Djinn and Unity Development
Since you have pretty much completely abandoned (professional) HTML5 Game Development, would LDG ever be interested release Djinn, and make it a part of your community?
I thought LDG still does contract HTML5 work. I imagine Djinn is a big part of that. Plus, AWL is still selling.
I believe I can answer this one. The LDG guys have discussed this topic before on several LostCast episodes, but times have changed, and we’re entering into a new era with Unity, and leaving HTML5 behind (well, sort of).
I think Matt and Geoff would love to open source Djinn someday, and release it to the community. The problems are that of documentation, versatility, and completeness. They would want to release something that is of very high quality, and that means they would want it to come with a complete set of docs, including how to use all the features, how to create basic games from scratch (tutorials), and a full API specification for all classes and methods. The thing is, this would literally take months, if not years.
Also, they would want to release something versatile, that could work for any type of game, but I think Djinn thus far has been “purpose built”. Meaning, it was designed specifically to support whatever LDG game the guys were working on (Onslaught, Lunch Bug, AWL, etc.). I don’t think this exactly translates into a “general purpose” engine what would work for everyone and every game, and that means people would start demanding features and support. I would hate to ask Matt and Geoff to spend their time supporting Djinn, instead of building the next great LDG game!
Djinn has grown into a very complex game engine, as it has powered all of LDG’s games since 2010. So for five years, Geoff and Matt have added things to it, hacked it, warped it to serve their specific needs, added more classes and more methods, and probably wrote little-to-no docs, because they just know it in their heads. I’m just guessing here, but that’s the feeling I get, having listened to LostCast since ep 1. I think it would take a lot of work to get it into “releasable shape”.
I personally believe it is more important for the guys to look forward, to Unity development and their next game (which I believe will be announced on LostCast this coming week!), instead of trying to document and polish Djinn for a community release. I say this with regret, because as a developer I very much want to play with Djinn and possibly make a game with it! But the thought of Matt and Geoff ceasing their current work for months to write docs for me is not good for LDG.
In the meantime, there are other great HTML5 engines you can use. Richard Davey (photonstorm), a good friend of LDG, has created Phaser, a wonderful, full-featured game engine with full docs and plenty of examples. Check it out here if you are interested:
I truly hope to see Djinn show up on GitHub someday, but I wouldn’t hold my breath! Once Matt and Geoff are millionaires, and have 10 cats each, they’ll come back and release the engine for us :)
yeah yeah, but we don’t want or expect a competitor to phaser, just want to take a look at the “source” (the uncompressed / unbuilt) and add that to the tinkerer’s toolbelt. Besides it’s covered in their codesmell, I just want to pick through it for parts to use in my own franken-engine :D
That’s a tricky thing to pull off though Warspawn. You’re always going to get some email about it. Might be able to avoid a fair bit by just having a link to a zip file of the code, but who knows how easily extractable it is at the moment.
And yeah i agree Phaser is a pretty powerful game framework with a lot of steam behind it. I will also shamelessly plugin melonjs if you want something a bit simpler and more opinionated.
Djinn is a mess :) It works for our purposes, but @jhuckaby nails it; Djinn is the product of two people writing software for themselves over several years.
That said, there are some cool parts which could be used for personal learning. I would like to toss it up at some point, although it does need a pass to make sure we haven’t committed anything inappropriate (e.g private Steam libs, etc) and has enough README to get someone up and running.
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