domenica 1 aprile 2012

The Gluon Dream



Hello! :) Today I will talk to you about an interesting project I've been working and experimenting over the last 2 months: Gluon.


 - What's this Gluon about?


Gluon is a project of the KDE software (in the playground[1]) with a big dream: delivering high quality free games and a game creator.
Technically speaking there's the Gluon Creator, which is the game maker built on top of Qt and OpenGL, and then there's the Gluon Player, which is the actual "player" of the games baked without the creator. The idea behind all of this is quite awesome and impressed me a lot.


 - Why should it be revolutionary?


Every person with a passion for videogames but not willing (or not able) to learn a complex programming language and framework can achieve his/her dream of make a new videogame. This opens a lot of opportunities to the free gaming world, involving also the individuals (and bored :D) people into game development.


 - Ok, got it. What about portability?


Gluon is more than awesome in portability. Compared to other deployment engines like Steam or USC, Gluon brings a "player" that can read and play baked games. This is amazing, since we just need to ship the baked game file, not compiled or architecture dependant. 




This means that Gluon games can be played on every OS and architecture that the Gluon player has been compiled for. Since Qt is one of the most portable frameworks the awesomenessmeter is quite high.


 - Wow, that's cool! What about distribution?



Here is my idea. We assured that Gluon has quite awesome deployment system. What is really missing is a distribution system that rocks. The official website for gaming community collaboration is gamingfreedom.org and the only implementation is the test server[2]  kindly provided by Frank Karlitschek of openDesktop.org. My idea is to develop it further, giving players and developers the ability to sign up, upload games, play, give feedback and ratings, but also comments and other. Imagine a social website that could meet all those requirements. But there's more!
I would also use and (in part implement) the Open Collaboration Services protocol that allows any client written in any language (that use OCS) to interface to Gluon database of games, users and so more.
See the OCS reference to have an idea of what can be implemented.
http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/open-collaboration-services


 - Awesome! There's something more?


Yep! One thing more. Since we're creating all this for Gluon, and since OCS, db schemes and protocol are quite fixed inside the protocol, we can also make all this portable to other projects as well. Just to give you some examples... this could be adapted to store amarok's plugins, music context collaboration in Amarok, Tomahawk etc. or plasma themes, or even a QML app store.


But those are just theorical ideas. So, please, help me promote my GSoC proposal: http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/proposal/review/google/gsoc2012/snizzo/1001 :)


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[1]: https://projects.kde.org/projects/playground/games/gluon/repository 
[2]: http://test.gamingfreedom.org/



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