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 Post subject: Alternative boot module
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 3516
Location: London, England
The current T-Engine boot module is very set up for ToME4, including the news feed, the online profile, the boot screen, the music and of course the background animation thing. When wanting to distribute modules packaged alone in the T-Engine there is a lot of fiddling needed to get something which isn't branded ToME4 everywhere, and which doesn't contain images and sound which can ruin the atmosphere of the independent module. See what I've done for Rogue Rage here as an example of how I've customised the boot module:

http://gruesomegames.com/roguerage-failure.zip (Windows only)

Much of this was done by trial and error commenting things out in the boot module's Game.lua, and replacing artwork in the engine.

It would be very helpful if an alternative boot module was available for module releasers. Telling people to separately download the T-Engine and the then place the module folder in directory x is not a nice way to release for a start. But more importantly the feel of the game is all wrong when the first thing you see is automated ToME4 gameplay and a load of text about ToME4. The alternative module would ideally have:

- Text about the T-Engine with reference to ToME (see the text I used in Rogue Rage)
- Profile linking turned off (with comments in the code for how to enable it)
- No news update
- Fancy mouse pointer turned off
- No animated background - just a plain image
- The image should be something plain saying "T-Engine", perhaps with some blank space on it that module makers can customise into their own splashscreen image

The image is an important thing, and to really fix it the engine needs changing to have the load screen made part of the module rather than part of the engine. Currently (AFAIK) there's no way for a module to override the booby load image - one has to go into the engine files and replace it. The splashscreen is part of the boot module but the load screen is locked into the engine. Same for the "ToME4" logo that appears in the top-left (another inappropriate logo when playing a different game - a "T-Engine" logo would be far more appropriate).

There are possibly some other things that niggle people, but these are what I find to be the most in need of fixing. The T-Engine is obviously very set up around ToME4, but it would be nice to have a bit more independence when releasing an entirely separate game. And it would make sense for all module developers to have access to the same T-Engine boot screen.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
Posts: 3516
Location: London, England
Bump! I still think the default boot module is inappropriate for general T-Engine modules. Publishing games with the default is unprofessional, whilst having to muck with engine files and rewrite the boot module with every new game is a nuisance. If you want the T-Engine to be seriously used for big roguelikes then it needs to treat them right.

It would be nice if the boot module automatically detected which modules are installed, and switched to a generic T-Engine image / description / title if ToME isn't there. It would be even better if modules could specify their own image, description and music for use if it's the only module available.

Or alternatively just provide an alternative boot module bundled with the T-Engine, disabled by default, with the ToME stuff all stripped out. A bit like the example module, but an example boot instead. It's then up to the module maker to modify their own boot module.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:05 am 
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Higher

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:52 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Yeah, I stripped out all the Tome stuff on a release of Hellfire. I even went further than you, and changed the icon and filename.

You're right, it was kind of a bear to find all that stuff and change it. But wouldn't each individual module want their own loading screen and such? Couldn't people just release the t-engine packaged with the module as you and I have done? Maybe some explanation on how we edited out the T-engine stuff would be in order. We DID supply our own image, music and description, didn't we?

But I get what you're saying, it would be cool if in the mod directory it'd look for background.png and slap that up there. Isn't the music already in the mod directory? Or do you mean the music on the load screen? Isn't the description in init.lua?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:52 am 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
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Location: London, England
chezzo wrote:
Couldn't people just release the t-engine packaged with the module as you and I have done?


Yep, but it means more effort for simple games, and a hell of a lot of duplicated efforts for developers. And many regular ToME players like to just download the module files and keep them in one folder, rather than re-download all the T-Engine files for every game.

Also I'm less comfortable packaging up Mac and Linux files. And many Linux users just download the T-Engine source and compile, so they'll just have the default ToME-centric boot module.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:46 am 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10144
Location: Angolwen
Not sure how a custom boot module would help people downloading the .team anyway ;)

Still, wish granted! http://te4.org/dl/dev/boot-example.zip

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