I could have posted this in polish but I felt that english speaking forum needs something to stay alive … Furthermore there are couple interesting things mentioned by devs in the polish speaking forum that I guess some non polish speaking people would also like to know
- It was mentioned by devs that this project will may be open source from version 0.7 (but they promise nothing). To be exact everything would be open beside libs regarding h3 formats (save games, maps, etc)
- One of the reason for not open-sourcing the engine from the start is the fact that it would enable some nasty cheating in h3 multiplayer mode… Since people mostly play h3SOD when it comes to multi this was a strong reason to not hurt the multiplayer heroes community.
- There was a question about making an separate heroes-like game based on the engine… A game without any of original H3 graphics… I guess it would be something like Freeciv, Freecol , or Freeorion … It could have been named Freeheroes
Since those two things are important from my point of view I would like to post my comment on this.
It’s fine to not open the heroes format. I think those formats are a grey area and could lead to legal action from Ubisoft since they own the h3 code. About the multiplayer part I know that there are ways to cheat there right now and not get caught MP community works in a way that good players play among the trusted ones … just because it’s so easy to cheat. I don’t think that opening h3 format code would make things worse …
Whatever the team decision is it would be nice to have the not opened (freeware) h3 format lib just as an option , meaning VCMI should have it’s own independent way to store creatures animations, game animations, save games , it’s own map format etc.
For example creatures animations frames could be just stored as separate png files in folders with each creature name / number … Storing the game data as many seaprate files would in fact make it easier for moders etc to play/work with VCMI, because from my own experience I know that extracting inserting things into lod /def files takes a lot of time.
Doing it like that would allow to produce a free software (open source) heroes like game… It’s a shame there is a freeciv (civilization like game) and no freeheroes … really. For example :
fifengine.de/ … This guys started as just re-doing a fallout engine, but now their framework is more general and there is already 5 open source game projects that uses their engine… This of course in some cases leads to contribution from people working on the games to the main engine source code …
It was said by one of VCMI dev that it’s hard to replace all the graphic stuff from h3. But really why do that ? A Freeheroes game could start with just two towns, and no upgrades for units … Castle units number could be also changed to maybe 5-6 instead of 7 … The project could grow with time , and would have other pros then large number of castles / units … For example different strategic system … good balance etc.
I browsed this site :
and I can see there are at least 2 -3 almost completed towns (water like and desert like (Bastion ))… Limiting the creatures numbers to 6 and we have 2 towns already … It’s just a meter to contact the authors and get the permission to use their work in a freeheroes game on some open license like Creative commons for example…
Doing the 2d graphics for in game terrain (we could start with just grass) and menus would be a lot of easier then doing units animations and in town screen
In fact as soon as VCMI is open source and supports ERM I would consider starting a freeheroes efford myself…