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Demo game
Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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This was discussed a bit a while ago, but this seems like an opportune time to bring the subject up again.

Now that Allegro 4.2 is nearing completion (although no release date has been set yet and there'll be several release candidates out before that time), it's time to start thinking about the demo game. As we all know, Allegro's current demo isn't really a good example of proper coding style, and it's fairly old. So it might be time to replace it.

Therefor, I would like to organise an Allegro Demo Game Competition. I realize that there's allready other competitions going on, but what's one more, right? ;)

To qualify for a good demo game, it should fulfill some requirements:

  • The code should be readable and well documented with comments.

  • The code should use Allegro and only Allegro. No addons.

  • Use the Allegro logo on the opening screen. Optionally feature either of Allegro's mascots, Al or Alex. The latter if Johan Peitz agrees that it's ok to use his character for this.

  • The code should compile cleanly without warnings on Allegro 4.2, on all platforms. That means no deprecated functions can be used, so that means it won't compile on 4.0.

  • The game should feature the list of AUTHORS and their contributions in some way or other, similar to what the current demo game does.

  • The game should showcase a lot of Allegro's capabilities in some way. Think rotating sprites, multiple update methods, separated logic and drawing code, having the game run at the same speed on all computers, things like that.

  • The code should be in C, although I wouldn't be too strongly opposed to having a second demo game (or the same game) written in C++, but we don't want to bloat the default download with a lot of demo games.

  • Original content for the media is a big plus. At the very least sprites, samples and music should be from the public domain. If you don't make your media yourself, make sure that you know where it comes from and has a license that is compatible with Allegro (meaning SpriteLib is out). If possible, ask permission from the author of the media to use it.

  • Size restriction on the media: I know you'll hate this, but the demo game media should not dominate the Allegro package download. The current demo.dat is 383KB. I think we can go a bit above that, but do try to keep it down.

I think that covers most of it. I'll add things to the list if I think of more of them.

So, what's to win? Obviously, the grand prize would be to have your game shipped with Allegro. If there are several entries that qualify (and I hope there will be!) I'm in favour of making a separate `demo game' package linked from Allegro's homepage with a description and small screenshot of each game.

For game ideas, think simple games. Remakes of old games everyone knows and loves should be fine. Feel free to recycle old projects and work in teams.

Again, no release date has been fixed for Allegro 4.2, although it should be sometime in the next few months. If you want to try to make a demo, do say so and I'll try to keep everyone up to date on the release schedule. Compared to the rigorous 72 hours of SpeedHack or TINS, this should allow you ample time to finish the project anyway as you'll have at least that much time. ;)

If someone feels like helping me set up a webpage for this event similar to the website for SpeedHack or TINS, let me know.

So go thee forth and make some demo games!

gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
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separate >:(

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Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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Very good. Now go post something useful. :P

razor
Member #2,256
April 2002
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Wouldn't be better to make a community game?

Whoooo Oregon State University

HoHo
Member #4,534
April 2004
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Quote:

Wouldn't be better to make a community game?

It would be great if anything gets done

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Rick
Member #3,572
June 2003
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Someone would have to take lead.

I personally think a short and simple tetris clone would be a good example. Not to hard so it will get done in time.

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Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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As I said, feel free to make it a team effort.
Considering how well Allegro.cc's last team project fared, I wouldn't recommend trying to get a significant portion of the community to work on a single game for this. It's probably also overkill for a project of this magnitude. I think one person for coding, one for graphics and one for music should be about the maximum that is realistically feasable.

Anyway, feel free to do this any way you see fit!

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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I smell a really good compo!
Uncertain deadline... I wonder if that motivates or not...

One thing I'm wondering. Should the code be in one single sourcefile like the current demo?

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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I'll write one, but it'll be in C++, and most certainly use blending of some sort. ;D But 4.2 isn't out yet, so how can I use 4.2 "features"?

Though, to add to that, should the demo require decent specs, or almost none at all (like the previous)? If you go too high, people can't run it (and Allegro will seem slow). But if you go too low, Allegro won't look very pretty.

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Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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Quote:

Uncertain deadline... I wonder if that motivates or not...

I think it might put people off... count on having at least a month, perhaps more to polish things. Of course, entries need to be tested for suitability and maybe modified somewhat too.

Quote:

One thing I'm wondering. Should the code be in one single sourcefile like the current demo?

Well, it's usually good coding style not to do that - amd we want to showcase good coding style. That said, it can be a little easier to learn from if all the code is in one source module.
I think readable and well documented should be the criterion. The way I would interpret this is to say that single source file should be the starting point, but that seperating clearly independent modules could make sense. Of course, having a lot of sourcefiles floating around make it too hard for newbies to look at the code. Five or so would be about the maximum, I suppose.

EDIT:

Quote:

I'll write one, but it'll be in C++, and most certainly use blending of some sort. ;D

That's fine. As I said, even if it wouldn't qualify as an extra demo, it would qualify as a download from Allegro's homepage.

Quote:

But 4.2 isn't out yet, so how can I use 4.2 "features"?

The CVS tree is in feature-freeze. There will only be minor additions between 4.1.18 and 4.2.0, feature-wise.

Quote:

Though, to add to that, should the demo require decent specs, or almost none at all (like the previous)? If you go too high, people can't run it (and Allegro will seem slow). But if you go too low, Allegro won't look very pretty.

I think the aim should be for it to run decently on the average PC, although I suppose it could go higher if that is documented or, better yet, configurable by picking a lower resolution or using less visual effects.

Krzysztof Kluczek
Member #4,191
January 2004
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Should it be 2D or can we make use of Allegro 3D functions and make something fully 3D? :)

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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I don't think using 3d only is good, 3d really isn't very allegro...

But using it for some effect, maybe displaying the authors, could be good.

David Grace
Member #42
April 2000
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Hmm, good incentive for me to clean up G-Fighter's source and slap some better graphics on it. :) It's been on my to-do list for ages...

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Hm, what happened to Spellcaster? I thought he was working on a new demo game, at least he volunteered in that last thread about it :)

About multiple files - I think it shouldn't be a huge single file like the current demo. Hm, and I think it doesn't hurt at all that there's already TINS - after all who wants can make an entry for TINS, and then polish up the code to be used as a demo game :)

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Eradicor
Member #2,992
December 2002
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Why on earth is this topic yellow.. hurts my eyes.

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Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Evert said:

Very good. Now go post something useful. :P

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Krzysztof Kluczek
Member #4,191
January 2004
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Quote:

I don't think using 3d only is good, 3d really isn't very allegro...

The fact that almost nobody uses certain Allegro function doesn't make it non-Allegro. ;) In fact, Allegro has cool 3D functions and I think somebody should finally start using them. Of course it can't be compared to hardware accelerated drawing, but it's probably best thing you can get without it. :)

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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Well, ofcourse it's still something worth showing. But the game itself should be 2d since that's where Allegro has most gfx weight.

HoHo
Member #4,534
April 2004
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3d can be used to create some bitmaps runtime: render stuff to bitmaps and use as usually. Only problem is that I couldn't find a way doing ortho projection with allegro.

I once converted some nehe's model loading tutorials to allegro3d but unfortunately thse got lost while installing new OS.

__________
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is - Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut
MMORPG's...Many Men Online Role Playing Girls - Radagar
"Is Java REALLY slower? Does STL really bloat your exes? Find out with your friendly host, HoHo, and his benchmarking machine!" - Jakub Wasilewski

Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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I don't think there needs to be any limitaion on requiring the game to be either 2D or 3D.
I don't know if showcasing Allegro's 3D functionality is that useful, but it's there and could be used.

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

About 3D, a separate demo for Allegro GL wouldn't be bad maybe. It could show how to combine OpenGL with Allegro's font and bitmap routines and so on.

Oh, and speaking of OpenGL reminds me - we should probably synchronize the 4.2.0 release of Allegro with the 0.3.0 release (or whatever version number) of AllegroGL. So at the release day, someone should be able to get both and convert over old projects..

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gillius
Member #119
April 2000

The demo game isn't all that bad, the game is a decent game and it is simple enough to be understood. Perhaps a better idea is to try to update the code and whatnot and just simply spiff-up the old demo?

Gillius
Gillius's Programming -- http://gillius.org/

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Quote:

The demo game isn't all that bad, the game is a decent game and it is simple enough to be understood. Perhaps a better idea is to try to update the code and whatnot and just simply spiff-up the old demo?

Yes, if someone would just remake the current demo, but with readable code (i.e. code where you could say "that's how you should do it" to new users, and which could be used as base for other projects), that would be perfect.

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"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

james_lohr
Member #1,947
February 2002

Nah, I think I fresh Demo would be a lot better.

Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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Well, if you want to submit a cleaned up version of the current demo, that would qualify... at the very least, the current demo would have to be made available as a seperate download.
But I think a newer demo game would be nice to have :)



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