So, today marks where I’m just two bug fixes away from getting all the bugs fixed with my engine, I believe, that’ll ensure it works as described.
Now I’m looking for people to work with it, so they’ll be ready to get them working with it while I tie up these few loose ends.
These developers will make different games with it that allow me to figure out that it really can be used for these different sorts of games, and make sure that it makes that development easier. I need both that outside feedback, and to mature and continue adding to the engine.
How much or little involvement you need from me to make your game happen, well we’ll just figure that out and see if it works for us both.
Sorry that this is long, but this is quite a complex beast and I want to cover all the bases. :3
creightr.com – detailed engine/tools information
Creightr is an engine I made for a number of reasons. When I was laying out the plans and figuring out the right architecture for LEWD, I both needed something where a bunch of people could work together making content, get content in game and tested rapidly, and when people had a good idea that fits the game I didn’t want “engine limitations” to be a person why it can’t have it and I didn’t want to spend more time testing content and getting it working than actually creating it in the first place. Further, I wanted something others can use, and that I can use for a number of games that I want to make over the next few years, so it needed to have varying capabilities.
Fast, powerful, and accessible were the key goals.
Fast both in the sense of efficient and to be able to make games quickly.
Powerful in that I really want it to work for the majority of games someone might want to make. There’s many games I want to make over the years, and there is only one of them that Creightr wouldn’t be appropriate to use in at least some capacity.
Accessible both to have all that power it has to not make it too much more difficult than the easier to use game makers, and also to make it accessible to players so that people can easily access and play your game. I don’t like downloading games off mega or whatever myself that potentially have viruses, you know? Just visiting a page is much easier and safer, and enables a game to reach much more people. Plus, they generally work on mobile devices.
The closest I can say it’s similar to I guess… is Byond? But more powerful, accessible (doesn’t require a desktop client like Byond), at least 100 times more efficient. Another comparison would be that it’s a bit like WordPress, but for making games instead of blogs.
You can see a small part of the tool at the LEWD writing application. Though it’s a little outdated, and stripped of all the features of the tool except the scenario editing part.
There are also these blog posts I wrote a while back, but these are all quite dated and I need to write updated ones that are easier to follow:
http://www.playlewd.com/blog/?p=253 – Really old one just as I started the new engine that outlines the basic stuff.
http://www.playlewd.com/blog/?p=365 – Basically how you write functions that are then accessible throughout the tool for “scripting”. These can be core engine functions, ones included with extensions, or ones you write yourself.
http://www.playlewd.com/blog/?p=336 – How the object lookup syntax works, which is really the only “languagy” thing, but it’s similar to JS hashes with a type casting.
I don’t have the capacity to just release it to the wild right now as I’m going to be burning both time and money for each team/individual I bring into this early adoption program.
Instead I’m just looking for a few developers that I can help with making good games, in exchange for getting some nice game examples on my engine and figuring out new things that I need to add and improve with it.
You’ll still own your IP and all that. This is supposed to be a mutually beneficial relationship for us both.
What I’m looking for
- It’s probably best if you have a team already that can cover all the bases need for game development. But if you’re an accomplished jack-of-all already, that’s probably fine.
- You need to be clearly talented and driven
- You pretty much need either past game experience using another engine or homebrew, or other experience that indicates you can handle learning an engine and finishing a game.
- If you just have like, super crazy art talent, you might not need to have any programming knowledge for us to make something. Contact and see, pretty much.
- Honestly, I’ve really wanted to make a Kancolle ripoff game where you can promote boats to the rank of “Cum Dumpster” and stuff, personally, if I just had the right artist and people to script the missions and story; A CYOA with webm clips that have loops and transitions would be really cool, too; Another idea was some sort of Spacestation 13 type game but 3D that I can mostly procedurally generate, with lots of player built worlds, maybe with lewd stuff too or at least forked version. – If you have the skills to help me and a number of people to work on any of those things, I’m especially interested.
What can you make on it?
- VNs and Text adventures are the most straight forward, especially since you get my writing parser and it has a scenario editor, tile map editor, quests, and other stuff there out-of-the-box.
- Interactive webcomics, that branch rather than being linear.
- MUD-like games.
- If there are good 3D modelers and animators on a team looking to make something, I can help you choose a renderer to use with Creightr, or write you a new one.
- Server processing time is generally in microseconds, so fast paced top down or side scrolling RPGs are all fine if you just write decent interpolation. RTS, world building games, even FPS I guess? It really works for anything if you can program but just not out-of-the-box at the moment.
- The advantage of using it over something homebrew is that it handles a lot of efficiency things itself under what you write, and has the tools to use for content, as well as having what I think is a good workflow to build on top of. You have about 3000 hours of engine/tool programming work saved for you to work with.
- Single player or multiplayer. Making something multiplayer isn’t any more work with Creightr. A multiplayer game is largely as simple as single player and is just a design choice rather than being more work and more difficult like most engines. Single player games will put less load on the server, though, but still require an internet connection at least at this point.
- It’s really client agnostic. What the “engine” really is is the server that streams and manages your game content, and is tools to add that content. How your client displays that data to the player is up to you. It can be anything from the most basic 80s telnet looking interface for a text game, up to fully 3D. What Creightr does is make your actual gameplay and content so much easier to make and test.
- You can make a non-web game, but you’d still have to write your client on whatever engine you want, say Unity, and use Creightr to stream levels for a big mmo, or user generated content, or whatever. I’m just not sure that’s really apt since part of the nice thing is that people can visit a website and be playing your game instantly instead of having to download anything.
Like I said, if what you have to offer is good enough, I can probably help with client programming as well even though that’s not really “getting accustom to the engine” stuff, since it’s really agnostic to that.
Key engine features that separate it from other engines and game makers
- A clean, powerful API. But at the moment, yeah, you do have the write the client by hand with JS. The core API can be seen here: http://www.creightr.com/js/creightr.js (I’ll write docs for this and other things in the coming months) Like I said, I can help here.
- Client agnostic. It’s generally compatible with HTML5 game engines, allowing you to just write a few hundred lines of code for client hooks that feed into that engine to turn the data from the tool into something rendered to the player, allowing you to leverage the tools that make creating, adding, and streaming content easily. You can make it work with Unity, UE, or whatever else just by rewriting the JS API onto there, and alternate connection methods like normal sockets are available.
- Core server API is all accessible. Most of the core engine is accessible by an API in the tool, so you can drastically change it for different games.
- Real time development; no compiling. New content and even code you add is JIT compiled in without require a restart or anything, and you can see those changes immediately, as well as add new debugging code where you’re trying to find an issue. There’s somewhat a plan to bring this to the basic web client as well in the future, but it’s trickier and lots more work, potential security issues, etc, but it’s on my mind.
- A networked tool that runs in your browser and connects developers. It allows you to collaborate together, seeing what everyone else is doing, instead of having to merge things together or work with Subversion or Github doing pulls, let alone not having to have one person on a team cobble efforts together as they’re done.
- Easy ways to make money for your game, or deploy it for free. It includes a way to manage payments, subscriptions, user access if you want to charge for a game, have micro-transactions, or crowd fund. But you can make a fully free one, too. (Still working on the last part of payment handling.) Similarly, you can either require registration or not. (again, widely variable access controls for users)
- “Fork” a game that allows that to be done. This is basically like modding, but you take a game and copy it and can make whatever changes you want to it without interfering with the main version of it.
- Streaming content. At its core, it manages worlds that can be shared or insulated, and streams content as it needed for the player(s). This lets you have a tiny client that loads right away in the player’s browser (LEWD is less than 500kb initially, for example), and makes it easy to write and manage a client.
- The client side code is all open source that you can learn from.
What else you get
- You get to get started making something with this engine early, of course.
- I’m hosting the server for you, so there’s no costs for that and the distribution that comes with it.
- I’ll give you consulting and help to guide you through working with the engine and getting your game going on it.
- A hub for games. Eventually I’ll have a hub for games where people can find your game and such, which LEWD and some other games I’m making as well as others using the engine will also be on. You can still have it accessible through Kimochi(when they support web games, you use NW.js, or if you use a downloadable client), your own site, or whatever else as well.
- If you have some crazy talent and a good idea but need someone to program a framework for it, I MIGHT be able to do that for you. This is particularly the case for a great artist and/or modeler/animator.
What about updates? The future when it’s released to all?
- The way content is saved, it can always be automatically refactored to work with an updated version of the engine even when if something changes with it that would otherwise break your content. This is also an important feature for version control of extensions in the future.
- As far as breaking API changes, well I’ll notify you of them if those happen. They’ll be simple refractoring fixes on your side, or you can use an older engine version.
- In the event that this falls through or whatever, I guess I can transfer the hosting over to you[r team]? God forbid if I die unexpectedly, there’s a deadman’s switch to handle that.
What’s the downside?
- Like I said, right now, people can’t just download it and play offline later. They play it through a website, or even need an internet connection if you’re actually choosing to roll your own desktop client that has to connect to the server to stream the content. Some people don’t like that, but there isn’t an easy way around that now as it’s core to a lot of how Creightr works and makes writing a game client much more streamlined, easier, and sensible with event driven programming.
- I’m taking a cut but it’s faaaaar more generous than Steam. I’m certainly going to be heavily in the black with this financially early on. This is essentially in exchange for enabling you[r team] to make [more] money. If your game is completely free and you don’t make money from it at all, there is no cut or other cost to worry about.
How to apply
- This is going to be a pretty informal, personal process. Just leave me some sort of message or reply somewhere with your credentials.
- Show me prior work for you[r team] that tells me you can handle this.
- What game you plan on making helps (though isn’t a requirement if you want to keep it secret. You can also PM me this, and the LEWD forums are the best place to do that at)
- Let me know what else you may need from me!