Indie, open source, cross-platform, performance, stuff...

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Dodgedog 101 Apr 21, 2009 at 19:07

Some questions about being an Indie…

1) Is it advisable to go (partially) open source? or will you get (lots of) clones then? How far will a GNU license really protect your software and code?

2) Should it be cross-platform? Because some people told me linux fans are usually more into indie stuff…

3) Is the performance very important if you want to run the logic on a server? I mean cost-efficiency ‘n stuff… What part of the LOGIC (ie not rendering / doing the 3D stuffies) would be the heaviest (maybe tcp? maybe pathfinding?) assuming I’m not going to get a pc-shredding AI.

4) Are there any other things that I should be very aware of when making decisions of this sort?

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Rubicon 101 Apr 21, 2009 at 19:11

1) You’ll get clones anyway if you actually have any success. Don’t give em any help!

2) Mac might be worth the effort, but linux people aren’t in the habit of paying for anything ime.

3) No idea what you’re on about. This all depends on the game and how you want to code it

4) Remember that “indie” isn’t a club. If you want to make money at it then by all means help out in the community with advice and stuff, but don’t give any assets away that help your competitors - let them work as hard as you do.

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Dodgedog 101 Apr 21, 2009 at 19:50

Well “the community” seems to be helping me more then I’m helping it and I’d be happy to do something back. Especially if this would not result in too much of my work being stolen without a thank you and if it would get a couple of extra quality games on the market.

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alphadog 101 Apr 22, 2009 at 15:39

@Dodgedog

1) Is it advisable to go (partially) open source?

It’s not really as impactful a decision as you think. Primarily, it would be a marketing move to attract a GNU/Linux audience. For games, being open is not particularly useful to the main audience of your games.
@Dodgedog

or will you get (lots of) clones then?

IMO, cloning, as Rubicon states, is based on success. Your source being open is irrelevant. Does it make it easier to clone? Probably. But, if your game is a success, the “challengers” likely have the resources to copy pretty easily.
@Dodgedog

How far will a GNU license really protect your software and code?

Only so far as you are willing to enforce it. This is not as glib as you think; it costs some serious dough to defend a license dispute. OTOH, lots of free legal help can be had for GNU-type stuff…
@Dodgedog

2) Should it be cross-platform? Because some people told me linux fans are usually more into indie stuff…

The GNU/Linux gaming community is very, very small relative to the Windows one, and has a heavy “techie” aspect to it, meaning either hardcore gamer or doesn’t have time for any games.
@Dodgedog

3) Is the performance very important if you want to run the logic on a server? I mean cost-efficiency ‘n stuff… What part of the LOGIC (ie not rendering / doing the 3D stuffies) would be the heaviest (maybe tcp? maybe pathfinding?) assuming I’m not going to get a pc-shredding AI.

I’m not sure what you are asking here. I guess you are talking of a multiplayer or MMO type game? If so, due to scaling, performance of any subsystem is important.
@Dodgedog

4) Are there any other things that I should be very aware of when making decisions of this sort?

Yes, danger lurks around every corner… :ninja:

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TheNut 179 Apr 22, 2009 at 16:59

Is it advisable to go (partially) open source?

In my opinion, unless you can dedicate time to the community, I would advise against it. If your engine / game is good, people will undoubtedly bother you for assistance with compiling, using the engine, pros/cons, etc… If you want to build games, focus on that.

Should it be cross-platform?

Netbooks are becoming quite popular and most of them are equipped with Linux. Something to consider in your final decision. It’s not all that hard to build a tool (for Windows and Linux) where users can browse and download the latest versions of your games. Idiot proof installation procedure + multiplatform support = more business.

Is the performance very important if you want to run the logic on a server?

Depends on the scale of your game, but in general performance is always considered in gaming. Performance is generally fast with parsing mesages, especially if you use a binary deserializer (highly recommended). The collision and collusion algorithms are generally the pigs of a system.

Are there any other things that I should be very aware of when making decisions of this sort?

Design and plan out your game. You won’t see the full picture just thinking about it. You’ll start to see areas that need attention or where potential bottlenecks could occur. This will save you lots of time in the end.

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SamuraiCrow 101 Apr 22, 2009 at 22:10

@Dodgedog

Some questions about being an Indie… 1) Is it advisable to go (partially) open source? or will you get (lots of) clones then? How far will a GNU license really protect your software and code?

As the owner of an AmigaOS 4.1 box, open-source games are often the only ones that get ported to this platform unless they were specifically designed on it using Allegro or something. There are hardly any engines for this platform also.

2) Should it be cross-platform? Because some people told me linux fans are usually more into indie stuff…

It’s worth the challenge if you use cross-platform libraries and engines. I like being able to do things with my Mac mini. I have a laptop running Linux also. However, I almost always am satisfied by retro gaming experiences based on free software.

3) Is the performance very important if you want to run the logic on a server? I mean cost-efficiency ‘n stuff… What part of the LOGIC (ie not rendering / doing the 3D stuffies) would be the heaviest (maybe tcp? maybe pathfinding?) assuming I’m not going to get a pc-shredding AI.

MMO games are more trouble than they are worth, IMHO. If you want to run logic on a server and your game IS a success, you’re going to find you’ll need quite a hefty server!

4) Are there any other things that I should be very aware of when making decisions of this sort?

Experience teaches better than anything else. Start small and work your way up.

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Dodgedog 101 Apr 25, 2009 at 11:10

thanks for all those replies, I think I got some useful info here!