source ode for alpha?

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source ode for alpha?

Postby 111none » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Just thinking,do we get the source code as an alpha customer?
If we dont, can we have a tier for the source code?
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Postby BL4DE » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:30 am

You want the source code of a game actively in development and kinda heavily promoted?
To do what exactly? To alter the game your way and publish it yourself? To get a look at what chris actually made what YOU think is a mistake? (This is Alpha. Alpha is for new features, Beta is for fixing bugs)
Oh when they actually make a new tier for that fine. I mean why not. If someone wants to pay like 10.000$ for the alpha code IV would surely be not uninterested.

We are testing the game. The actual source code is NOT needed for testing. So we most likely will NOT see the source code by other means than to apply at IV as a new programmer/designer and get shoved into the PA development.
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Postby Causeless » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:02 am

BL4DE wrote:You want the source code of a game actively in development and kinda heavily promoted?
To do what exactly? To alter the game your way and publish it yourself? To get a look at what chris actually made what YOU think is a mistake? (This is Alpha. Alpha is for new features, Beta is for fixing bugs)
Oh when they actually make a new tier for that fine. I mean why not. If someone wants to pay like 10.000$ for the alpha code IV would surely be not uninterested.

We are testing the game. The actual source code is NOT needed for testing. So we most likely will NOT see the source code by other means than to apply at IV as a new programmer/designer and get shoved into the PA development.


No, people want the source code:

1. To learn from. Programmers new to game design can learn a lot from source code.

2. To mod the game. Infinite modding, adding any feature you please!

I mean, it's not exactly shocking. I mean, Lugaru are "open" source, Reciever, Aquaria, Gish, Penumbra... And they all cost money too.

And Introversion aren't exactly strangers to releasing the source of their software! All of their previous game's source can be accessed for $45 each: http://www.introversion.co.uk/store/
Scroll down to the "Source Code" section.

I'm not against paying extra for it, though.
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Postby christopher1006 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:09 am

We'll probably see the source code a ways after retail so that it's pretty stable by itself. I'm going to try and get computer science classes next year and I'd be interested in having the source code for PA to see how what I'm learning can apply to something like a game and it would be a place to start when learning how to mod.
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Postby BL4DE » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:31 am

Causeless wrote:1. To learn from. Programmers new to game design can learn a lot from source code.

The only thing that could be learned from an alpha source code is how outrigth stupid the programmer sometimes behaves and how 'spagethi' the code itself is right now.

Causeless wrote:2. To mod the game. Infinite modding, adding any feature you please!

'Alpha' is a state a game is in, 'Beta' is another.
'Alpha' is for adding features and fixing bugs that prevent other features from running at all.
'Beta' is for finding and ironing out the actual bugs.
Doing this the other way round will extend the development process by years. Simple logic: you cannot fix something that is not even there and thus does not cause any problems.
Since the game is Alpha right now and thus new features appear constantly, I don't see the point in modding. Most of the mods currently out there a)will be added to the game itself sooner or later or b) stop working after the game hits Beta.

Causeless wrote:I mean, it's not exactly shocking. I mean, Lugaru are "open" source, Reciever, Aquaria, Gish, Penumbra... And they all cost money too.

All the games you mentioned are done. Either released or at the end of Beta. PA will not be for a looooooong time.
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Postby 111none » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:30 pm

i meant as adding a tier for the source code, maybe a physical copy
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Postby christopher1006 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:10 pm

111none wrote:i meant as adding a tier for the source code, maybe a physical copy

It'd be a good one for something between face in game and the physical copies.
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Postby 111none » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:37 am

Add pressure
Pressure if you want this.
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Postby Causeless » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:06 am

BL4DE wrote:
Causeless wrote:1. To learn from. Programmers new to game design can learn a lot from source code.

The only thing that could be learned from an alpha source code is how outrigth stupid the programmer sometimes behaves and how 'spagethi' the code itself is right now.


Alpha code isn't the same as "spaghetti" or "stupid" code. If all the code you write in an alpha game is so bad, then you've done something wrong.

BL4DE wrote:
Causeless wrote:2. To mod the game. Infinite modding, adding any feature you please!

'Alpha' is a state a game is in, 'Beta' is another.
'Alpha' is for adding features and fixing bugs that prevent other features from running at all.
'Beta' is for finding and ironing out the actual bugs.
Doing this the other way round will extend the development process by years. Simple logic: you cannot fix something that is not even there and thus does not cause any problems.
Since the game is Alpha right now and thus new features appear constantly, I don't see the point in modding. Most of the mods currently out there a)will be added to the game itself sooner or later or b) stop working after the game hits Beta.


So? The developers aren't the ones making the mods, the modders are. The developers can continue making the game they wanted, and in the correct alpha/beta order, without issues!

BL4DE wrote:
Causeless wrote:I mean, it's not exactly shocking. I mean, Lugaru are "open" source, Reciever, Aquaria, Gish, Penumbra... And they all cost money too.

All the games you mentioned are done. Either released or at the end of Beta. PA will not be for a looooooong time.


Reciever is pretty early on. It's not really even near finished, it was made in 9 days as part of a challenge and is still undergoing development. And, again, the cycle of alpha/beta is irrelevant here. The developers just need to release their source code, and ignore it mostly from there on, and the modders get free reign with it. THey can learn how the game's internals work, to make future modding easier, if they later on decide to wait until the game is in a more stable, less-changing state.

Hell, it could even help the developers! Modders could look for things like memory leak bugs to be fixed, or others such as the sprite sheet wrapping ones, and the developers wouldn't need to worry about them any more.
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Postby BL4DE » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:26 am

Causeless wrote:Alpha code isn't the same as "spaghetti" or "stupid" code. If all the code you write in an alpha game is so bad, then you've done something wrong.

When you write a programm and are under pressure, are adding new lines of code here and there, the code inevitably turns to spaghetti.
After all major features are in the programm, you start bughunting. Thereby sweeping now unneeded/unwanted/nonfunctional code.

But before Beta, the code inevitably looks unclean and 'spaghetti'.

Causeless wrote:
So? The developers aren't the ones making the mods, the modders are. The developers can continue making the game they wanted, and in the correct alpha/beta order, without issues!

To mod an unfinished game is ... stupid.
The mod helps for now but you never now if the idea the mod issued was not written on a whiteboard in development month ago and is implemented in the next version.

Causeless wrote:The developers just need to release their source code, and ignore it mostly from there on, and the modders get free reign with it. THey can learn how the game's internals work, to make future modding easier, if they later on decide to wait until the game is in a more stable, less-changing state.


So you're saying the developers should publish their code to get the modders to work?
The only mods that are speeded up by having the source code are the mods that change the game itself like a total conversion. And these can mostly be considered a fully new game based on the graphics engine of the original game.


Causeless wrote:Hell, it could even help the developers! Modders could look for things like memory leak bugs to be fixed, or others such as the sprite sheet wrapping ones, and the developers wouldn't need to worry about them any more.


You would give the responsabilty to solve bugs completely to the modders?
That ain't happening. At least it isn't happening to games whose developers are still present.
It is happening to games like 'Vampire the Masquerade' and 'Gothic 3' which are abandoned or the developer simply does not exist any more. And btw. these games where released. We are still talking about a game at the beginning of it's lifecycle.

If a bug exists, the customers tell the developer where and what it is. And they don't do this to be told "Try the Mod XYZ. They try to fix this. Now get away!". They do this because they expect the developer to clean their own game and fix the bug without further actions needed from the customer.

You have veeeeeery much confidence in people you don't know.
You automatically assume everyone with access to the alpha code is purely and only up to help the developers.

In case you didn't notice before the outside world is not made of chocolate and cake.
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Postby paktsardines » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:20 pm

But before Beta, the code inevitably looks unclean and 'spaghetti'.

While that's often the case with poorly designed software, real world software development requires polished, tested code at every step.

To mod an unfinished game is ... stupid.

I disagree utterly. The GFC mod was written entirely expecting to be obsoleted by the finished game. In the interim I find it adds considerably to the gameplay.


You would give the responsabilty to solve bugs completely to the modders?

That's not at all what was said. He said '..even help the developers', not replace them entirely! He is correct too, I've found numerous bugs through modding that I haven't experience through playing the game.

Now I'm off to eat my chocolate and cake.
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Postby BL4DE » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:03 pm

Causeless wrote:...
The developers just need to release their source code, and ignore it mostly from there on, and the modders get free reign with it.
...

It is what was said.
And by the way, try to quote the whole sentence.
I even marked the words that turn the meaning to a pretty naive guess. That's the cause for my last sentence ...
Causeless wrote:Hell, it could even help the developers!


And by the way, we still are talking about alpha code.
When a programmer is forced to make the code look absolutely clean and clear all the time that lengthens the time of development drastically. The code has to look clean in the end, that's right. But right now is not the end of alpha.

Writing mods to an unfinished game is stupid. And in my eyes ever will be.
Why exactly develop mods for an unfinished game when the features of the mod will be in the full game after all? To have the features in the game like 2 month earlier and then the mod gets abandoned? To get experience for modding?


And just out of curiosity. What bugs did you find while modding?
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Postby 111none » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:22 pm

My point is a tier for the source code. The finished one, and put it between name in game and physical pleasures,so we can also get a physical copy
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Postby paktsardines » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:26 pm

And by the way, try to quote the whole sentence.

Well, you're arguing your interpretation on what he said and I'm arguing mine. Why don't we wait for clarification from the source?

The code has to look clean in the end, that's right. But right now is not the end of alpha.

No amount of tidy indenting or 'neatening' will fix or hide badly designed code.

When a programmer is forced to make the code look absolutely clean and clear all the time that lengthens the time of development drastically

Absolute rubbish. Writing good code does not take any longer than writing bad code. In fact, it is almost always faster and cheaper to rewrite badly written code than to continue to use it. Not writing good code from the outset is a waste of time and money.

That's not to say the design has to be entirely scoped and followed from the outset, particularly for something that obviously needs an agile approach, such as Prison Architect. But I can assure you the core Prison Architect framework was designed thoroughly from the outset. It simply wouldn't be possible to add all these extra 'features' unless the core was well designed, well written and well tested from day one - even when just a glint in Chris's eye.

My point is that the alpha is neither badly designed nor spaghetti code. Spaghetti code is never inevitable, even with an alpha.

Why exactly develop mods for an unfinished game when the features of the mod will be in the full game after all?

By your reasoning, why write any software ever? Eventually all software becomes obsolete. Why get out of bed tomorrow when you'll only have to do it again the day after?

And just out of curiosity. What bugs did you find while modding?

Well, this one for starters: http://bugs.introversion.co.uk/view.php?id=453
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Postby Causeless » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:45 pm

Of course I meant that they would HELP the developers. Having modders take over completely is just retarded. And, arguing about the specifics of what I said makes no sense, considering that's more attacking me than my argument.

Any alpha code isn't automatically spaghetti. in fact, spaghetti coding is more of a style of code, created by bad practises such as using goto instead of loops, having messy recursion through many functions, and other such things, but any experienced programmer will avoid these, alpha or not.

EDIT: In fact, code often is messier during the end of development of a lot of software, not at the start. At the start, the code needs to be expandable and adaptable to any future features, whereas near the end the progress tends to be more rushed and because most features are already implemented then not as much worry needs to go into understandable or expandable code, instead leading way for optimizations and the such.

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