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Most of the work i am doing in KGoldrunner for KDE4 is still hidden from the user. I have ported it initially from KDE3 QCanvas to use the new QGraphicsView architecture. After a couple of weeks, it became apparent that QGV architecture is probably not a good fit for the requirements we had for this game. Today I commited a new version, built with a lighter canvas replacement, from KBoard (kboard.sourceforge.net.) Performance is excellent, and I thank Maurizio Monge for convincing me to give it a try 🙂 Code is already in SVN, and with this the initial port for KDE4 is finally complete. BTW, Maurizio just got SVN commit rights, and we have big plans involving KBoard and this light canvas class for the near future 🙂
But back to KGoldRunner: now we can (finally!) start working on improvements that are visible to the user! Ian Wadham is KGoldRunner´s current maintainer, and he has great ideas about new features. One of the plans is to add the option of “modern” graphics to the engine, while still maintaining the retro look, among several other minor improvements and new levels.
But recently I realized that most people ditch KGoldRunner without even trying to play it because they believe the graphics are of poor quality. This is true specially for the newer audience, since they have not been exposed to KGoldRunner´s inspiration, the original LodeRunner. I guess we have to do something to address this situation.
If you do not know what LodeRunner was, it was probably one of the most influential titles in the history of computer games. Wikipedia comes to the rescue:
If you have not played LodeRunner, give KGoldRunner a try. The mouse control might seem non-intuitive during the first 30 seconds, but follow the tutorials, and you will be having fun in no time.
In other news, KMahjongg is progressing slowly, but I plan to devote a lot of time to it during aKademy. Also, Dimtry Suzdalev has reimplemented most of KReversi, and the SVN version is already using small SVG tiles, contributed by me. But more on this tomorrow…
I guess I needed a blog in order to post reports on my progress working with the kdegames team, so here it is.
First, a little bit about myself. I live in Brazil, and have been working with software and games at Tabuleiro , a company I started with Raquel Ravanini in 1994. We also produce commercial middleware for multimedia and game developers since 1996, and I have worked in a couple of open source projects on the past couple of years, on sourceforge.
During this time I have followed the development of KDE closely. I also attended the FISL conference for the past 4 years, and GDC since 1999, building experience and knowledge about FLOSS and the gaming industry at the same time.
Well, I decided that helping with the development of FLOSS projects is the path I want to take next. The success of FLOSS, and KDE specially, is even more essential in developing countries like Brazil, and fortunately I have some spare time and energy to contribute to this goal. And after 3 years of experimentation in our commercial products, my Qt skills are probably decent enough to begin hacking the kde code “officially”, so I offered to help with kdegames coding for the KDE4 release.
My first self-assignment was to help with the port of KGoldrunner to the new QGraphicsView architecture. This is going well, and the major portions have already been done. Thanks go to Ian Wadham and Dmitry Suzdalev, who helped me a lot during this initial phase, and TT for the support in qt4-preview-feedback. It is sometimes difficult to work with pre-release software, but Andreas Aardal Hanssen has been extremely helpful. Hopefully our experiences with the kdegames ports would also help refine QGraphicsView before it goes final.
Two weeks ago I decided to begin an overhaul of KMahjongg, one of my favorite kde games, and Raquel Ravanini donated her vectorial tileset graphics to the project. Then Albert kindly asked me to step up as KMahjongg’s maintainer, so there is no turning back now 🙂