READ THIS - General Project Information

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READ THIS - General Project Information

Post  Admin on Wed May 19, 2010 5:40 pm

The Echidna Project is an attempt to develop a 100% free, fully open-source MMO game, made by the community to the community. It's a small project, to which anyone can contribute without fearing to be left behind by an overwhelming amount of data and bureaucracy usually present in bigger projects.


The Golden Rule:
This project is entirely public. You have as much right over it as anyone else. So you don't need to ask to create a topic, or a poll, or to suggest something, or to work on something here. It doesn't belong to anyone. Better yet, it belongs to everybody.

Though in the forum we don't like spam or flood (unless you're in the flood-friendly subforums).


Predefinition: The Game Language
For the game to be programmed, we need to define a programming language. Some game engines have been taken into consideration, and also other variables, such as game running speed, facility to code, among others. We have decided that accessibility was the key to developing this project, so we've settled for Java.

Why? First, java run in a virtual machine, so it's possible to code a single game file that runs on any computer. Second, Java can run C and C++ code through the use of native methods, so programmers from both of the most widely used languages will be able to work on it.


Predefinition: The Game Engine
Many engines were suggested. I've tested some basic ones (such as EW4, pygame and GTGE), but I didn't like the results too much. Then, an opportunity came up for a friend and I to start working on one by ourselves, and that's what we did. (from DeviantArt)

The engine is currently being developed, there is a project in SourceForge, and we have an SVN repository for you to check out our progress on it. If you want to help, be my guest, just open the repository and start coding. You can ask questions regarding it in this forum, such as how can you help, or how to use an SVN repository.

The Sourceforge page: https://sourceforge.net/projects/shinigami/
The SVN repository address: https://shinigami.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/shinigami


Predefinition: The Gameplay
The actual idea is to run the game on a 2D grid map (similar to that used on games like Pokemon - decided here) where the character moves with arrow keys or ASDW. The combat, event-triggering and npc-chatting should happen with mouse control. The enemies might attack in danmaku patterns, which would force the player to coordinate his movements while still aiming at the enemies (decided here).


Predefinition: The Storysetting
We've come up with a bunch of these ideas. We've set for the existance of planes and time travelling, which would happen through a book system: The game has a set of special books, which are partially blank. If a character opens such book, he will be transported to the book's storysetting (it's plane and time), and will be a part of that plane's story. By completing story-related quests, the character will fill out the blank pages in the book, until the story ends. And in special occasions, he will receive another book, that will take him to another plane and time (or the same plane in another time, or the same time in another plane, etc). These planes are themed and level-graded, so that the new plane will always be related to the character's level (all decided here).

And each player has one special book with him since the beginning of the game (for some yet unexplained reason), which tells YOUR story. (decided here)

Also, each plane has a few dungeons, which are not static maps (like cities), but random map-sets which can be entered by parties or characters alone. Each character has the option of having a whole dungeon all his own, entering the dungeon with a party or entering a pre-existing dungeon if he's invited by someone who's already in there. (decided here)

You can help designing those planes in this area.


What's next?
There are many ways for you to help in the project.
  • If you can program in Java/C++, you can help to code the game Engine. Currently there are two working lines: Game Features and Graphic User-Interface. Game features is the general game engine, such as maps, tiles, life (players and mobs), portals, character attacks, among others. The G.U.I. part is recoding game screens inside the game window, such as buttons, labels, textareas. Etc. Just choose an area, see what's still to be done, and code away.

  • If you are the creative type, you can help us define how the game is gonna be. There's nothing inexorably defined yet. And in fact, most of our ideas are still just that: Ideas. The Concept Design area is all for that.

  • If you are a graphics artist, you can go to the graphic design areas and shoot out some ideas. You could draw tiles, items, scenarion, elements, character sprites, mob sprites, etc. Anything you can come up with is already very good help.

  • If you have any other kind of idea, just say it. ^^
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