Sounds cool. What is your name?


On 4/7/07, ChronosWS <chronosws at> wrote:
> I'll be on the IRC channel.  I'd like to discuss how to move the Windows
> client (and by proxy other clients) forward.  In brief though, these are the
> things I think we should do, in the order I'd recommend doing them.
> 1. Create a Main Menu/Title screen, with access to options, etc.
> 2. Integrate the external tools (configuration, cambot, tutorial) into the
> main game exe, accessible from the main menu
> 3. Ensure that the UI conforms to Windows standards.  Namely, that the main
> game windows have normal controls (close, minimize) and responds properly to
> them.
> 4. Integrate the metaserver UI into the game UI as the first screen you hit
> when you start, rather than a separate window which pops up.
> 5. Examine the use of keyboard input on the login screen.  For example, ESC
> should be used to quit the game (or bring up a 'Really Quit?' box) and a
> more standard username/password UI should be implemented.
> I believe these items will go a long ways towards making the game feel more
> like a cohesive product than a scattering of applications and
> poorly-behaving windows apps.  Later on I'd start to tackle some of the more
> drastic changes:
> 1. Scrap the UI code, at least for Windows.  Not only is it messy, but it's
> not flexible enough to allow the proper use of modern UI elements and
> design.  Enable more significant 'themeing' capabilities.
> 2. Revamp the graphics system to use a mechanism more suited to modern day
> graphics expectations that would allow us to significantly up-rate the
> graphics in the future.  Probably something 3D.
> 3. Update the network protocol (along with the server side) to allow
> event-based network updates.  Along with this would be client-side
> extrapolation of movement for ships based on the last known speed/heading,
> which would lead to MUCH smoother graphics. (this is non-trivial though
> because of things like torp wobble and latency)
> 4. Consider if we could translate Netrek to a console, like the Xbox 360 on
> Xbox Live.  This would be some serious work because there are issues
> relating to input and communication which, at first look, are not compatible
> with XBox capabilities.  However, there is a substantial market there for
> potential new gamers, and it may be worth tapping in to.  Something to think
> about.
> For Windows development, I would suggest moving to C#.  The reasons are
> thus:
> 1. .NET is the future of programming for the Windows platform.
> 2. C# is very easy to pick up if you have done much programming in C++
> 3. It is very easy to develop in C#, MUCH less error prone than C++.
> 3. The development environment for it is mature now with all the tools
> you'll need.
> 4. C# is portable to other platforms using Mono
> 5. The development tools for C# are free from Microsoft on Windows, and free
> for Mono on the Unixes.
> 6. If we do elect to make an Xbox 360 version, C#, vis-à-vis the XNA Game
> Studio, allows simultaneous development for Xbox and Windows with
> essentially no code changes.
> XNA Game Studio Express may be found here:
> You'll need Visual C# Express first (even if you have Visual Studio 2005),
> which you can get here:
> I would be more than happy to talk with anyone on IRC or here about issues
> with C# and instruct those who have not yet had an opportunity to learn it.
> As someone who spent 10 years doing professional C and C++ development for
> Linux and Windows, I can confidently say that moving to C# (or adding it to
> your repertoire) is something you will not regret.
> Oh, and P.S., I am willing to lead this effort on the Windows side of
> things.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: netrek-dev-bounces at
> [mailto:netrek-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of William Balcerski
> Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 2:42 AM
> To: Netrek Development Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [netrek-dev] Set a fitting subject
> On Fri, 6 Apr 2007, ChronosWS wrote:
> > I'm not a big fan of over-organization, but there are common-sense, low
> cost
> > steps which can be taken to facilitate a cohesive development strategy.
> The
> > wiki is a joke, honestly, as it's really just a collection of bullet
> points
> > with no one having bothered to distill or synthesize the ideas into a plan
> > of any sort.
> >
> The wiki is a reference, not intended to be a todo list.
> > If the group is really too lazy to bother to log into a forum (you know,
> add
> > a bookmark to your browser, it will remember who you are, just click it
> and
> > you are logged in) then may I humbly suggest that the group may not have
> > what it takes to really reinvigorate the game to the level which you have
> > professed to desire.  It's a serious task which is proposed, and even
> though
> > we are part-time developers on it does not mean we should be lazy about
> > doing what is needed to pursue that goal in earnest.
> >
> I fail to see why we need yet another forum when we have 2 active mailing
> lists, 1 code commit mailing list, 1 dead mailing list, IRC,
>, and the forums at
> > My goal here is to provide a means for organization and a mechanism by
> which
> > the leader(s) of it can communicate the actual plan and have that plan be
> > readily available to all developers who will be referring to it during
> their
> > development process.  Having a single point of access for discussion and
> > decisions means there is no need to know about mailing lists, wikis and
> docs
> > in source control as separate potential locations of information - it's
> all
> > in one place, easily found, easily searched, and if people are doing their
> > jobs, mostly up to date (and if the conversations are included in the
> > forums, then even out-of-date information can be corrected by review.)
> >
> There is a single point of access for discussion, it's the IRC channel
> Quozl mentioned.  Every active developer (except the mactrek guy) uses it.
> And he would have benefitted from hanging out there (RSA fiasco anyone?
> :P).
> Perhaps I should lay out the state of netrek development.  There are 4
> "active" developers working on code, besides akb who is working on the web
> site.  There are also some people who contribute once every few months but
> I wouldn't call them active.  Oh and I forgot the guy who ported COW to
> a Nokia, but that was only in the last week :).
> One of the devs (Narcis) does Mac client only - he works alone, no one
> else is up to speed on Mac development.
> Quozl, Karthik, and myself work on server development - we use IRC to pass
> ideas/code back and forth.  In my experience, rarely have I needed email
> to discuss the code, as the guru (aka Quozl) is around frequently.
> I also work on the Window client, I work alone because no one else is up
> to speed on Windows development.
> We have ample infrastructure for communicating.  We have mechanisms for
> task assignments (server has several TODO lists such as PROJECTS and
> BUGS).  I have another TODO list for the client.  More developers are
> welcome.  The barrier to joining development is low (server) to moderate
> (client).  People on IRC are around to answer any questions to help
> developers.  I would be thrilled to have another Windows developer.  Will
> it be you? ;)
>  > How far are you willing to go to bring this game to that huge pool of
> > potential players?
> >
> We have paid advertising (thanks Joe), we have a high google ranking
> (thanks Joe again), we have a list of ideas:
> Any other suggestions on what we should be doing?
> Bill
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