Update on situation

edited October 2018 in Starpeace Legacy
Hi All, been a while since my last update, sometimes life gets busy, still can't get game to work on my linux lappy either lol so I still wont see you in game yet.

I just wanted to give the community an update on my current stance and where the project to get a second version of the game up and running stands at the moment.

I was quite hopeful a short while ago as I was talking to one of the original game devs, but at this point in time there has been no further communication and so appears it was a dead end sadly. That being said, the project is not dead at all. It has just taken a big turn, and I though I should update you at some point.

As you know, most of the problems we have been having to this point of times, comes from the fact, the majority of the game is written in the Delphi language, which really is a dying art at this time, find people to contribute in Delphi is a complete washout, it just does not seem possible, and having looked a few times at paying for assistance to freelance Delphi coders is very cost prohibitive, there simple does not exist the money within the current game user base to be able to even look at affording that.

As you know Loophole is currently our only Delphi capable programmer and he has a busy life and complex job, so we simply cannot expect him to be able to commit to a level of dedicated time within the project code also.

Also, in respect of all the above, even getting this version up and running, will leave us not much further on, as the code base is still mostly cryptic even to Loop as nothing at all is commented within the code base, what this means in real terms is that any bug fix or change to the game, even when up and running will take an inordinate amount of time. Even if we were able to get to grips with it, we are still left with the fact that the way the 'system' works is expensive to maintain and relies on proprietary software, for which the licences are not cheap, and even besides those points, the game is still locked down to an archaic version of internet explorer (5 if i remember correctly), which again limits the game to the windows platform without emulators.

Because of this, I have made a momentous decision regarding this project.

The original code base will now be abandoned in favor of creating a new Eco-system for the game to run in that uses open source tools and software.

I have made this decision for a few reasons that I will share now.

It has always been my intent, well before obtaining the code, to rebuild Starpeace in a modern language, that would allow finding contributors to the games code base to be much easier overall.

Also we are twenty years on and technology since the game was created has come a very long way indeed, rendering much of the code within the current system as overkill anyway.

Starpeace is a niche game and as such, the user base is small, and if we stand any chance to grow it, we need to make the game go to the new players, not expect the new players to step back in time to come to the game.

One thing that has bugged me the most since obtaining the code base back in January 2016 is the fact that, I personally cannot grasp Delphi as a language, and so I have been unable to help produce any progress other than guess work.

In this day and age, mobile devices take the forefront with game players when it comes to online games, and pretty much all advancements in recent years are enjoyed equally on desktop devices, tablets, mobile devices because the mainly leverage advancements in web languages and web technologies.

For this reason, I have began work to rebuild Starpeace using PHP, and Javascript for the backend and frontend web technologies, and we have not decided yet which language we will use for the games engine. Rest assured, that the intention is build the game as close to the original game as possible, but is such a way that future expansion into different areas, and the ability to find and fix bugs, and control game play are totally possible.

I do understand this may cause some worry for a few, that Starpeace will be lost, but we will be using the same images, and working to ensure that the way the systems work are as close to the original game as possible, following the design information we have acquired over the years from development documents, web publications and what we do understand of the current code base, even the knowledge I built up whilst creating the SPOC client.

This may seem a huge undertaking, however, it will enable us a to both bring the game to a much, much larger audience, and actually make forward progress in a project that seems permanently stalled at present. They are also a billion more people able to contribute to the code than there is Delphi programmers.

I wont discuss the technologies and methods used any more here, as most of you reading this won't be interested in that knowledge, however, if you feel that you may now be able to contribute because of the chosen technology choices, then please get in touch.

I hope this stands as a decent update, I know one has been a long time coming, but this path while will still take a while, is at least a move forward, and our ability to move forward is now much easier. Do note though, that while people do have feature request, bug reports etc, we will hopefully lose some of the bugs on rebuilding, and once we have a running version, then is the time to ask about features for future versions of the game.

The system we will be working on will allow totally different setups on each world if required.

dodgerid

Comments

  • Thank you for the update dodger. It does sound like good news. Especially leaving some of the bugs in the past. Keep the ball rolling.
  • I have always wanted to do a rebuild, but now feel like its a necessity, and I myself can contribute much more as php is my native language.
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