Stellar: A Free/Libre/Open-Source Game Maker Replacement


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diligentcircle

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Hello again, OpenPandora community. I've been gone for quite a while now (4 months or so?), though I don't know if anyone noticed. I'm not interested in the Pandora anymore, and I'm not really all that interested in this open source community, either.

However, you might be interested in this. This is Stellar, a project to create a free/libre/open-source Game Maker replacement. That is, it makes game development faster and easier. The project was started by a guy called Emilio Coppola allegedly simply to learn Qt (which is what the Stellar GUI uses), and I jumped into it a little less than a year ago. It is now split into two parts: the GUI, known as "Stellar", and the engine, known as the "Stellar Game Engine" or "SGE". Emilio and another guy, Adman, have been mainly responsible for the GUI while I have been mainly responsible for the engine.

The Stellar Game Engine, which is what powers games written with Stellar, is a Python library (though I imagine it will usually be bundled into the games that use it). It is designed to be easy to re-implement, with the first implementation I have written using Pygame. Because of that last detail, SGE will work on the Pandora out-of-the-box, no additional software installation required.

Stellar homepage: http://stellarpygame.blogspot.com
SGE homepage: http://www.nongnu.org/stellarengine/
Stellar Git Repo: https://github.com/Coppolaemilio/Stellar
SGE Git Repo: http://savannah.nongnu.org/git/?group=stellarengine

SGE 0.3.0 Release (beta): http://download.savannah.gnu.org/releases/stellarengine/sge-0.3.0.tar.gz (Alternative link)
SGE Releases directory: http://download.savannah.gnu.org/releases/stellarengine/

Stellar itself (the GUI) does not have any releases yet. An alpha should come fairly soon. It depends on Qt4 for Python; I don't know how difficult it will be to get working on the Pandora if at all, because I never used Python Qt4 programs when I used my Pandora.

Stellar Game Engine is currently in beta. It has all the functionality it should have, and I think it's bugless. At this point, I would say it's ready to be used for developing games which don't need the GUI's room editor (such as scrolling shooters and other simple games).

Any comments are welcome. :)
 
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TrashyMG

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I noticed you were gone for what that matters..

Thanks for sharing this looks interesting, I hope someday the Pandora community may interest you again.. there has been some neat things going on as of late. 
 

diligentcircle

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I noticed you were gone for what that matters..


Thanks for sharing this looks interesting, I hope someday the Pandora community may interest you again.. there has been some neat things going on as of late. 

Yeah, I saw that. You guys have been naughty: an improved Gameboy emulator which is nonfree, and a DS emulator which is nonfree. :p Nah, my Pandora mission was clearly a failure. This community cannot be converted. Therefore, I have moved on to spread the word of the Church of Emacs elsewhere. ;)

On a more serious note, congrats on having the GL -> GL ES wrapper. I highly doubt I'll ever be interested in the Pandora again unless it becomes a proper free system, however (no wireless is an extreme Achilles's heel for a device so small, especially with no ethernet port; the most I would ever use it for is editing text when I don't have access to a better computer), and that applies to any future Pandora 2, too.
 

skeezix

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To summarize..


- i dont care about this device


- i dont care about you


- i do want to brag about something that is unusable alpha and an engine with no screenshots


- i want to judge you by a couple of closed source releases (ignoring hundreds of other updatesand releases, and a compo)


That about right?


Welcome back, but be nice :)


Oh, and try compo4all :)


Skeephone
 

diligentcircle

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To summarize..


- i dont care about this device


- i dont care about you


- i do want to brag about something that is unusable alpha and an engine with no screenshots


- i want to judge you by a couple of closed source releases (ignoring hundreds of other updatesand releases, and a compo)


That about right?
Mostly right, but a couple key points:

- On that last point, I was just poking fun. It's unethical for the developers of these programs to make them nonfree, but I judge the developers of these programs, not the users or the community, and judgment is not my end goal. My only goal is to promote freedom.

- I'm bragging about SGE, which is in perfectly usable beta, not the Stellar GUI. Like I said, I did most of the work on SGE, while Emilio and Adman have been doing most of the work on the GUI. I have no idea how good the GUI is at this time, but my impression talking to Emilio is that it's going to be a pretty good alpha release.

- I do care about the people here. Of course, you probably wouldn't like what I would suggest for everyone here: to stop using the OpenPandora, because it's not a free system.

I made this topic because I think there are people here who would appreciate Stellar and/or SGE. I know from experience that Pygame will work at a decent speed on the Pandora (at only 600 MHz; I imagine 1GHz is even better), so this could be a great thing for rapidly developing 2D games on the Pandora. The one thing missing that I can think of is finding the nubs properly, and anyone who really needs that could easily add some direct Pygame code that does that.
 
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ekianjo

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I dont' understand - no documentation ? When you go to the docs, you see only pygame... 

So, what's stellar engine then ? how does one use it ? Example code?
 

diligentcircle

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I dont' understand - no documentation ? When you go to the docs, you see only pygame... 

So, what's stellar engine then ? how does one use it ? Example code?
The Stellar website is sort of out of date. Stellar used to be built directly on top of Pygame, so that's why it directs you there.

SGE's docs are contained within the download, and in the Git repository. They are README (an introduction) and MANUAL (the SGE API reference) in the base directory, and the README found in any given SGE implementation's directory (which documents nuances of the respective implementation).

Code examples for SGE are found in the download as well, in the "examples" directory. Currently there is a Pong example and a few more basic tests.

Another thing I forgot to mention: I'm putting together a short tutorial series on how to make Pong with SGE, which serves as an introduction to SGE. I've got two videos recorded (they need to be edited) and I think there were will be about 2-3 more. The videos will be uploaded to my gobblin.se account when ready; I hope to have at least one of them edited tomorrow.
 
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sebt3

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and judgment is not my end goal. My only goal is to promote freedom.
So you want to promote freedom by removing the freedom of dev to choose their licence ?

"You are free to choose a licence as long as it's GPL" grant as much freedom as "you are free to choose your politic opinion as long as it's republican"...

Yeah right
 

Ziz

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TrashyMG

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however (no wireless is an extreme Achilles's heel for a device so small,
 


Wot?  :blink:   :rolleyes:
+1  ^_^

Didn't know that my pandora don't have wifi and bluetooth chips… I wonder how I connect it to networks then.

Must be  :ph34r:  technology  :lol:
Our wifi and bluetooth chip uses a closed source binary instead of some fully open-source method.. this raises some issues with onpon's strict open-source lifestyle choices.


Although there is a wifi dongle for the orthodox software user.. http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php/topic/12923-free-software-foundation-certified-80211-n-usb-adapter/
 
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pmprog

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My critism is that there's not even the alpha of the GUI, and considering what this project is, the GUI is a rather major aspect of usage. Your engine may be fantastic (I can't say either way - I'm not a python coder, and haven't really looked at it), but if the GUI is poor or difficult to use, it's all for nothing.

Good luck though. I'll probably give it a look when a GUI is released
 

diligentcircle

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and judgment is not my end goal. My only goal is to promote freedom.
So you want to promote freedom by removing the freedom of dev to choose their licence ?

"You are free to choose a licence as long as it's GPL" grant as much freedom as "you are free to choose your politic opinion as long as it's republican"...

Yeah right
Well, actually, yes, requiring the use of the GPL would be promoting freedom; it would encourage anyone who is convinced that Stellar is good for them to make their game which would otherwise bee nonfree into free software.

But in fact, SGE is under the GNU Lesser General Public License. You don't have to choose any particular license to use the Stellar Game Engine. This is for two reasons: one, Game Maker allows you to use any license and is a comparable piece of software, so using the GPL would not have a useful compelling force; anyone who refuses to use the GPL and wants similar functionality will just use Game Maker. Two, Emilio has different ideas than I and wants people to be able to choose whatever license they want.

The Stellar GUI is under the GNU GPL, but this doesn't matter any more than it matters if you use a text editor that is licensed under the GNU GPL. To Stellar, your game is nothing more than data; the GPL doesn't spread to it.

My critism is that there's not even the alpha of the GUI, and considering what this project is, the GUI is a rather major aspect of usage. Your engine may be fantastic (I can't say either way - I'm not a python coder, and haven't really looked at it), but if the GUI is poor or difficult to use, it's all for nothing.


Good luck though. I'll probably give it a look when a GUI is released
That's reasonable. Actually, I wouldn't recommend using SGE alone for anything more complicated than a scrolling shooter, and even that is pushing it. That's why I'm holding off on a platformer example until the GUI has an alpha release.

Now that I think of it, I should have made a topic about SGE itself in the Python/Pygame forum. I'll change the first post to focus on SGE if a mod moves this topic there.
 
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Asiyura

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however (no wireless is an extreme Achilles's heel for a device so small,
 


Wot?  :blink:   :rolleyes:
+1  ^_^

Didn't know that my pandora don't have wifi and bluetooth chips… I wonder how I connect it to networks then.

Must be  :ph34r:  technology  :lol:
Our wifi and bluetooth chip uses a closed source binary instead of some fully open-source method.. this raises some issues with onpon's strict open-source lifestyle choices.


Although there is a wifi dongle for the orthodox software user.. http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php/topic/12923-free-software-foundation-certified-80211-n-usb-adapter/
Oh, I understand now… an extremist that would not use anything related to binary blobs. That must be though, since about any device with electronic components in it have closed sources firmware  :p
 
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sebt3

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Oh, I understand now… an extremist that would not use anything related to binary blobs. That must be though, since about any device with electronic components in it have closed sources firmware  :p
Well that's less and less true. In the desktop world, you can have a machine with no binary blob what so ever (like my current one : all intell stuff and using coreboot).

But in the ARM world, indeed, there is no solution.
 

Rockthesmurf

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I would check this project out, but unfortunately I am currently using a computer, and the computer wasn't free, what is more it is using damned electricity which the electricity board insist on charging me for (and the electricity board won't even give me the source code for their accounting systems, let alone release it to me under a compatible license). I thought I'd have a cup of tea and calm down, but then I realised that the tea I was drinking isn't 'open' as they won't give me the exact recipe to make identical tea myself without their magical bags. It is like I am surrounded by a world where money exchange is the accepted way of life.

Maybe it is time we all go back to living in caves and try to build a new society where everything is free. If we do that now, maybe in some hundreds (or thousands) of years we may have got back to this point, and I'll finally be able to check out this software.

Bloody society ruining it for the children...
 

ZXDunny

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It's unethical for the developers of these programs to make them nonfree
Hang on. Why is it unethical? You do realise that ethics are very, very subjective and cannot reasonably be applied to anything outside the thoughts in your own head, don't you?

After all, the two guys who murdered a copper in the UK not long back were behaving according to sound ethical grounds - just ask them, they'll tell you.

D.
 
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