Game engine disadvantages

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Post: #31
A proper editor where the objects can be placed anywhere and not just in tiles can be generic, as can an animation editor. The ones in Flash are not game-specific. Are the animation editors and level editors that you make yourself visual or programmatic?
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Post: #32
(Nov 15, 2010 10:15 AM)Miglu Wrote:  A game engine includes a generic level editor into which the level's objects can be placed visually. That is not possible with the functions that are described in the quote. It is difficult to create complex levels, and animations, programmatically.

I wasn't entirely sure what you were saying in your last post, but now I think I see what you're getting at... In addition to what Skorche listed, these days I'd consider a JSON parser to be an essential component in my basic game toolbox. With this, you have a very nice text-based format for all metadata in your game, which can be used to express things like animations and complex levels. For example:

Code:
{
    "animations": {
        "walk_left": {
            "duration": 0.5,
            "loop": true,
            "frames": [
                "walk_left_1.png",
                "walk_left_2.png"
            ]
        },
        "walk_right": {
            "duration": 0.5,
            "loop": true,
            "frames": [
                "walk_right_1.png",
                "walk_right_2.png"
            ]
        },
        "jump": {
            "duration": 0.8,
            "loop": false,
            "frames": [
                "jump_1.png",
                "jump_2.png",
                "jump_3.png"
            ]
        }
        ...
    }
}

Code:
{
    "level": {
        "object_1": {
            "position": [0, 5, 3]
        },
        "object_2": {
            ...
        }
        ...
    }
}

Visual editors have their place, but there's definitely a lot to be said for the precision of typing in the numbers by hand. Even so, if you need a visual editor, implementing one yourself isn't as difficult as you might be imagining.

Edit:

(Nov 15, 2010 10:48 AM)Miglu Wrote:  A proper editor where the objects can be placed anywhere and not just in tiles can be generic, as can an animation editor. The ones in Flash are not game-specific. Are the animation editors and level editors that you make yourself visual or programmatic?

Genericness comes at a cost. Not just to the original implementor of the generic editor, to you when you use it. The more specific the editor, the better it can be tuned to your game's individual needs. One size definitely does not fit all in the game world.
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Post: #33
Thanks. It is difficult to visualize very large levels in head. For example, it would probably take at least 40 min to make the second level of Super Mario Bros. programmatically and at most 10 min visually.

Some people on these forums seem to have tried Cocos2D. Have you used it for Mac games? Is it really a good idea to use Cocos2D for making 2D games for OS X, as the general version requires learning Python and the iPhone version uses Cocoa Touch? If not, what is a better (free) 2D engine, if one such exists?
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Post: #34
(Nov 15, 2010 11:00 AM)Miglu Wrote:  Thanks. It is difficult to visualize very large levels in head. For example, it would probably take at least 40 min to make the second level of Super Mario Bros. programmatically and at most 10 min visually.

Is that a "complex level" by your definition? You're right that typing out every tile in JSON probably isn't the best way to put together this sort of content. Personally, I'd use an image editor to create a PNG where each unique color represents a particular type of block, and just specify enemies, moving platforms, and warp pipes in JSON, based on coordinates easily looked up from the map image.

You can have it both ways, too; an underlying JSON + PNG representation, and a visual editor that's capable of fully manipulating them.
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Post: #35
Thanks. The best 2D game engine is probably Torque Game Builder. However, it is not free. Which takes less time: learning Python so that I could use Cocos2D or making a toolbox?
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Post: #36
(Nov 15, 2010 12:18 PM)Miglu Wrote:  Thanks. The best 2D game engine is probably Torque Game Builder. However, it is not free. Which takes less time: learning Python so that I could use Cocos2D or making a toolbox?

Why not use objective-c for cocos2d since the mac version is in RC form (no template yet, but easy enough to gut the example and plunk in your own code).

Also, making a toolbox doesn't take a long time if you have wood, hammer, nails, and a saw.
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Post: #37
What does RC mean? Maybe capacitor's time constant.
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Post: #38
(Nov 17, 2010 11:38 AM)Miglu Wrote:  What does RC mean? Maybe capacitor's time constant.

That would be Resistor-Capacitor. Or Radio Controlled. In the context of software it means Release Candidate.

Expanding on that a bit, there are four main stages of the software development process, up to initial release: alpha, beta, release candidate, final (sometimes called Golden Master, or GM for short)

Alpha is where it's just in basic operational mode and doesn't have all the features you need to call it a program.

Beta is where it has pretty much all your intended features and should mostly work but might have a few remaining known issues. This is where we say it is "feature complete" and ready for testing.

Release Candidate is where it's done, and should be bug-free, but need to do some final testing just to be sure.

Final or GM is where it is ready to ship. They sometimes call that Golden Master because I guess CD ROMs used to require a gold pressed version of it to replicate other CD ROMs from, but don't quote me on that.
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Post: #39
In http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/wiki/doku....stall_test it is explained that I should install the iPhone SDK. This is very annoying, as OS X should be superior so I should not have to use iPhone's SDK for making games for OS X. Does a way to use Cocos2D for iPhone without the template exist? If it does, could someone explain it.
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Post: #40
I put the cocos2d-iphone-0.99.4 folder into a project folder and added the .xcodeproj file to Groups & Files. Then I added the "cocos2d" to the Direct Dependencies. I could not add libcocos2d.a to the Linked Libraries, as I could not find it using Finder (as it is only revealed when the .xcodeproj file is added to Groups & Files).
When I built the project I got
Quote:Build FontLabel of project cocos2d-iphone with configuration Debug
Check dependencies

[BEROR]error: There is no SDK with the name or path 'iphoneos4.0'
What is the problem?
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Post: #41
(Nov 18, 2010 01:35 PM)Miglu Wrote:  I put the cocos2d-iphone-0.99.4 folder into a project folder and added the .xcodeproj file to Groups & Files. Then I added the "cocos2d" to the Direct Dependencies. I could not add libcocos2d.a to the Linked Libraries, as I could not find it using Finder (as it is only revealed when the .xcodeproj file is added to Groups & Files).
When I built the project I got
Quote:Build FontLabel of project cocos2d-iphone with configuration Debug
Check dependencies

[BEROR]error: There is no SDK with the name or path 'iphoneos4.0'
What is the problem?
among other things:
.99.4 doesn't support mac, .99.5 does.
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Posts: 131
Joined: 2010.08
Post: #42
Thanks. At last I got a proper 2D engine to work.
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