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Why Isn't Leadwerks More Popular?


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13 minutes ago, Argent Arts said:

So far, the documentation has been sufficient. But, as a non-programmer who wants to learn, I found the basics presented in LUA Scripting to be frustrating at times. I didn't know what I was creating vs. what was an actual command in LUA because 1) we had not gotten to the LUA API Reference yet and 2) the docs simply didn't tell me (and they should have). As a result, I am still scratching my head with parts of Tables, though I probably wouldn't be if the docs were more complete (for absolute beginners in programming, like me). We ... even I am not an absolute beginner.

If you don't mind video tutorials, this entire list of videos should be a good start to getting to know all lua basics including some leadwerks specific lua scripting:

 

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11 hours ago, AggrorJorn said:

The largest change was going to Leadwerks 3. We lost several core features: the powerful and ahead of its time real time deferred renderer was not ready at the launch of Leadwerks 3. For a year or so we had to bake our lights. Terrain and vegetation were also gone. It would take several years before it would return. Especially the initial announced price (I think something around 800 dollar scared a large part of the community away). I was very skeptical but I didn't have any large project in development so I just played around with the engine.

Wow. None of that is good. But depending on when this was (what year) game engines were fairly expensive. I remember 3D GameStudio was trying to sell it's Pro version for over a thousand dollars, I think. Wasn't Unity pretty expensive, too, back in the day?

11 hours ago, AggrorJorn said:

Flowgraph: This is something I never understood. Flowgraph was there from the start of Leadwerks 3. Since then, nothing has happened to it? Why? The core mechanic is there and it works. I remember that Rick and I made 2 little scripts in the first days of its release and they were so much fun to play with. But without zooming, layering and grouping, the flowgraph is just an empty tool that is pretty much useless an actual game. For a small tutorial or demo scene, it it useful, but after that it becomes unmanageable.

That's sad, actually. The more I am learning about the Flow Graph, the sadder I get about it. The Flow Graph has a lot of potential and I love the idea of it. Fully developed, it would simplify a lot of things. It would allow for truly reusable code. 

Reading what you've said about the Flow Graph (and how it is virtually useless for for an actual game), could it be used with prefabs? In other words, could I create a door (with script) and trigger, wire them up via the Flow Graph, and then save it as a prefab? Then all I would have to do is add the prefab to my scene and have a working door, right? I mean, we can use the Flow Graph this way, can't we? 

11 hours ago, AggrorJorn said:

Steam: Moving the selling of Leadwerks to Steam was a needed step. Not everyone liked it (I personally did like it) as they wanted to have a separate installer rather requiring Steam for the editor to run.

I'm ... okay with Steam. But I would rather have something like software run without having to start up Steam, to be frank. But it's a small price to pay to use software like Leadwerks.

11 hours ago, AggrorJorn said:

Editor customisabilty: Again something personal: the biggest issue that I think causes people to go away is the editor customisability. No assigning of custom hotkeys. Not being able to add shortcuts to toolbars ("Create pivot" for instance). No multiscreen support or customizing the editor layout. No custom editor plugins or tools support. How many tools haven't I made in Unity and unreal, that extend my workflow. From simple drawing lines to see where my characters waypoints are to generating structures in the scene tree like ropes. Maybe performance may be an issue in those engines, but the workflow for creating gameplay and level design is so much faster because of it.

I find the editor to be ... adequate. However, it could definitely be improved. For example, I work on a rather large screen and I would love to undock Assets from where it is and move it somewhere else (maybe over to the left side or at the bottom) so I could have the Scene tree open virtually all of the time and still access my assets. The ortho views should have an option to sync them so when you move or zoom in one, the other two do the same so you are focused on the same space/item in all three. Changing the grid size in one ortho view should affect the other two ortho views as well (this could also be an option). The scene tree should allow for more flexibility (i.e. work more like other programs, such as Photoshop) where folders (filters, in Leadwerks) can allow you to group AND manipulate all items within, etc. I could go on, but the editor could definitely be improved to help people better create their levels.

 

11 hours ago, AggrorJorn said:

Many of the issues above are going to be solved with Turbo. Josh's blog for the last few months have been a joy to read. Josh figuring out all these insanely crazy and complex technological things is amazing. I certainly couldn't do it.

I'm actually quite excited to see what Turbo is like once it gets further along in development. ;)

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I’d like to see the map format be plain text and easier to work with honestly. That would open the doors to some external editors I think. The current editor would probably need to be more flexible in working with the map format as well. Ie be ok with added fields and not crash.

One could make an added editor that adds functionality and fields to existing entities in the map file and then have some runtime library that uses those extra fields to run the functionality. 

Thos idea requires a less rigid map file format. You’d suffer map loading times in the editor, could have a binary compile process for production maybe, but the flexibility would be worth it.

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In my case I am not an artist, I consider myself a scavenger bird, I take everything I see on the net and hopefully I have a texture, a model for my project, but this is not enough, in my current project I cannot find a free model of an explorer on Mars and this can be considered a bottleneck, in the end this varies from person to person. But in my case I can only make very simple models, a box, etc.


Now, I wish I had the talent to create this:

191577d1395851152-los-ultimos-dias-en-ma

 

 

But I don't have that talent, and I don't have the money to buy that talent from someone else.  Then I realize that my main focus is learning to script. 
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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6 hours ago, Yue said:

 

In my case I am not an artist, I consider myself a scavenger bird, I take everything I see on the net and hopefully I have a texture, a model for my project, but this is not enough, in my current project I cannot find a free model of an explorer on Mars and this can be considered a bottleneck, in the end this varies from person to person. But in my case I can only make very simple models, a box, etc.


Now, I wish I had the talent to create this:

191577d1395851152-los-ultimos-dias-en-ma

 

 

But I don't have that talent, and I don't have the money to buy that talent from someone else.  Then I realize that my main focus is learning to script. 
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

NASA has a some 3D space vehicles for free.

Check there terms before using in a commercial game thou.

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  • 3 months later...

It's not more popular because people are sheep.  They flock to "industry standards" whether those are even worthy of being standards or not.  I used to work in middle ware and most people won't or can't make use of most features software packages are capable of putting out.  They need waaaay less than what they chain themselves to.  All the bells and whistles are just to get more people to use it, broader audience.  Unity and UE4 are a terrible option for a majority of people who struggle to use them.

Anyway, I don't like game makers.  I'm not a child.  I also hate bloat and feature creep.

I jumped on the LE bandwagon because it gave me exactly what I wanted: a short cut.  I mean I've written my own engines, I cut my teeth on that ****.  The thing is, I'd rather write a character controller than a model loader, or a combat system and not a map editor.  I don't want to care about driver and API compliance, hardware compatibility, so on and so forth.  Booooring stuff.  I do that kind of stuff at work all day ?  I just wanna write games when I get home, which means game system stuff.  That's enough work on its own to have to worry about all the building blocks that go into making even that possible.

Josh is willing to do all that, so I'll let him do the boring stuff :)  I'm kind of an 'against the grain' personality, I like finding neat stuff that is not well known or super popular; the little guy, you might say.  I looked at LE briefly before picking it up.  Once I saw the API I was just sold.

The fact I can write C++ with a really trim engine that doesn't have a stupid complex API for no reason other than.... just because... is why I got LE.  It's like a kit car.  You get the building blocks you need to make something fast AF, but it's on you to make it your own.  It's like a ticket to just start making games rather than writing the bare bone details that kills projects and startups.

Yeah there's a lot of nice free engines, but they don't have the same support and improvement pathways as something you pay for.  This is actually a strength of LE.  No one is a customer on an open source project, for example.  If something doesn't work, get to fixing it yourself.  I've devoted weeks and months to learning packages only to find a feature I needed is broken or NYI or incomplete or.... Well, that cuts into stuff I want to do.

 

The community is kind of dead, yeah. This is how indie and sideshow game development goes though.  Bursts of activity and then people drop off when life demands their focus.  Heck I was gone for like a year and just came back recently!

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  • 1 year later...
On 8/24/2018 at 5:01 AM, Monkey Frog Studio said:

Recently, an engine called CopperCube released v6 and made their base engine/editor free. It boasts ease of use, specifically aimed at non-programmers. The engine itself is incredibly dated. However, I have to say that the creator of CopperCube has an interesting approach to allowing non-programmers to do quite a lot. Without programming, I was able to create doors, for example, that opened on proximity, opened via a pressure plate, opened with a switch/button, could be manually opened/closed, and a lot more. It was fun sort of stringing things together via it's logic system. It could be a bit frustrating, too. But I saw that I could create a decent game without a single line of code.

Now, while I do want to learn to code in LUA so I can develop in Leadwerks, I do like the idea presented in CopperCube. My "dream" would be for something like what CopperCube has, but integrated into Leadwerks. However, instead of doing things the CopperCube way (check it out to see what I am talking about, if you are interested), which can be visually difficult at times, I would love it if Leadwerks' Flow Graph was more developed so that it could become more of a non-programmer's paradise, so to speak.

I'm from the CopperCube6 community and currently making a game in it. I can say that to make something decent you really better off using code (javascript in this case) than no coding menu items. The menu item order cant be edited  once created nor delete or add new things in between menu selections so very, very limited in making changes along the way - you have to re-enter them all each time if you want to make changes which is crazy.

Also using code can allow you to do a tonne more things never imagined in only using drop down menus only. 

In summary, no coding in CopperCube6 can be used but is really only suited to basic games and demos - nothing really serious, I know as I started off thinking the no coding way and found it impracticable and now code almost everything in javascript only.

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