Looking for suggestions/advice
rodneys at io.com
Wed Aug 10 13:55:44 CDT 2005
I have owned a copy of Rev for several years and am trying to decide
if it is appropriate for a project that I want to do. I haven't done
that much work with Rev, just played around with it. I have a pretty
good background in HyperCard, so the basic concepts of Revolution
make sense to me. I have dabbled quite a bit in other programming
languages and am pretty familiar with object oriented programming and
programming in general. I am not a computer science major, so there
is a lot that I don't know as well.
Now, on to what I want to ask for help with. I want to develop an
application which is a design/play environment for board/card games -
particularly European-style modern games. This program should allow
for people to create an add-on module to implement a particular game.
Initially, it will just allow people to import graphics for playing
pieces, cards, etc. and set up some very simple rules, such as how
many cards to draw at one time, whether cards are public or private
information, etc. Eventually I would like to allow the program to
completely handle the rules of the game including score keeping,
enforcement of all game rules, etc. I will start out very simple and
add complexity as time goes on. The first iterations will require the
user to do everything manually just to make sure I can handle
dragging pieces around, dealing cards, etc. Then I will start to
automate each of these things.
I know that Revolution can easily handle the multi-player aspects via
communication with a central server that broadcasts the information
to everyone involved in the game. I'm not sure if this server should
be written in Rev or something else such as PHP.
I know that Revolution can make the graphical aspects of the program
much easier than more traditional languages. I'm still not sure about
being able to easily zoom in and out (scaling) the view of the game
board, but I suspect it can be handled dynamically in Rev as well.
For my real dilemma, though. I brought up some ideas about this a
couple of years ago looking for advice. People seemed to indicate
that this should be a workable project in Rev. Now I'm looking for
ideas as to how to go about implementing things.
Here are my questions/concerns:
This application is going to require a scripting language. My
understanding is that Transcript isn't a viable scripting language
for this purpose (correct me if I'm wrong, please) because there are
limits as to how much can be done on the fly from an imported script
rather than one built into the stack. For example, I don't think that
I can have a user write a script that could be imported as a module
into a Revolution stack and executed without limiting that script to
10 lines. Since a game could have several hundred pieces including
cards, game boards, scoring tracks, decks of cards, etc. that need to
have rules set for them, how can I go about this? Do I create XML
tags to allow this? Do I write my own interpreter that Rev then uses
to execute the scripts? I've never actually written a programming
language, but I know there are better methods than one big if-then
structure to parse through a line of code to figure out what it needs
to do. Any suggestions on how to easily learn what I need to do here
would be appreciated.
I would like to allow the games to have computer players as well as
human. That ratchets up the requirements for a scripting language
even more. Is this something that Revolution is well suited to? Or
should I really be looking at other languages such as Java? I could
let users script things via Python or Ruby if I used Java. I know the
downsides of developing in a language such as Java rather than
Revolution. I just have this nagging feeling that it may actually
make for a better cross-platform development system than Rev for what
I want to do. I'd be happy to be disabused of this notion.
Thanks for any help/suggestions that you can offer.
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