Archive for May, 2004
Well, it’s not my doing but recently Mighty E received an unsolicited review of his popular LOGD browser based game. It’s something of an oddity in truth – an apparently professional looking PDF document a full 12 pages long. I found the review quite interesting (being currently involved in planning for a browser based RPG) but the author mysteriously failed in his undertstanding of the review target.
LODG is not, per se, an RPG. Certainly it has RPG elements but it is severely limited regarding RPG status – for example there is only one over-riding aim (to kill the Green Dragon) and no quest structure other than to explore the forest near the Village and kill hordes of random bad guys. I hear LOGD has recently made a move to expanding it’s locations – but this is more for variety than a serious attempt to conquer the RPG world as we know it.
So Mighty E gets landed with a review that treats LOGD as something it blatantly is not (says in the FAQ too). Despite its obvious flaws the review does make a good job, albeit accidentally, in contrasting one of the most popular open source browser games against a traditional RPG game. The differences are highlighted on a point by point basis – and may prove somewhat useful as a yardstick for measuring Shadows Rising’s feature against those pin-pointed in the review.
I’ve always enjoyed LOGD – it’s a well coded example of a fun game with a social element. It also has a nifty translation system in the works I’m keen to examine….
You can catch the review here:
And catch Mighty E’s response here:
Well, on a bit of a scenic route regarding Quantum Star SE development, I committed more time to Shadows Rising. (Ooo, the teetering continues…) The aim was less to work on SR than to get the fantastical notion of Q-CMS down in code. After some thought, and three revisions, I’ve settled on a simplified Block/Module structure. A little more complex than intended but worth the additional tiny effort in tracing the directory structure. As of today, the entire CMS is templated (courtesy of phpLIB) though I have deep suspicions of a future change in that regard (more later).
It seems a simple enough affair now that’s it’s nearing completion. Porting it to Quantum Star SE should be very simple with the incoming QS changes for 2.3.0 to be released in August or thereabouts.
Now to the templating. After some research, I’m considering a move to Smarty. I’ve tested Smarty before, but since phpLIB was a single file it seemed a more reasonable solution. Unfortunately that may have been an error – a reminder to research these things in depth! phpLIB has several faults:
1. Templates are parsed with every page request
2. There is no ability to cache output (though a workaround does exist)
3. There is no flow control within templates (somewhat necessary for areas with a set of possible outcomes – each requiring different html output)
Smarty on the other hand has all three – it’s bigger, a lot more than one file – but it has these three areas. And I think this CMS needs all three. phpLIB though an excellent templating system, is not quite as suited to a gaming environment, where data constantly changes and pages are constantly updated – and by potentially a large number of users. Smarty with it’s caching, parsing into native PHP script, and flow control could go far to reduce any potential server overhead present from phpLIB. I’ll have to throw this to Hades and see where his stance is.
For those remotely interested in how the Shadows Rising concept is coming along – you can check out the project’s very first code – don’t expect to do much but login and view a sample theme templated in phpLIB!