Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion special)

Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Lyberta » 25 Mar 2017, 22:20

Duion {l Wrote}:I just wanted to confirm for everyone here the fact that most FOSS games are clones, nothing else.


I just wanted to confirm that all platformers are clones in Super Mario Bros, all FPSes are clones of DOOM, all RTS are clones of Age of Empires, all...
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby charlie » 26 Mar 2017, 01:31

Duion {l Wrote}:Encouraging people to continue with projects that are almost guaranteed to fail has nothing to do with caring.
So if I see someone producing bad content or trying something that will not work, I tell him that, that is true caring.


Duion, your game ubergame sucks compared to AAA titles. You should forget it, you are wasting your time.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 26 Mar 2017, 10:19

I'm fine with only being number one in the BBB scene.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Lyberta » 26 Mar 2017, 12:10

Don't lie to yourself, you have a lot of work to do to be number one.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 26 Mar 2017, 12:46

Yes I should not have replied to personal attacks.

Lets go to debunk some claims again:

FaTony {l Wrote}:
Duion {l Wrote}:I just wanted to confirm for everyone here the fact that most FOSS games are clones, nothing else.


I just wanted to confirm that all platformers are clones in Super Mario Bros, all FPSes are clones of DOOM, all RTS are clones of Age of Empires, all...


Yes and all board games are a clone of chess and all ball games are a clone of football and all card games are a clone of poker.

Of course it is not, this is a typical strawman fallacy, it goes like this:
"Doom is a 3D game, therefore all other games that are 3D as well are clones of Doom."

You don't have to be a genius to see that this is obviously wrong.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Magellan » 26 Mar 2017, 20:10

Duion {l Wrote}:
FaTony {l Wrote}:
Duion {l Wrote}:I just wanted to confirm for everyone here the fact that most FOSS games are clones, nothing else.


I just wanted to confirm that all platformers are clones in Super Mario Bros, all FPSes are clones of DOOM, all RTS are clones of Age of Empires, all...


Yes and all board games are a clone of chess and all ball games are a clone of football and all card games are a clone of poker.

Of course it is not, this is a typical strawman fallacy, it goes like this:
"Doom is a 3D game, therefore all other games that are 3D as well are clones of Doom."

You don't have to be a genius to see that this is obviously wrong.


You also don't have to be a genius to see that STK, in its current state, is not a clone of Mario Kart; you just have to play it. The same holds true for many of the more mature FOSS games that may have started out as clones. A clone can grow and sometimes even surpass the game that originally inspired it. This is one of the great advantages of the open source, community-minded develpoment model that many of these FOSS clones have.

For example, I could sit down and make a clone of, say, Pong, and upload it to github licensed under the GPL or something. If I just left it at that then, Duion, your statement that it is just "a clone, and nothing more" would hold true. But if instead, I, and perhaps a group of contributors, were to work on the game for several months or years, and take it beyond the original boundaries of the game Pong and into new and original territory, then it wouldn't be *just* a clone. It would be its own seperate and unique game, despite its humble origins.

This has happened many times in the FOSS game scene. It all comes back to what has been said or implied many times here already: so what if a game is a clone? That doesn't invalidate the game or the work of its developers. Clones are fine and legitimate, provided they do not use lifted, non-free assets or something of that nature. If anything, people should be encouraged to make more clones, because you never know when one might take off and be the next big thing :)
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby charlie » 26 Mar 2017, 22:56

Duion {l Wrote}:Yes I should not have replied to personal attacks.

They are not personal attacks. We're just being realistic with you. You can't compete so don't bother.

This is your exact line of reasoning, by the way. I'm saying to you what you say to other people.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 26 Mar 2017, 23:06

I'm not debating if clones are good or bad, I just wanted to establish the fact, that most FOSS games are clones.
The debate has not even started yet, since you have still problems accepting obvious reality.

Ok, then I just go on with the argument I originally wanted to make:
So yes in theory open source allows that clones can grow and surpass the original, but in reality this does almost never happen. The tendency is even backwards.
For example there have been like maybe 10 quake3 clones over the past 15 years or so, but still none of them even surpassed the old original game. I don't want to go into detail if the original there was surpassed or not, even if I'm generous and say ok the FOSS clone of quake3 has surpassed the original one, you are still like 17 years behind in technological advancement. Even if the most unlikely case happens where by pure magic it suddenly gets updated to the latest technology, it still will not surpass the original, since the original had a 17 year head start.
So as you can see, it is extremely unlikely that any FOSS clone will ever outshine the original and I think so far it has never happened yet.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 26 Mar 2017, 23:23

charlie {l Wrote}:
Duion {l Wrote}:Yes I should not have replied to personal attacks.

They are not personal attacks. We're just being realistic with you. You can't compete so don't bother.

This is your exact line of reasoning, by the way. I'm saying to you what you say to other people.

It is a personal attack, since what I do is not subject to this debate. If I cannot compete, then this fact is still irrelevant to my arguments here.
Even if I compete, you would just move the goalposts higher, but to be honest you probably already moved them as high as you possibly could.
And even if you should be right, then your argument would apply to any other FOSS project as well and probably even more, if you would not use your double standarts all the time.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby ivanthekdefan » 26 Mar 2017, 23:27

Yes, there are, and will always be lots of game engines.
We need more libre asset development than we have now.
I usually prefer forking existing engines over making new ones. When we do make game engines, we should make it easy to use multiple programs. Doomsday and Minetest are good examples. Then we don't have to make new ones.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby charlie » 27 Mar 2017, 00:18

Duion {l Wrote}:And even if you should be right, then your argument would apply to any other FOSS project as well and probably even more, if you would not use your double standarts all the time.

S. M. H.

It is your argument, not mine. YOU are the one with the double standard. You do not apply your own ludicrous standard to your own work!

Ironically (well, you'll find it ironic, whilst really it is very consistent) I think your project is good and I admire your efforts and the standards you aspire to. Then again, I appreciate almost all efforts in the FOSS game dev community. You, it seems, only appreciate your own.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 27 Mar 2017, 01:44

No it is not my argument that you have to compete with AAA titles, my argument is, that you should have a chance at competing on anything compareable.
Such projects are building a new game engine will most likely fail and even if they do not fail, it will set you back in the timeplan for years, so either way you lose. If you now consider that if someone does not even start with a certain goal, it is most likely that this project will never lead anywhere.

My main point is that not everyone should start trying to re-invent the wheel again, since this will set you back in development so much, that it will never lead anywhere.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Magellan » 27 Mar 2017, 02:18

I think the idea that working on a custom FOSS game engine project will "set you back" in any way is dubious at best, but I'll pass that by for now.

Let me ask you this, Duion: what do you think people *should* do rather than work on their own custom engine projects? The problem you seem to be pointing out is that you believe there is an overabundance of libre game engines. How would you suggest people in the FOSS community work to solve this?

And, further, what should someone with limited experience do to help solve this problem? Assume someone wants to be a game engine developer. If they shouldn't work on their own custom engines, what should they do instead?
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby c_xong » 27 Mar 2017, 04:41

Making great games is hard. Long gone are the days where a hobbyist can make a game in his/her bedroom within a month and sell thousands of copies. Now it takes time and mastery.

Beyond the 80's, I cannot find a single example of a good game (commercial and/or critical) being made by an inexperienced "genius". Notch did lots of game jams before coming up with Minecraft. Jonathan Blow was in the industry for a decade before starting on Braid. id had more than a dozen games under their belt before making history with Doom. This is the same as in most fields of human endeavour, if you look at people like Mozart, Michael Jordan, Picasso. My favourite anecdote is Steve Vai taking his guitar to the bathroom so he can keep practicing.

So to me, it's not important what people make - whether that's engines, or prototypes, or a single large game - because until they become good, it's going to be crap and fail whatever it is1. What matters is that they keep practicing, and do it deliberately. And the way we help that is to help them maintain their passion and find effective ways to grow.

1Except if it is released as FOSS, there's always a chance someone can improve it later on. Which is why I encourage everyone to release their stuff as FOSS, no matter how good or bad it is.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 27 Mar 2017, 10:21

Of course it will set you back.
Lets assume your goal is to make a game, since a game engine is just a tool and has no purpose without using it.
So what do you need? Programming, art and other skills like promotion, management, support etc.
This gives you a minimum team size of around 5 people to do such a project. Each single task is a job that requires training, which is usually at least 3 years in the real world. If you do it all alone you have to add it together like 3*5=15 years or training to be able to start the project, then after you started you will need 1-10 years until you see significant results.
Looking at that it is obvious that this will never work out.
But lets assume the person starting such a project already finished his education and has good programming skills and will ignore all other tasks and replace them with crappy placeholders you get for free, then it will still require 1-10 years for significant results.
After that you are still not ready yet, since the original goal was to produce a game, which requires all of the above and even more. (average time of developing a game is 3.5 years)
Even developing a very primitive 2D game costs you 50 000 dollar in budget and 1 year fulltime work of one skilled developer.

By doing the maths you will see that there is no way you can make it work.

If someone wants to become a game developer he is already pretty insane, but becoming a game engine developer is even much more insane. What I would tell such a person? Don't do it. Even many experienced game developers who use an already completely finished engine will tell you that.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Akien » 27 Mar 2017, 10:45

And again you completely ignore my point (made several times) that most people develop their own games engines because they want to learn how a game engine works. They don't expect their engine to become so good that they'll make commercial games with it, and most will gladly abandon them after a while, very happy about everything that they learned by trial and error working on their engine.

And that is GOOD.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby charlie » 27 Mar 2017, 10:48

Akien {l Wrote}:And again you completely ignore my point (made several times) that most people develop their own games engines because they want to learn how a game engine works. They don't expect their engine to become so good that they'll make commercial games with it, and most will gladly abandon them after a while, very happy about everything that they learned by trial and error working on their engine.

And that is GOOD.

I was going to say the same but the argument has become circular with the loop created by Duion's complete refusal to see this and recognise others have different motivations than he does.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 27 Mar 2017, 10:56

So someone wants to create a hammer just to see how a hammer works, without much chance that he will ever actually fully create a hammer to see how the hammer works and will then throw it away without intenting to use it for anything or allow anyone else to use it for anything.

This reasoning sounds like pure insanity to me, the sane version would be:
Use an already made hammer, see instantly how it works, done. Thats how it is done.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Akien » 27 Mar 2017, 11:01

Duion {l Wrote}:This reasoning sounds like pure insanity to me, the sane version would be:
Use an already made hammer, see instantly how it works, done. Thats how it is done.

Hm. So when you drive your car that lets you know how an internal combustion engine works? Or when you light your bulb at home that tells you exactly how a combined cycle gas turbine transformed the natural gas extracted from the earth in electricity and heat, and how that electrical energy triggered the movement of electrons on copper wire to let them spin through your plug and finally heat up the coil of your light bulb?
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Magellan » 27 Mar 2017, 11:03

Duion {l Wrote}:So someone wants to create a hammer just to see how a hammer works, without much chance that he will ever actually fully create a hammer to see how the hammer works and will then throw it away without intenting to use it for anything or allow anyone else to use it for anything.

This reasoning sounds like pure insanity to me, the sane version would be:
Use an already made hammer, see instantly how it works, done. Thats how it is done.


That's kind of asinine because a hammer is a simple, single-purpose implement and a game engine is a potentially enormous computer program that could take weeks to learn and understand, even at an end-user level. Also, are we not talking about FOSS game engines? Does that not solve the probem of not "allowing anyone else to use it" by virtue of being free software?
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 27 Mar 2017, 11:54

You don't have to be able to build something from scratch to know how it works, if you want to know how it works, you simply study it and look how it works. The only reason you would have to build it, is if you want to do that as your job and even then it is not very likely you would need this skill, since on such projects each team member is working on a small field, so in a game engine team, probably nobody knows how it all works, the only need is to know how it is used.

@Magellan
That was the purpose of that simple example, to make it as obvious as possible. I could now start to argue that a hammer is not that simple and single purpose and name you dozens of different hammers with dozens of differend purposes...
And no the fact that it is free software does not help much if the product never reaches a usable state, probably not even worth to steal code from it.
A large amount of modern proprietary software is developed in an open source model now, so they get the benefits of that development model as well, while free software does not benefit the development much, it is just for idealists and for people who want to do stuff with it that proprietary license not allows and both groups are very small.

Overall the fact that all big engines are now free or even open source (but proprietary) is pretty much a death blow to everyone else and if you do not build on the FOSS engines that are still in the race you are totally lost and delusional.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby charlie » 27 Mar 2017, 13:33

Duion {l Wrote}:So someone wants to create a hammer just to see how a hammer works, without much chance that he will ever actually fully create a hammer to see how the hammer works and will then throw it away without intenting to use it for anything or allow anyone else to use it for anything.

This reasoning sounds like pure insanity to me, the sane version would be:
Use an already made hammer, see instantly how it works, done. Thats how it is done.

Did you ever play with lego as a child? Or did you just say, "Well, that's all been built before. No point building a lego house or lego car when I can buy one."

Constructing things, creating things is a cornerstone of learning and understanding.

Besides, it is a stupid analogy. Nobody really hobbies over hammers. A better analogy would be restoring or repairing a car. Why bother when you could buy a new one that's better? That shows you don't understand whatsoever what motivates people (and every single response in this thread amplifies this glaring flaw in your intelligence).
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Akien » 27 Mar 2017, 13:39

I think we're running in circles in this thread, and since it's heating up between charlie and Duion (and to some extent some others, me included), I'd propose that we simply lock this thread down. It was worth trying having a constructive discussion on this topic, but it obviously failed :)

Partly related, I've noticed lately that we all seem to get pretty quickly worked up by some members of the community having less than nuanced opinions. I'd suggest that we all try to assume positive intents from our fellow forum users, as we are all interested in the same topic: making and playing libre games. If we really feel that some opinions need to be opposed strongly, maybe it would be worth trying over PM instead of starting flamewars on the forum (and here I'm not pointing fingers at anyone - if anything, I've also participated in generating the "agressive" atmosphere that I'm describing). Of course we can still publicly disagree on some topics, but we should always try to keep such discussions fruitful and not just trying to prove the other party's wrong by using fallacious arguments.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Duion » 27 Mar 2017, 18:03

@charlie
Building a game engine is not like playing with lego, the correct analogy would be to design the toy itself. Game design then would be to design lego houses you can buy and playing the game would then be assembling the pre-designed house, with pre-made legos.
Engine development is nothing for children, not even game development is for children. There are just a handful people in the world that understand how to build game engines and those few people would probably tell you, don't do it.

Sure I cannot stop anybody from going on a suicide mission, but at least I can warn them.
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Re: Debating the need for new FOSS game engines (a Duion spe

Postby Magellan » 27 Mar 2017, 21:56

Akien {l Wrote}:Partly related, I've noticed lately that we all seem to get pretty quickly worked up by some members of the community having less than nuanced opinions. I'd suggest that we all try to assume positive intents from our fellow forum users, as we are all interested in the same topic: making and playing libre games. If we really feel that some opinions need to be opposed strongly, maybe it would be worth trying over PM instead of starting flamewars on the forum (and here I'm not pointing fingers at anyone - if anything, I've also participated in generating the "agressive" atmosphere that I'm describing). Of course we can still publicly disagree on some topics, but we should always try to keep such discussions fruitful and not just trying to prove the other party's wrong by using fallacious arguments.


I can agree with that. :) I'm pretty new to these forums, but I found this discussion to be pretty enlightening. I think that it is actually a good thing that people can have such divergent opinions, even in as niche an interest area as open source gaming. I appologize if anything I have said has come off as hostile, that was not my intention.

@Duion: In case this topic does get locked, I just wanted to mention that, while I disagree with your stance on FOSS game engines, I really admire the work you have done on Uebergame. I checked it out last night on the site you link in your signature. It looks quite promising. :)
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