Why modding? Why not developing an own game (engine)?

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Foddy Fod
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Why modding? Why not developing an own game (engine)?

Post by Foddy Fod » Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:07

Hey folks,

I see many people around the forum modding the old games. But you can't create new enemies with new behaviour or create new features within the game. It is still the same game with different sprites, right?

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to develope our own keen engine. We are so many people that lacking man power shouldn't be a problem. We could create new features, like checkpoints, new moves, enemies. We could deliver a leveleditor, so other members of the community could easily create new levels without the difficult process of modding/patching.

There are so many tools out there which even support multiple platforms (e.g. Unity). We already have all the tiles, sounds, music used in the Galaxy Games, so it would be possible to create a remake very fast.

Any opinions? :dopefish
Last edited by Foddy Fod on Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why modding? Why not developing an own game (engine)?

Post by DoomJedi » Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:19

Overall it seems to be a bit unpolite as one of the first posts on the forum. It's like to say " why you're wasting your time here on this lame Keen engine?" - but in different phrasing.
Foddy Fod wrote:But you can't create new enemies with new behaviour..... right?
Wrong.
I wonder if it wouldn't be better to develope our own keen engine.

I'd prefer at least SDL for a new engine, sure not DOS. Just a general note.
We could deliver a leveleditor, so other members of the community could easily create new levels without the difficult process of modding/patching.
We have level editors. This is not the main problem in Keen modding.
There are so many tools out there which even support multiple platforms (e.g. Unity). We already have all the tiles, sounds, music used in the Galaxy Games, so it would be possible to create a remake very fast.
Well, donnow how legal such would be...sounds like a problem.

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Post by Levack » Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:25

how legal is modding?

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Post by Foddy Fod » Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:32

Oh come on...Don't be offended.
Sorry, didn't want to be unpolite.

But I asked myself if it would be cooler to enable more tweaks. Lately I have seen that giving Keen a lifebar is not possible. Does noone has the urge to modifiy more things in the games?

And by the way, I do play the games and mods. That is why I think about it!
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Post by DoomJedi » Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:43

If it's legal "enouph", I sure won't mind a new fresh engine, limitless, flexible and easy to edit. If such engine can recreate Keen gameplay/movement/behavour exact enouph.

And again - I respect people who choose to work with the orginal game.

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Post by Nospike » Fri Feb 15, 2013 15:24

The beauty of modding Keen lies in the game's originality. There aren't exactly many PC based platformers with smooth scrolling, Keen-like physics and such a charming main character and environment. Why make a completely new Keen game from scratch if you can mod the good ol' stuff to make a game that retains the original Keen feel and technicalities? This is my primary aim for Botafloria: I don't want to make something weird that looks like Keen but doesn't play like Keen, I want to create a new Keen game focusing on another adventure of our dear Billy. :) Not to mention that many mods would also run on any PC that would natively run Keen, which isn't all that much of a difference but even something like this helps make it feel like a real old classic game.
It just might be done someday. The chance is always there.

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Post by Roobar » Fri Feb 15, 2013 16:45

Well, as a matter of fact, there are projects in the works.

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Re: Why modding? Why not developing an own game (engine)?

Post by lemm » Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:00

http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/List_of_fan-games

Clone Keen, Commander Genius, Netkeen, IsisII, R.O.C.K, KEENGINE, Chocolate Keen, and others are good examples of platforming engines that have a keen theme.


John Romero and Tom Hall have the source code, as well as an unreleased 256-color VGA keen demo, but are unable to release them at the moment because they are both too busy. Nevertheless, if you're interested in trying to create an "authentic" keen replacement for 32 or 64 bit systems, there has been a fair amount of reverse engineering on the keen source code. If you want to attempt this, I can give you links to all of the reverse-engineering stuff that several people from the Keen community have generated that you can use as a starting point. And, of course, Wolf3d has been ported to win32 a few times, so you make use of that code as well.


I just remembered about this attempt at a faithful recreation of the keen vorticons games using SDL (viewtopic.php?t=2536).




On the other hand, if you just want to create a keen-themed game that runs on a modern operating system, then there are dozens of platform game creators out there already.
Last edited by lemm on Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:29, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Gridlock » Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:08

Though the original games have plenty of limitations, we have some amazing patchers who have been able to do incredible things in the games. Sure, there are still some limitations, but we're constantly breaking those down.

What you have to understand is that the Galaxy engine is incredibly difficult to recreate in another engine. I've played many attempts, some better than others, but none of them have completely gotten the physics/feel right. If someone could perfectly replicate the engine, then maybe I'd consider moving away from the original games.
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Roobar
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Post by Roobar » Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:39

What is Chocolate Keen? I cannot find anything in wiki or t3h internet about it...

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Post by lemm » Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:45

It's ny00123's Vorticons reverse engineering project which is basically exactly like keen1.

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Post by Roobar » Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:52

Ah yes, now I remember.

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Post by Lava89 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 21:51

Foddy Fod, feel free to take a stab at starting a fangame project. There's plenty of resources available (unity as you mentioned, and also GameMaker, DarkBasic, Blitzbasic, etc) as lemm pointed out. Then if you get enough of the grunt work done, you might be able to entice people to help (at least that how it usually works). But the key is getting your game out there in the first place.

As for your actual question, there have been lots of fangames that are being developed and have come and gone, as wiivn and lemm mentioned. Even though the majority of Keen games made by fans are mods.

Also, a fan made level editor isn't anything new. For instance, I am working on a 3D keen game and intend to make it open source and distribute the level editor I made.
Last edited by Lava89 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 22:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Benvolio » Fri Feb 15, 2013 22:02

difficult process of modding
If there's one thing that modding is not, that is difficult. It requires probably less than 5 hours to figure out all the technical know-how to mod Keen1-3. It does, like anything worthwhile that humanity has ever acheived, require a lot of time to make a good mod, but surely no more than it would take to make stories, levels and graphics for a fangame.
/patching.
Well there are thankfully several people churning out useful patches. And anyway the original game was so good that brilliant mods like KeenX and Yorphius II did not even require any sprite patches.

And as for the merits of fan engines, the charm of the Keen engine is largely, for me, to do with how solid and robust its engine looks and feels in its 16 colour, low resolution graphics. If you've ever played fangames of Keen, or indeed many other commercially released platformers, especially those of the mobile phone and smartphone generation, they are mostly clunky, inaccurate and largely charmless. Things were already going downhill by Duke Nukum II and Hocus Pocus as far as I'm concerned.

I'd say I would have engaged with the Keen community very little if it had not been for modding. However by no means does that have to be the case for everyone so I encourage you to find your own artistic/creative voice in the Commander Keen world in whatever way is relevant to you if it is something that strongly appeals to you.

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Post by Lava89 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 22:05

Basically both mediums have their purpose and boil down to people's preferences. With fangames you get alot of freedom, but also with mods you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.

And I would say that experience in one can help you in experience with the other. For instance, one of my first experiences in game development was a Wolf3d mod. And that certainly helped get me into making my own, stand alone games.

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