP, where even a seasoned Ruby coder won't know what each function does compared to another? I've had 5 ruby veterans look at Yeti's scripts, throw their hands up and say "I have no idea what half of this does.". Nightrunner, Maximusmaxy, RD, etc.

A quick set of examples:

Animation/In-battle System
I would prefer using a spritesheet just like in FEGBA, but this time with tiles the same size as the original GBA window (240x160 instead of 192x192) with the actors in the spots they'd usually be ingame. This will allow much easier additions and edits to sprites, in my opinion, and cleaner animations overall. For the battle UI, I'd prefer to remove Battle Faces entirely (They're cool, but I have a better use for those) and change it up to be more like FEA, with battle faces being used as a mid-screen animation for criticals and skills instead. Implementing multiple spots for Skill Activation Chances in-battle would also be nice. Even though I personally believe that classes should never have more than one activation skill at a time, others may disagree.


Character/Actor Setup:
I believe that instead of having a database window for actors, a script for weapon levels, a separate section for items, for skills, etc, an actor's attributes should be defined inside of one script for easy editing. While skills themselves may be defined inside of other scripts, an actor should be assigned a skill by simply placing a keyword in their section of a script. Uh, lemme give an example.

Code:

Actor_name: Jensen
Stat_spread:
HP_44
STR_18
SKL_11
SPD_8
LUK_24
DEF_18
RES_4
CON_12
Override_MOV_6 # (This is used to override a class' default movement attribute for a specific actor, useful for not creating a brand new class)

Skill_set:
[GRTSHLD], [ARMOR] # (This is used to define skills by using their Call parameters)

Item_list:
Item1_WPN001 # Iron Sword
Item2_ITM001 # Vulnerary
Item3_BLANK
Item4_BLANK
Item5_BLANK

And etc. I imagine that more could be added and obviously there'd need to be extra code but you get the idea. Something more centralized and less dependant on editing twelve different scripts all the time would be a wonderful way of actually improving on Yeti's work. I wouldn't be surprised if he has something similar to this in XNAFE.



I welcome discussion on this. Throw out ideas for overhauling or fixing systems, but try and keep it realistic. If you have no idea what you're talking about, that's fine, I sometimes don't either, just make sure it's clear.



Last edited by Klokinator on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total


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2 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:10 pm

Klokinator

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And let me make it clear, I have no intention of simply abandoning FEXP for this either. I'm still gonna work on FEXP, but I'll be kind of directing the workflow of PyFE, giving advice, bugtesting the engine as it's developed, etc. It took Yeti 6 months to fully recode his engine and he knew what he was doing. I imagine recreating his engine in python with no idea of what we're doing would make us lucky to do it in twice that time. With that in mind and the understanding that some coders may not want to be part of a yearlong or longer project, I intend to continue working on Super FEXP in the meantime.

That is all.



Last edited by Klokinator on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total


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3 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:27 pm

Charlotte

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Of course I can try and help where I can, since I've been planning something like this for a while (but don't yet have the skill, obviously. But hey, for that there's this whole place).

I'll, uh, give more specific stuff later. I don't really know what exactly I'd be replying to... I guess I can work on throwing together a UI?

Say, should we have easy-to-modify resolution? Aside from certain UI things that shouldn't be too terribly hard.

4 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:31 pm

Klokinator

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I think it's a reasonable goal. I'm not the scripter so I can't speak on the level of difficulty of making that possible but maybe it's doable?



Also up for discussion: The language used for this engine.I've said Python, but using C# or whatever isn't out of the question, it's up to popular vote and what the coders think is the best language for implementation. While XNAFE is nice, I have to say that the enemy turns lag REALLY badly. I was playing it and enemies would freeze constantly and the whole game would just stutter. Keeping in mind my PC has a 1GB Nvidia GeForce 600's card, this is pretty awful performance and not to be blamed on me. The issues were slightly reduced by turning off every single other program on my pc and booting in text-only mode (kidding about that last part) but if it lags that badly, it may not be the language we want to be using.

Basically, choose the language used with care, guys.


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5 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:06 pm

Charlotte

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I don't have much grounds to be giving suggestions like this since I haven't tried it, but I hear Lua isn't half bad.

6 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:18 pm

Markyjoe1990

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I know some python, but the only results from my endeavers was a roleplay converter. If I get better with python, I might offer a hand in this project.

Otherwise, all I can give is bug testing and play testing.

7 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:35 pm

Klokinator

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I had forgotten about Lua. I dunno if Xeno has experience with it or is good enough to use it... but it's still always a possibility as nothing has been started yet.

http://lua-users.org/wiki/LuaVersusPython


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8 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:46 pm

Charlotte

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Oh wow I lol'd when I saw Lua's syntax library.

(EDIT: Had a question here, but no longer; it's been answered in the IRC. Why don't you get on, Mr. Reader?)

9 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:12 am

Mew

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Lua is not whitespace sensitive. While this has its downsides when compared with Python, there is no need to worry about automatic editor space-to-tab conversion or vice versa. When using a proportional width font, Lua allows use of as much indentation as necessary to make the code easy to read.


WHITESPACE.

But really. This sounds like a hell of a project >w> You should take this opportunity to learn how to program, Klok! Lua seems really versatile, I want to read more about it and see if I can make anything. A hello world or something. The syntax is completely alien to what I'm used to though omg so much unnecessary weirdness, even declaring variables seems weird

Also, I thought I'd add that it doesn't make sense to me that XNA would be slow innately for such a project. Other complicated works have come of it, I mean XNA is built for that. I doubt this is an issue with the programming language, and is more of an issue with how Yeti has written it. Usually this kind of stuff is done with huge teams of people not just one dude so there may be ways to make his code more concise/faster and he just hasn't done it *3*

http://www.margosikes.com

10 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:12 pm

CT075


i'm not so sure it would be FEXP anymore it would just be pyFE (a project that i actually attempted and gave up on due to python's graphical support being not the greatest) because of the RMXP is built

11 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:21 pm

Klokinator

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I'm also open to using other languages, provided Xeno is as well. I know Python is his best language as my VN in Ren'Py is coded in Python by him and it's a perfect emulation of the FE text system, at the least..


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12 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:00 pm

Klokinator

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Zahlman also offered to help, for a fee. Will it work out? Dunno. I can't afford to pay two coders, especially since he charges more than Xeno (lot more) but the coding might be higher quality too. That aside, I'm still waiting on Xeno's response so we'll see how this goes '3'


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13 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:05 pm

Yoshi

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You should pay mew first and treat us to Chinese food.


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14 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:12 pm

Klokinator

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Mew code me PyFE so you can take Mr Cheap Bastard on a date.


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15 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:43 pm

Yoshi

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PF Chang's is not cheap, sir.


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16 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:07 pm

Mew

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if I had more time I would at least want to give it a shot, I should attempt stuff other than Processing/C#

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17 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:25 pm

Klokinator

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I was joking, get back in the kitchen and draw me art.

No but srsly I should be able to deposit money on saturday.


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18 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:27 pm

Charlotte

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I work with a guy who I learned today does Java, maybe I could at least get some input from him.

19 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:47 pm

Klokinator

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Oh yeah, Mew's friend justin is apparently a god at coding so I'm gonna chat with him later. He'll charge a fee but I'm still interested in what he has to offer Very Happy


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20 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:01 pm

Primefusion

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Yoshi writes code?11!?? Man what can't he do?

21 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:57 pm

Mew

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:T Too bad his name isn't Justin

http://www.margosikes.com

22 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:58 pm

Klokinator

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Right, it's Lester. My bad, I always am soo bad with names.

'3'


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23 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Yoshi

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I can do everything.


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24 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:15 pm

CT075


well zahl is kind of entitled to charge you professional-level rates because he is a professional programmer

25 Re: FEXP to Python Conversion? on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:19 pm

Charlotte

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But Song Editor was amazing and free and okay that's still cool.

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