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The Future of EO4?


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Alright just a heads up: This is _NOT_ one of those "IS EO4 DEAD?!?!" topics. I do have some questions on the future of it though.

First off I'd like to ask:

Will EO4 be getting some sort of beta to the scripting system offered in the upcoming EclipseV by the end of its lifetime? Sort of how Cryptic Studios revealed the Foundry to STO players when it was designed for NWO? Reason I ask is because my fear began to ring true last night while I was working on my EO4 game, and that was that EO4 could have been a lot better with a solid scripting system in place. I understand why EO4 couldn't have been open source, due to selling the product, but I feel like for the price it was to buy EO4 it should have more customization. There are HUGE improvements to it, yes. I was VERY surprised when instancing became a thing. However, I still feel like production speed could have been heavily increased and focus would have been more driven towards Eclipse V if the players were able to customize the engine themselves. If this wasn't a plan already (to add scripting support to EO4), would it be possible to consider it now? I understand this is a huge feat, and it would take quite a bit of time, but I honestly feel like unless EO4 gold owners will get a discount on Eclipse V, my money has been sort of wasted. With the ability to customize previous Eclipse engines so heavily, and for free, it seems sort of a step backwards to charge for EO4 and have less customization (and then to ask for full payment for Eclipse V from EO4 Gold owners).

Second, and this sort of follows up my previous question, if EO4 will NOT be getting scripting support (which is the more likely case), how difficult will the transition from EO4 to Eclipse V be? Will there be any account, character, or map converters? Obviously graphics can easily be transferred, but how about stuff like player progress and the maps I've been working on? I really love making games with Eclipse, and I've made significant progress with the EO4 game I'm working on, but I'd really love that scripting system and would _LOVE_ to be able to simply convert my stuff over to Eclipse V with ease. I'd really hate to start from scratch.

Thanks in advance!
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Being as EO4 and EV are two totally different languages, it'll be very difficult to convert EO4 to EV. So I don't see there being any converters or any possible porting happening.

As for scripting on EO4\. I once heard that JC was planning on a scripting feature, the only problem is (because he offers server hosting also), is how easy it would be to send scripts to the server that can harm the servers on his end. AFAIK, he's still trying to figure out harmful script preventions. Not really a clear answer on whether there will ever be one or not.

All in all, if you've done a lot on EO4\. I would recommend sticking to it, not only does it give experience and feedback to improvement, but also can be used as a blueprint to something greater if you ever wish to re-create it on a future engine.
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Hmm… I see. Thank you for the reply!

Now that you mention it I do recall a conversation about security problems with scripting, although I never did see if there were plans to re-implement it in a more secure way. I'm hoping you're right.

Although strangely, and this might just be my memory failing me, I don't really recall issues with security issues during the era of Eclipse Evolution. Like I said, though, it's probably just my memory failing me.

I am disappointed by the lack of conversion possibilities. You're right in saying that I'm getting in practice now, but it's just disheartening to know that all my work right now won't even be valid if Eclipse V comes out. I would just stop and wait, but considering there's no ETA as to when Eclipse V will come out I might be waiting a long while.

Anyway, thanks. I'll just set this topic to resolved. If anyone else has any input or could better answer anything I'm all ears.
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The security issues have always been there, with scripting as we employ it within VB6 (which is essentially just interpreted VBScript) you can shut down a computer or remove files from the harddrive. You generally wouldn't do this to your own gameserver, however if you give people access to a system they can abuse on a server hosted for them on a machine with other servers.. You'll quickly run into people breaking stuff. It's very easy to write a VBScript to scan an entire machine to get its folder structure.

EclipseV does not have this issue, because of the fact that it'll be written in a modern language and thus allow for more modern implementations of languages. The one V uses is Lua, which requires the programmer to open up what it can do rather than it taking every command there is available natively. This exact system will not make it over to VB6 though, or is at least very unlikely because it'd require JC to write an entire implementation for his Lua libraries to work with VB6, which is a bit.. difficult knowing how awkward VB6 handles some variable types.

As for converters, I've asked this internally a couple of times but because of the way the new map system and resource (tilesets, characters etc.) system works it will NOT be possible to convert your data over. (There's likely to be differences in every system, but these have been confirmed as nigh impossible to convert so far)
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Thanks for the reply, Stein!

Wow, didn't know VB6 could be that broken… xP. Thanks for the clarification! Still a little disappointed by the lack of converters, but I understand.

Oh, while I'm here, and since this deals with EO4 (and potential additions) and I don't want to make a new topic about it, was there a specific reason lighting was taken out of Eclipse awhile ago? I remember back in... I think Eclipse Evolution still had it... we had lighting effects along with day/night cycles. It wasn't too advanced, but it was still nice to play with and could create some nice looking map effects. For some reason I seem to recall someone saying it was taken out because it was too demanding on certain games? Not sure if this is true or not, since it'd be impossible to find the original post.

From a bit of quick research it appears some players were able to script it back into EO3\. I was wondering if maybe there are plans to add it back into EO4? I do understand we have the color overlays that can work as a make-shift night filter, but we have nothing to brighten up specific areas with. If I have a street lamp it will always look like it's off during night.

So I guess really two questions:

1\. Anyone know why it was removed originally?

2\. Are there any plans to add it back in, and if not would someone be able to suggest it for me (Or point me in the direction to suggest it)? Not really sure if there's an "insert ideas here" topic or anything xP.

Thanks ahead of time.
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1) The original method used to render night tiles was.. far from efficient and would completely murder performance on a large amount of machines. It was simply never added back into EO because of this, as at the time we were using DirectDraw7 which has no proper methods for handling alpha levels on textures meaning they would always be solid colors.

2) I'm not sure, can't really answer this as I'm not 100% certain as to what their current plans are.
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> Although on DX7\. We'd use a hack tile that created a dark effect, by leaving every other pixel of the tile transparent while the other part would be black. :P

Yes, but this was an awful and inefficient method. :P Nobody in their right mind should ever copy that method.
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