New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 06 Apr 2015, 23:10

I've recently picked up maintaining the classic game, Project: Starfighter. My goal is, basically, to make the game better, to clean up the code, and eventually to replace the hand-written makefile with Autoconf stuff. Web page here:

http://starfighter.nongnu.org

And just yesterday, I released a new version, 1.3. Release announcement here:

https://savannah.nongnu.org/forum/forum ... um_id=8249

Please give this new version of Starfighter a try, and let me know what you think. :)
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby c_xong » 07 Apr 2015, 00:00

Please consider using a newer build system like CMake rather than autoconf; I know it's GNU but CMake has many advantages over it, see: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4071 ... e-vs-scons
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 07 Apr 2015, 01:52

I've actually already basically done the autoconf stuff; I just don't have it working yet. But anyway, I've put that on hold until after I get rid of a practice in Starfighter where all of the stuff is crammed into one main header file that all cpp files include (or rather, the various header files are included in the main header, which is included by everything else), because I think it might be causing transparent problems with Autoconf, and if it doesn't, it might cause transparent problems in the future, anyway. And before I do that, I'm reorganizing everything so that it makes more sense, and so you can tell just by looking at the name of a function where it comes from.

I might take a look at cmake, but honestly, as a user trying to compile programs, I haven't found cmake to be any more convenient than Autoconf's configure script. And while Autoconf's development isn't as active as it used to be, it does still have recent commits in the Git repo, so I don't see a particular reason to jump ship.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby Sauer2 » 07 Apr 2015, 02:39

onpon4 {l Wrote}:I might take a look at cmake, but honestly, as a user trying to compile programs, I haven't found cmake to be any more convenient than Autoconf's configure script.


* autoconf is sloooow, among other reasons because it was created with assumptions like that you could cover all systems available for checking things
* make is slow, with cmake you can target ninja and other build systems instead
* even better, use a programming language library DSL based build system or something that was created by people who actually deploy large codebases compared to some unix reinventors (I'm speaking of QBS of course)
* autotools is just some crippled kind of cross-platform, same fact with gnu gettext, btw.
* all the other, saner options are easier to debug and customize, which is better for the optimal user, called distribution maintainers or volunteering packagers

edit: Well, as c_xong wrote: It's nice to see someone getting maintenance done. I didn't mean to intrude.
Last edited by Sauer2 on 07 Apr 2015, 09:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby c_xong » 07 Apr 2015, 04:27

Don't mean to hijack the thread about build systems; it's great that you're reviving a classic game, could you please provide a gameplay video?
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby Akien » 07 Apr 2015, 08:53

Congrats on the new release! It's great to see Project: Starfighter actively developed again, I'll be sure to package the new release for my distro.

As a GNU/Linux distro packager, I can say that I very much prefer CMake to autotools. At least the build scripts are way easier to read and to write (and therefore to patch for distro packagers who always want to try to unbundle some lib or change installation paths ;-)).
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby riksweeney » 07 Apr 2015, 11:25

Perhaps you should request to be a maintainer of the SourceForge project?

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pr-starfighter/

There's been no updates for almost 2 years.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 07 Apr 2015, 13:16

I deliberately chose not to do that. SourceForge is terrible. Lots of unnecessary proprietary JavaScript requirements, in particular (I even had to run it to get a link to the Git repository; that's ridiculous), but also a problem with logging in. Savannah is much better.

Even if I did want to, I don't know if Guus would give me control over it. Some of the changes I made to my version here, I proposed back in 2012 on the Sourceforge project, and Guus rejected them. He also wanted to replace every sound effect and music with some kind of MIDI-based thing, and I chose not to keep that.

In any case, I did send Guus an email a few weeks ago pointing to the new Savannah project, mostly so he can pull my changes if he wants to continue maintaining the SourceForge project.

could you please provide a gameplay video?

Alright, I've recorded one, will edit it and upload it to my Goblin Refuge account sometime later today.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby charlie » 07 Apr 2015, 22:50

Cool 8) great to see this classic FOSS game given a boost!
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 08 Apr 2015, 00:47

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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby Bertram » 13 Apr 2015, 13:45

It's cool to see this project taken up for a refresh. It was one of my favourite at the time. :D

Please keep me updated.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby c_xong » 14 Apr 2015, 00:52

Thanks for the video; I'm interested in hearing what you mean by "to make the game better"; do you mean gameplay changes? If so, what did you have in mind?
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 14 Apr 2015, 04:18

c_xong {l Wrote}:Thanks for the video; I'm interested in hearing what you mean by "to make the game better"; do you mean gameplay changes? If so, what did you have in mind?

Far from changes I have in mind, they're changes I've already done. :) Mainly balance changes; the original had a weird reverse difficulty curve where Spirit was easily the hardest part of the game. Also some weapon balance changes.

One particular change I'd actually like to get feedback on based on playing through Starfighter 1.3 is a measure to make grinding absolutely impossible at interceptions. One particular part of this is ammo is never dropped by enemies; you have to buy it. I don't personally find this to be a problem, but I wonder if anyone else does.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 16 Apr 2015, 18:06

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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 21 May 2015, 16:13

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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby charlie » 21 May 2015, 22:17

Nice work!
The game no longer automatically pauses when it loses keyboard focus.

Not trying to make more work for you, but usually this is good as a preference. Some people like to alt-tab out to a full screen window and probably want the game paused whilst this is happening. Not that I'd ever know that from procrastinating... ever... um... squirrel!
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 21 May 2015, 23:50

Alright. It's now an option in the latest Git revision, and it'll be in version 1.3.4. :)
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 18 Jun 2015, 13:10

Version 1.4 released:

https://savannah.nongnu.org/forum/forum ... um_id=8295

This release features updated character portraits, and the aforementioned re-addition of auto-pausing as an option.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 12 Jan 2016, 16:27

I have another update of Project: Starfighter available:

https://savannah.nongnu.org/forum/forum ... um_id=8440

At first it was going to be a small bugfix release, but I ended up making a huge amount of improvements. I'll be recording a new gameplay video soon.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby charlie » 12 Jan 2016, 16:45

Wow, nice work. I'll have to give it a go again soon. I have a soft spot for Project: Starfighter, and am happy to see you revive it.
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby StephenJSweeney » 26 Jan 2016, 12:49

Have you read the novel at all, Charlie? :)

http://www.stephenjsweeney.com/books/ps/
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby onpon4 » 23 Mar 2017, 15:30

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted here.

Anyway, Project: Starfighter 1.7 was recently released:

https://savannah.nongnu.org/forum/forum ... um_id=8808

Then I decided to make a trailer, and then I decided to post a Steam Greenlight submission:

https://savannah.nongnu.org/forum/forum ... um_id=8823
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Re: New maintenance of Project: Starfighter

Postby Akien » 23 Mar 2017, 15:43

Awesome news! I'll have a look at updating my Mageia package, and will definitely vote on the Greenlight page :)
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