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Hi Guys!


Let's be honest, T2D is dying. I'm the only real contributor and I can't find the time to work on it much myself. Or at all really. We're being honest. So I decided to take a page from the GoDot playbook. In case you don't know, GoDot is a flourishing and completely free 3D and 2D game engine with editors. They've managed to see this success by running a successful Patreon page so that their community has a way to fund changes. So I've set up a similar page for T2D which you can find here: https://www.patreon.com/Torque2D


Hopefully this will breath some life back into T2D. I encourage you to give a little or at least pass this on to those in your circles who would be interested.

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I'm not a Torque2D user, but it is a good idea to try to keep it alive.


But don't expect magical things to happen just because you create a patreon or whatever, Godot engine did not become successfull organically, it is mostly because of the mobile hype plus some cryptocurrency hype and they have bigger sponsors that donate bigger amounts.


So if you want to make Torque2D survive, you need to support some kind of mobile platform or at least browsers, since that is the growing market right now, nobody really cares about desktop PCs anymore, at least in the 2D game sector.

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That's good to know about GoDot. Don't get me wrong. I don't expect Patreon page to explode with donations. However, I do know that some users would be willing to pay to get certain features and that would finally push things forward.


Torque2D supports six platforms including iOS, Android, and Web.

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Getting the first donations is usually the hardest, it is some kind of psychological thing, people will not donate if nobody else does and you have the chicken and egg problem.


Once you have some activity going, you can try advertising with mobile and web support and maybe a short trailer.

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Good on you Peter for sticking with it all these years. Your avatar's appropriate; you're definitely the captain of the (admittedly lonely) ship. I wish I could've done more to push the editors forward and stuck around longer as an active member of the steering committee but real life got in the way. Hopefully the stuff I dumped on https://github.com/chaigler/t2d_editors helped somebody.


As for the engine, it's been an uphill battle for a long time now. GarageGames failing so soon after the engine was released, Melv departing for Unity, and then Michael Perry abandoning ship shortly after were big blows to the community. The lack of editors, outdated fixed function renderer, etc. didn't help either. It would've been nice if some of the work they did on 3 Step Studio could've been rolled back to T2D, just having some of those editors would've went a long way toward attracting more people to the engine.


I do think there's still a niche T2D can fill, though. I'm not particularly happy with the direction Godot took with 3.0 (the push to GLES3 and the latest-and-greatest rendering came at the cost of performance and compatibility and the engine is worse off in some ways than it was in 2.x). I have to believe there's a place in the world for an opensource, lean-and-clean 2D engine but the amount of competition out there is absurd and attracting users that will actively support the project is insanely difficult.


I would say it might be worth your time discussing things with Jeff and co. There was some talk a while back about leveraging T2D's clean codebase for T3D. Maybe there's an opportunity to leverage something from T3D in return? I've always thought the ideal situation would be a hybrid, Franken-engine pairing T2D's 2D abilities with T3D's more modern renderer but that's an improbable dream at this point.

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T2D does fill a niche: rapid development. But it hasn't been fully realized. The mod system, scripting language, and future editors will all come together to make an engine that can take in idea to a game at the speed of lightning - and on six platforms to boot! I still plan to keep advancing the engine, so don't get depressed or anything. I just hope that the Patreon page gives users an avenue to support the effort, which in turn will provide us with motivation and encouragement.


I've been in contact with Jeff. We want to make sure the sister engines don't diverge too sharply. But there isn't a silver bullet that will solve all problems. There's a lot of competition out there from engines with solid revenue streams. For Torque to compete, we need a way for our users to vote with their wallets. Otherwise, we'll lose to engines with payed developers every time. The Patreon page will hopefully give our community a fighting change to level the playing field a little.

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Well without marketing hardly anything is going to happen.

I have not figured this out fully either, but I know that you need some kind of press kit, where you show your company and what you do, so you can answer questions to journalists quickly and effectively.

Then you need to figure where you are going to market your product to, like search for websites, magazines, streamers, social media that could be interested in writing for you, which is where your press kit may come in handy.

Sure you cannot force people to promote you, but you can make it easier for them.

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In all honesty i think the only thing torque2d needs is activity in the forums. I asked questions back in october that have never been addressed, whether the answer is "i dont know" or "thats a stupid questione" it would still be good to get any kind of a response. I had apps that i have made for iphone that are coming up to release that if i had of seen any response at all it would of made me more open to ask further questions and i would of worked on them with torque instead. And probably would of got them done quicker and better. I would love to help out with torque2d but i dont know much about what is happening or what is being worked on or what is going to happen because as i said any time a question is asked it takes forever to get a response. There was a post up about emscripten on this forum that never got an answer apart from the creator of the post months later. Dreadedclowns post Newbie Questions still has no response from anyone apart from lukas telling him that his post was formatted properly with the code highlighting. Is there a steering committee for torque 2d? If so who is on it ? is it just yourself? How do i join the steering committee and put forward ideas? Is anyone going to listen and respond to posts being made so that those ideas don't fall on deaf ears?

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There is a Steering Committee and it's mostly just me. I typically have about one person a year offer to join and help. Then we spend time going over the daunting list of things that need to be done. Then I never hear from them again.


As far as community, there's a lot of people with warm feelings toward T2D but I don't think they roam the forums on this site. Currently there isn't really a great place for beginners to go to get help and that's a problem. But there's also a lot that needs to be updated with demos and would help beginners get through the learning curve easier. That's all part of the daunting list of things to do.


Because I've had a lot of non-starters, I would prefer that you didn't join the committee until you've submitted a few valuable pull requests. If you just want to put some ideas out, then private message me through these forums. You've got my ear.

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is there anywhere i can see the list of things you have come up with that need to be done/are working on ? I mean i think that would be the first thing that needs to be done.


The steering committee on the 3d end is constantly putting out updates on what is being added, what important ideas are coming through. I dont think ive ever seen the same thing for torque2d anywhere. More activity on the forums would be the best place to start if people knew what is planned they may take more interest and might be able to input better, at the moment it seems as though torque2d has cut itself off if you know what i mean? first and foremost an editor is definitely needed to speed up development and make things alot easier, maybe just a simple editor for positioning objects to start off with would really help things then after that is done work on implementing different features to the editor. i can code and keep things up to date on ios and windows end probably macos too but linux is something i dont know to well about what is needed in its end and ive only started to work with android so a noobie at that too

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There isn't a published list, but that's mostly because it would start with "Editors" and nobody would care about anything that came after that. Having said that, there is a bunch of non-editor ideas that I hope to put into the engine at some point. I won't give you a list right here for time sake.


As far as the editors go, I've started small. I'm currently working on asset management. I appreciate the offer to jump in. Since we're about a week away from Christmas now's probably not a great time, but I be happy to touch base again in two weeks. Maybe we can get some traction.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK that makes sense. I am guessing it is legal reasons. If it was not there would be no reason to not release them, incompatibilities not withstanding.


I plan on using Torque2D, so looked deeper into it recently. Ha ha, it was a bit disconcerting to realize there were no editors. I did a couple tutorials, went off fine and rather quickly. I am still familiarizing myself with how things are done and how things are structured. It looks like a nice clean little engine, I am having fun with it. Making a small demo game now to learn more.


Thanks for the work put into T2D.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Marauder! Have you had a chance to look at the code for t2d any?

 

I have a bit without a list of things to do im just arbitrarily adding features and upgrading features and box2d.


On the topic of features list i have a rough idea here to take t2d up from the ashes but i need to run it by you. I have been busy trying to get a level textured for t3d that i created for areloch no one has seen it yet so now that im getting the chance to work on these things im going to get more involved and get it done.


Features list ive been thinking of are as follows:

  • EDITOR[/b] first and foremost it is the most requested thing, and as for now i have been able to output positions defined within swift to torque2d modules, but this is useless for anyone not developing on mac

  • Cleanup of tilemaps[/b] looking through source code i can see that t2d 3.4 does still have the tilemap features from tgb and i think you have even done a tutorial on this on garagegames. But i cant for the life of me get it to work properly maybe some value i am missing.

  • 2d Lighting and Normal Mapping[/b] this is another thing t2d already has i think? but i cant find any documentation on it.

  • Physics[/b] a more stable implementation of liquidfun (i have already done this tbf but i cant be sure what other features i have added in my code)
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Today I checked in code to the development branch to start the process of creating the editors. I started weeks ago (or longer I can't remember) and quickly found that the GUI situation was so bad that nobody could use it without looking up the code to see what actually works. So I've been reworking much of the GUI code to make it usable again - all documented in the GUI guide in the wiki of course. Most importantly, my checked in code paves the way for the editors. It builds the folder structure and sets up a separate asset manager and module manager for the editor as well as some place holder managers. It's a long ways off still, but I think it shows what I'm gunning for. You can see it now in the dev branch. It's not stable.


Tilemaps are a lot different than TGB. They now work using the CompositeSprite instead of a dedicated tilemap object. If you know what you're doing they can be very fast. If not, well, you should know what you're doing...


T2D does not have lighting of any kind. There's no normal mapping. There's no shader support. It uses a fixed pipeline. Consequently, this seems like a good area to grow the engine.


Liquid fun is cool. Seems like a side note to me. Not really critical to the engine.

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Today I checked in code to the development branch to start the process of creating the editors. I started weeks ago (or longer I can't remember) and quickly found that the GUI situation was so bad that nobody could use it without looking up the code to see what actually works. So I've been reworking much of the GUI code to make it usable again - all documented in the GUI guide in the wiki of course. Most importantly, my checked in code paves the way for the editors. It builds the folder structure and sets up a separate asset manager and module manager for the editor as well as some place holder managers. It's a long ways off still, but I think it shows what I'm gunning for. You can see it now in the dev branch. It's not stable.


Tilemaps are a lot different than TGB. They now work using the CompositeSprite instead of a dedicated tilemap object. If you know what you're doing they can be very fast. If not, well, you should know what you're doing...


T2D does not have lighting of any kind. There's no normal mapping. There's no shader support. It uses a fixed pipeline. Consequently, this seems like a good area to grow the engine.


Liquid fun is cool. Seems like a side note to me. Not really critical to the engine.

 

Okay i will download a fresh 3.4 source and work on adding some simple specular lighting and see if it works out. Composite sprites where u define cell sizes and such? i might actually try and add an option to use dedicated tilemap objects as well as a side option? or do u think composite sprites would be the best way to leave it? i can see how composite sprites would load quicker, are there any advantages u can think of to having dedicated tilemap objects?

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Composite Sprites do have dedicated cells like a tilemap, but they also have other modes for isometric tile maps or custom arrangements of sprites. There's no need for another tilemap object.


You can read about them here: https://github.com/GarageGames/Torque2D/wiki/CompositeSprite-Guide


In my game,Pirate Code, I use composite sprites for the ships (custom mode) and also for the world map's ocean (rectangular tile mode):

https://store.steampowered.com/app/370120/Pirate_Code/

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I can see what u mean about it being pretty straight through, the functions for lighting are loaded into memory om gl_types.cc and then disabled in dgl.cc but everything is there if i set up lights as a scene object and then a simple counter for each light this shouldnt be too difficult. Would be cool to get lighting like this working in torque 2d


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  • 1 month later...

Okay after taking the time to go through the engines source code and looking for the best place to add the details for lighting and such i am a bit stuck, no matter where i add code to load a shader for lighting and i add a null light object into the scene i cant get it to work but i will persevere. I will say this though everything that is needed for lighting is already included in torque 2ds code also for some reason im not sure why but torque 2d has the ability to load in 3d models?

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I think it may have to do with the stencil operations

 

static void APIENTRY logglStencilFunc(GLenum func, GLint ref, GLuint mask)
{
  SIG( "glStencilFunc" );
  dllglStencilFunc( func, ref, mask );
}

 

static void APIENTRY logglStencilOp(GLenum fail, GLenum zfail, GLenum zpass)
{
  SIG( "glStencilOp" );
  dllglStencilOp( fail, zfail, zpass );

 

fail, zfail, zpass, func, ref and mask all seem to be enums but they are pointing to default values in opengl i need to change these to GL_KEEP GL_ALWAYS GL_REPLACE and number values but i cant seem to find where they are used or defined and when i try to just type in gl declared variables it wont build

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