I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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skyace65
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I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

Post by skyace65 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:26 pm

Most of you guys probably don't know me since I'm brand new to the community. I found out about Oolite a while ago, recently got into it and I've been enjoying it a lot. And I'd like to try porting the game to Godot, or at least do as much as I can. Godot is an open source game engine that uses the MIT license. It's like Unity and Unreal in that you're working with an editor. And because it's MIT open source games like Oolite can be ported over.

The engine has several technical benefits it could bring to the project
-PBR materials
-Support for Vulkan in the future (it's being worked on and should be added to the engine in version 4.0)
-VR support

There's also other non technical benefits
-Oolite would benefit from improvements other people make to the engine, Which is a lot, 89 PRs have been merged into Godot in the last week alone.
-It's easier for artists to contribute when there's a interface to use
-Additionally PBR support means the project can attract more 3D artists.
-If anyone wants to contribute to Oolite they have all the learning resources of Godot including official documentation, community help like on Discord, and some youtubers to learn from. Which also means potentially more contributors.

That's not to say there's no downsides. I don't think compatibility with existing addons is possible. And I can't do this on my own. On my own my goal is to get the player flying around a system with a working UI, weapons, and the ability to dock with a space station. But I'd definitely need help with AI and traveling between star systems and galaxies.

Now the main reason I made this post. Since I'm redoing stuff mostly from scratch and this port is going to be a hard sell, I figured there's no better time to do some quality of life improvements. I'm still relatively new to Oolite so I wanted to get the community's opinion. I know one thing that might seem odd to me someone else might prefer. So what kind of quality of life improvements do you want made to the game?

Right now I have three UI ones I'm planning to make
-add settings and joystick calibration to the main menu
-Make the pause menu overlay the game when it's paused. Instead of right now where you pause, then go to the menu.
-Key remapping

So, what kind of improvements or changes would you want made? And do you have any other questions about this port?

ddeo
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Re: I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

Post by ddeo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:05 pm

Hi skyace65,

This sounds like it won't be Oolite anymore, but new game based on Elite. I haven't been using Godot engine, but I've heard good things about it in the past. You haven't presented here any of your previous work made using Godot engine, I can assume it is going to be your first project and you want to try this engine out.

Take a note it's going to be rather big project, I would say think twice before you start doing it. In the past I've been working 5 years on mod for different game, also coordinating work of 10+ people team, completed it eventually. You might be motivated first, work will go fast, but after couple of months it can slow down incredibly. Start with a plan, even a spreadsheet of what needs to be done and could be done. Then evaluate time, it's important, not only for yourself. Additionally this way you can attract more people, because you will show that you know what you're doing and you have formal plan. Worst scenario is working on something big alone then dropping all the work because of being burned out.

If you're thinking about real port, then I believe mod/addons support is a must, people are having big fun not only playing but mostly making mods. Oolite has well written API documentation for modding, implementing it in new engine is I would say huge task for single person.

skyace65
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Re: I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

Post by skyace65 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:36 pm

ddeo wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:05 pm
Hi skyace65,

This sounds like it won't be Oolite anymore, but new game based on Elite. I haven't been using Godot engine, but I've heard good things about it in the past. You haven't presented here any of your previous work made using Godot engine, I can assume it is going to be your first project and you want to try this engine out.

Take a note it's going to be rather big project, I would say think twice before you start doing it. In the past I've been working 5 years on mod for different game, also coordinating work of 10+ people team, completed it eventually. You might be motivated first, work will go fast, but after couple of months it can slow down incredibly. Start with a plan, even a spreadsheet of what needs to be done and could be done. Then evaluate time, it's important, not only for yourself. Additionally this way you can attract more people, because you will show that you know what you're doing and you have formal plan. Worst scenario is working on something big alone then dropping all the work because of being burned out.

If you're thinking about real port, then I believe mod/addons support is a must, people are having big fun not only playing but mostly making mods. Oolite has well written API documentation for modding, implementing it in new engine is I would say huge task for single person.
This isn't my first time using the engine. I've done two projects with it in the past and I'm currently helping someone port a different open source game to Godot. Though I appreciate your advice about having a plan and evaluating time.

Could you elaborate more on why you think it wouldn't be Oolite anymore?

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maik
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Re: I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

Post by maik » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:17 am

skyace65 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:36 pm
Could you elaborate more on why you think it wouldn't be Oolite anymore?
Oolite is indeed more than its game mechanics and media that come with the initial download. Its moddability and collection of OXPs/OXZs are a core part of it. A port that makes them incompatible results in a different Elite-based game.

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Re: I'm porting Oolite to the Godot engine. What kind of Quality of life improvements do you want?

Post by Commander_X » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm

skyace65 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:36 pm
ddeo wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:05 pm
[...]
If you're thinking about real port, then I believe mod/addons support is a must, people are having big fun not only playing but mostly making mods. Oolite has well written API documentation for modding, implementing it in new engine is I would say huge task for single person.
[...]
Could you elaborate more on why you think it wouldn't be Oolite anymore?
I guess ddeo elaborated in the last paragraph.
Also what maik said.

On a more technical/strategical approach, you might start with just implementing the original gameplay, but never lose the sight of the need for AddOns support.

Unfortunately, from what I can tell from Godot's docs, if you wanted to just bind a whole JavaScript library to the engine, you'd need to re-compile the engine, which could become troublesome if updates to the engine should be supported. Another way would be to implement it as wrapper plugin using GDNative, although I'm not sure to what extent that interface would really allow for linking with external C libraries.

Despite any other drawbacks I could think of, I think your project would be quite interesting to follow.

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