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Thread: ZC Development Proposal

  1. #11
    Administrator DarkDragon's Avatar
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    Here is a great example about why I have such a bee in my bonnet about maintaining quest compatibility: http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.p...5#entry1012120

  2. #12
    ZC Ambassador Tamamo's Avatar
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    @DarkDragon
    That's why i've motioned several times to completely and officially separate ZC into two different versions.
    A legacy branch for 2.5.x backwards compatibility which we simply keep up to par with the modern day OS, and a rewrite version
    I forgot what the internal devs said though.

  3. #13
    Administrator DarkDragon's Avatar
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    It's been discussed a lot.

    Reasons for a complete rewrite:
    - current codebase crufty and difficult to work with
    - opportunity to "wipe the slate clean" of poorly-thought-out features that continue to shackle us

    Reasons against a complete rewrite:
    - nobody can agree on what features it should support
    - will take a long time to finish; doesn't benefit quest authors in the meantime
    - inertia / quest authors don't want to learn a completely different set of tools


    My own opinion has switched back and forth a few times on whether a rewrite is a good idea. My current thoughts are quite strongly against the idea, mostly because if you want a Zelda-like game engine rewritten from the ground up, you can find many projects being developed that are doing that already. The comparative advantage of ZC is its huge database of existing quests, and the pool of users with the knowledge of how to effectively use the existing tools.

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    Username Kaiser SUCCESSOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkDragon View Post
    It's been discussed a lot.

    Reasons for a complete rewrite:
    - current codebase crufty and difficult to work with
    - opportunity to "wipe the slate clean" of poorly-thought-out features that continue to shackle us

    Reasons against a complete rewrite:
    - nobody can agree on what features it should support
    - will take a long time to finish; doesn't benefit quest authors in the meantime
    - inertia / quest authors don't want to learn a completely different set of tools


    My own opinion has switched back and forth a few times on whether a rewrite is a good idea. My current thoughts are quite strongly against the idea, mostly because if you want a Zelda-like game engine rewritten from the ground up, you can find many projects being developed that are doing that already. The comparative advantage of ZC is its huge database of existing quests, and the pool of users with the knowledge of how to effectively use the existing tools.
    While I was in support of the rewrite, though it was with faint hope, I don't think this idea is black and white, or: rewrite or not rewrite. ZC needs refactoring. Every discussion on ZC Dev points to this. I can hardly look at the code and not want to kill myself. It's one of the biggest issues that have kept me from really digging in and learning how to contribute. If it took Zoria a year and a half to get a handle on the code, how do we ever expect to attract a decent amount of contributors?

    My idea:
    Part 1:
    * Maintain ZC 2.5x as bug fix only version that handles quests from all supported versions of ZC from 2.5 and back.
    * Allegro 4.4 and any other library updates that are needed and feasible without too much fuss are done for the sake of bug fixes, fullscreen bug, midi bug, etc... that have been long standing issues. Or future OS issues, say Windows 15 Negans ZC like *SPOILER*.
    * That's it. No new features. Ever.

    Part 2:
    * ZC version jumps to 3.0.
    * Legacy support is dropped. ZC 3.0 supports only 3.0+ quests.
    * Code can be refactored without worry of breaking a back log of quest features\quirks. With an eye on moving away from Allegro.
    * Strict faithfulness to NES is dropped. 99% of people don't care if that is how it was on NES. ZC has evolved beyond a Zelda 1 clone. NES faithful quests can be made with 2.5x versions.
    * latest ZC 2.5x player is bundled with 3.0 and launched when a pre 3.0 quest is opened.
    * development focuses first on improving existing code and adding features that improve the tools/experience ZQ users are accustom to. No crazy, "we need z3 scrolling NAO!" features.

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    Administrator DarkDragon's Avatar
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    The thing is I'm not convinced people actually want to learn to use a completely new quest authoring system with no support for their old quests and assets. I mean, if people want this, wouldn't they just switch to other engines like Solarus?

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    Username Kaiser SUCCESSOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkDragon View Post
    The thing is I'm not convinced people actually want to learn to use a completely new quest authoring system with no support for their old quests and assets. I mean, if people want this, wouldn't they just switch to other engines like Solarus?
    What about my post made you believe they would have to do such a thing? It would still be the ZQ they know and I don't see why it would be impossible to import ZC 2.5 quest files to get it's assets into a 3.0 quest. Transitioning your in-development quest from 2.5 to 3.0 should be as painless as possible. Going from 2.5 to3.0 wouldn't be like switch to another software, and why would it? When I said refactoring I really didn't mean a total rewrite. I meant piece at a time. Changing quest format, reworking Zscript or switching to AngelScript, getting away from Allegro Utilities, reworking historicly problematic items/feature, or stuff like that fisrt. Deeper stuff later on.

  7. #17
    Keese
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkDragon View Post
    The thing is I'm not convinced people actually want to learn to use a completely new quest authoring system with no support for their old quests and assets. I mean, if people want this, wouldn't they just switch to other engines like Solarus?
    While I can't give a definitive answer, since I don't truly know myself, I'll guess that the reason people like ZC is because it has it's own small community and everything. That is, it's a community small enough where, if you were to release your own content, it had a more higher chance of being noticed. The community also provides fast support.

    Then there's the easy to make part. I can pick up ZC and make a quest that's playable from start to end fairly easy, even if it's only a classic quest. ZC also has a lot of freedom, while still being easy to use. On one hand ZC lets you make NES Zelda clones. On the other ZC lets you make masterpieces like Panoply of Calatia, Lost Isle, Banana Blood God,To The Top, and (sigh) Hero of Dreams. ZC is both easy and complex, which allows for one to make the game they desire.

    Also, there's the fact that the ZC community is a bit elitist. You can feel empowered by being a part of it. You can also expect quite a bit of consistent content, as the community has both experienced quest makers and up and coming ones.

    Finally, TBH I'm a bit scared off by Solarus presenting itself as a generic Game Maker type thing. Keyword: Generic. Zelda Classic has the benefit of being a fan product, used by fans of Zelda. This easily means that the ZC community also doubles as a Zelda Fan community. If AM2R was a generic space marine on distant planet without the Metroid assets, it'd be bland and wouldn't have the fanbase it does now.

    ...Then again, I don't speak for the ZC community. These are just some of my reasons that I thought of.

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