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Underlying Technology
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12-06-2001 22:03

Posted by:
Socrates

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Hi, you guys seemed a bit hostile with regard to Chris Dillman's questions about the underlying technology of TNT (see 'Feedback...'). You sighted as your reason for not answering that his questions were not relevent to the end user, but I disagree.

Whether the code is compiled or interpreted makes a big difference to my interest in the language. For games I want speed, and an interpreted language will never be as fast as a compiled one. If your language is compiled then we can be reasonably assured that any slowness may be recified by optimisation. If it's interpreted that may not be the case.

Next, you refuse to say what language you'd written it in. Clearly Chris was asking as a fellow developer. Well, we're all developers here, your whole point is to bring development to the masses. If we like your product we'll buy it. I find it hard to believe that you would begrudge us such information in case we decide to use C++ instead, it's not like we haven't heard of it. Or perhapse you are afraid that if you tell us what you wrote it in then we'll write a better language and compete against you.

Since I'm sure you're not so fickle, I'm proposing that we form a new thread in which to dicuss the underlying technology of TNT so that we fellow programmers can learn from each other and help to improve both TNT itself, and any similar projects that it may inspire.

I know you feel that your target audience are the weekend programmers who run in fear at the mention of "Variables" and who are unlikely to ever write a project bigger than pacman, but you're wrong, there are plenty of others like me who are able to write sophisticated software in the language of their choice but have turned to you in the hope that you might offer a more friendly way to make games where we can concentrate on the game itself without re-treading the marshy ground that is interface programming.

This news should be grounds for celebration. You thought you would be getting short term customers who'd use your program as a learning base and then jump to something better, instead if you play your cards right you'll get long term users who'll produce fabulous software to showcase your efforts, and will stay with you and buy future upgrades and products that you churn out in the future.

Sorry if this comes across as heavy handed, I know you probably just don't want this forum to drift off topic, but I don't like it when you tell me what features your users do or don't want, or what they do or don't want to know. I AM an end user, and so is Chris , and I think we can decide for ourselves thanks.

So what language did you write it in, does it compile or interpret, and why is it such a problem to do pixel perfect collisions when using Open GL, can't you just store the sprite masks seperately and use their coordinates to do rectangle collisions, and then use the overlap of the rectangles to determine which pixels must be compared, the same way you do now (I assume).

12-06-2001 22:18

Posted by:
ERaZer

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I agree...

I'm having intrest in your program becouse it will speed up the development of my games. I could write similair games in C but it would take alot longer and would probably be more frustating.

BTW, I would like you to add some way to play movies(it might be there, but I haven't found it)

12-07-2001 00:56

Posted by:
Chris D

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The Open GL problem

The Open GL problem is this.
Yes you can use open GL for 2D animation just fine.

But when you start to rotate irregular objects...
to do the collision detection on the rotated objects at a
pixel level will mean the mask will need to be roated.
Im not aware if Open GL gives you a good way to rotate picture that then access that roated picture.
So if you can't do that then you would need to do the mask rotations in software... which is a bit like writing your own software texture mapper. This might be fast enough but Im not sure.... Also would depend on what your target machine is.

12-07-2001 01:02

Posted by:
Chris D

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Tech

As for wanting to know the underlying tech...
Im interested cause I may have very good ideas on how to speed it up or fix current bottle necks.

Why... lets see... I have shipped a number of high speed games for mac os includeing what has been for year the only full screen parallax space scroller that is playable on a fast 040 on up in both 8bit and 16bit.

I program mac full time include, Cocoa, Java, WO, C, C++ and have for about ten years.

I have also spent the last year making a lot of different scripting compiler and byte code interpreters geared twards games.

Im also sorry if I come off terse... I have a tendance :-)
Just look for the smilies to know my mood.

12-07-2001 08:19

Posted by:
Mark Tully

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Wrong Foot...

Hi Socrates,

First of all, let me apologise if I came across as hostile, that was not my intention at all! As can be seen from the other posts in the same thread, I am not trying to keep TB's technology secret, I was more than happy to say that we were using MADLib and a custom sprite engine that used 16-bit encoded sprites.

The reason I did not answer some of Chris's questions was not because I was trying to keep anything secret "in case it was used against us", it was simply because the first few weeks are critical to a forum for establishing discussed content; there are several forums and lists for the discussion of writing games in C/C++/OpenGL and I wanted this to be one on creating games in TNT Basic and what features our users would like to see. A technical discussion on detecting collisions between OpenGL textures has a place and I didn't want it to be in the same forum as people who were asking "Has anyone got a simple example of using variables?".

Now as you rightly point out, there are users who do want to know, and do want to discuss these things, yourself and Chris are examples. Your idea of an "Underlying Technology" thread is good, but I'll take it further, I'm going to start a technical forum where these discussions can take place seperately from the users who really don't know and don't care about (relatively) advanced topics like OpenGL. (Like me when I was learning to program using AMOS!). Is that an acceptable compromise?

We're very open to feedback on TNT Basic and we want our users to tell us what they want, that's the goal of this open feedback forum. I'm sorry if it came across like I was trying to tell you what you did and didn't want, you tell us! :)

Finally, I'd like to thank both Chris and Socretes for their feedback and interest in TNT Basic's innards, and I'm going to head over to the "Beyond Basic" forum now, which I suspect could become their new home ;)

Cheers guys

Mark

12-07-2001 09:30

Posted by:
John Treece-Birch

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Movies

Unfortunately, there is no way to play movies in TNT Basic currently. It was low down on our to do list and still is lower than the debugger, OOP and improving our GUI. I find myself saying this a lot but just give us some more time and we'll eventually get it in. Very sorry but that's the best I can do.

Thanks,
John

12-08-2001 10:27

Posted by:
Andy

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These are not fair questions... I'm in no-way connected to TNT

>So what language did you write it in, does it compile or >interpret,

My guess...
Langauge? C
The basic is compiled to a p-code and interpreted by a standard compiled runtime.

>why is it such a problem to do pixel perfect collisions >when using Open GL

OpenGL operations feel as though they're run in a separate machine - you can't mix and match Quickdraw and OpenGL commands...

>can't you just store the sprite masks seperately and >use their coordinates to do rectangle collisions, and >then use the overlap of the rectangles to determine >which pixels must be compared, the same way you do >now (I assume)

Anything and everything is possible but they haven't done it that way - to add this would probably takes months!!!



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