Making a browser version of wesnoth?

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dagnelies
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Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by dagnelies » June 2nd, 2018, 7:51 am

Hi guys,

I was toying around with the idea of making a browser based version of wesnoth.

This lead me to wonder if there is even interest in the community about such an endeavor.
So, bluntly speaking, would *you* like to see such a project realized?

This is of course a herculean task, so such a project should not be taken lightly. I won't go into details about the technical aspects here, it's more to "feel the pulse" of what you think of it as a community.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by Pentarctagon » June 2nd, 2018, 8:29 am

Depending on your approach, there was a previous attempt at this, though it seems to have stalled out.
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by gnombat » June 2nd, 2018, 12:37 pm


dagnelies
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by dagnelies » June 2nd, 2018, 7:46 pm

Ah, I've already seen both. I must confess I'm actually a bit skeptical about the "transpiling" of the c++ codebase directly into js.
The other one looked surprisingly good! It is rather well done.
While I was toying around with my prototype, I haven't achieved such well done maps yet.
However, I'd also like to prioritize a minimally viable/playable game, rather than reproducing the tiling system to perfection. That would be a step after.

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pauxlo
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by pauxlo » June 14th, 2018, 5:29 pm

An interesting thing to consider would be interoperability with people playing the downloaded game, e.g. playing multiplayer games together.
This might be possible by reusing a part of the engine (the part which does the actual WML and rules stuff) on the server, and just rewriting the UI in the client. (Though it might also be that this would introduce too much lag.)

dagnelies
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by dagnelies » June 16th, 2018, 8:32 am

Well, the multiplayer compatibility would be a challenge. I'd already be happy with a trimmed down single player version ;P. I've already tried to "just" parse the WML itself, but the pre-processing and macros are fairly convoluted/tricky. The WML itself also has a really huge scope, with tons of different tags/properties. Just parsing the data is a challenge.

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ForestDragon
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by ForestDragon » June 25th, 2018, 5:11 pm

(my apologies in advance if I sound too harsh) To be honest, I'm unsure such a project is truly worth it. I can't imagine a demographic who wouldn't prefer to play the game in browser over just installing it. Some of the reasons off the top of my head:
-people who have the internet connections needed for browser games generally don't mind waiting a few hours (or a good deal less in most cases) for the game to load, and the game being reliant on internet connection even for singleplayer is a very clear disadvantage
-most of the bfw community who already have bfw installed would likely not want to switch to an inferior version, and the browser version's lower quality compared to the actual game might discourage new players.
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dagnelies
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by dagnelies » July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm

No worries, I don't mind. Constructive criticism and a dose of skepticism is healthy. :)
I totally agree with the second point that almost no one with a desktop version would switch to an online version, which is certain to be inferior. However, I would indeed challenge the first point. I think there are two big cases:
- especially among more casual folks, downloading/installing a game might already be an undesired step. Those might be more inclined to just "try it out" in the browser.
- if you want to play on a tablet. I heard the android/iphone app is not so good. Although the functionality related to the "right click" might need some reworking :/

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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by RolfDhew » July 2nd, 2018, 7:41 pm

dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
No worries, I don't mind. Constructive criticism and a dose of skepticism is healthy. :)
I totally agree with the second point that almost no one with a desktop version would switch to an online version, which is certain to be inferior. However, I would indeed challenge the first point. I think there are two big cases:
- especially among more casual folks, downloading/installing a game might already be an undesired step. Those might be more inclined to just "try it out" in the browser.
- if you want to play on a tablet. I heard the android/iphone app is not so good. Although the functionality related to the "right click" might need some reworking :/
Hi
I play on the android version of battle for wesnoth, it works very well and is exactly the same as the desktop version, even the scenario editor and add on server works, not to mention the campaigns and multiplayer.

I personally don't think a browser version would be worth it.

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ForestDragon
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by ForestDragon » July 2nd, 2018, 7:47 pm

dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
No worries, I don't mind. Constructive criticism and a dose of skepticism is healthy. :)
ok.
dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
- especially among more casual folks, downloading/installing a game might already be an undesired step. Those might be more inclined to just "try it out" in the browser.
That might actually be a good idea, but I'm not sure whether the amount of users it will attract would justify the enormous amount of effort needed to rewrite the code. Also, the time spent on the port could very well be used elsewhere, like contributing to the game in ways that benefit the whole community (like making an add-on, contributing art/code to the mainline, etc.).
dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
- if you want to play on a tablet. I heard the android/iphone app is not so good. Although the functionality related to the "right click" might need some reworking :/
Issues with the mobile port are better fixed with an improved mobile port. And besides, as RolfDhew just mentioned, the android version isn't really too bad itself. (I've tried it myself a while ago)
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by Tad_Carlucci » July 2nd, 2018, 7:58 pm

If the goal is to completely convert the game to Javascript and run it entirely in the local browser, I've seen a proof-of-concept which sorta-maybe showed it might be kinda possible. But it seems to me that the idea was dropped because it is far too much work to actually get it working. To my mind, the effort is about equal to a ground-up rewrite. I think that's what Pentarctagon was referring to.

Would there be advantages to doing a browser-based UI? Sure. I'd approach it as just the UI and come up with some way for the game logic (WML, Lua, all that) to be server-based. You'd then be left with a scaling problem which, if you're willing to put in the money, can be worked around using AWS, Google, Azure, etc. It's still a massive effort: probably a few dozen man-years.
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by enclave » July 3rd, 2018, 11:50 am

dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
- especially among more casual folks, downloading/installing a game might already be an undesired step. Those might be more inclined to just "try it out" in the browser.
I agree, would be very useful for that. I guess would work best for non-steam players, but could work for both, why not..
dagnelies wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:32 pm
- if you want to play on a tablet. I heard the android/iphone app is not so good. Although the functionality related to the "right click" might need some reworking :/
I agree again. I tried it on tablet, it takes ages just to load the game first time (my tablet wasnt the super-computer, but not bad either)
using mouse was the biggest challenge, not sure about right click. But people who play it on phone (crazy people in my opinion, since I'm a dektop person :D) probably dont care about controls so controls might be irrelevant. But I assume web browser version could make it both faster loading and better controls, since controls would be reworked from scratch.
ForestDragon wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:47 pm
(my apologies in advance if I sound too harsh) To be honest, I'm unsure such a project is truly worth it.
... but I'm not sure whether the amount of users it will attract would justify the enormous amount of effort needed to rewrite the code. Also, the time spent on the port could very well be used elsewhere, like contributing to the game in ways that benefit the whole community (like making an add-on, contributing art/code to the mainline, etc.).
Like you contributing with add-ons like diplomacy mod which just doesn't work and could be named as just one big bug? And then you say "oh i know it doesnt work, but i dont really care. Just was a nice idea to have it." I think you would be the last person to convince somebody not to do something knowing how you do things yourself. Just mind your own business about other people's time, no?
ForestDragon wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:47 pm
...and the browser version's lower quality compared to the actual game might discourage new players.
it will not necessarily be a lower quality, it might be actually a higher quality or much higher quality, you never know. The fact that the files will be located on server instead of your PC doesn't mean low quality at all. Just thinking of wesnoth, I never had an idea of any high quality graphics it has LOL, sprites are more like from 1990 rather than any quality. It doesn't stop anyone playing it, but quality? it's just irrelevant.
[/quote]
Tad_Carlucci wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:58 pm
But it seems to me that the idea was dropped because it is far too much work to actually get it working. To my mind, the effort is about equal to a ground-up rewrite.You'd then be left with a scaling problem which, if you're willing to put in the money, can be worked around using AWS, Google, Azure, etc. It's still a massive effort: probably a few dozen man-years.
You all forgetting the main point, you all don't know why dagnelies starting this project. Maybe he just wants to put something on CV, maybe he just loves to code javascript and loves to play wesnoth, so combining these both is just a joy time he spends to relax from work and he has no strict intention to finish it, or strict timeframe/deadline, so he has those dozen years. If creators of Wesnoth would think about how much efford Wesnoth would be I don't think they would ever created it, don't you think so? How many years has passed now since it was released? And they still developing, developing, developing... I just don't understand what is your all point about convincing somebody to stop doing what they enjoy or willing to do???
Envious or something?

dagnelies, I agree that it's like a "men to the moon" project, keep it in mind obviously (If you feel that your heart will be broken when you realize that it's too much work, don't start it). And Ill be honest I also think that a single person will never finish something like this, but it doesn't mean anything if you are willing to do it with all your heart and soul :) or if you are just enjoying the process like most coders do (who cares then if you finish or not). If you don't finish you will at least gain experience.. or a half-working project to show to employers maybe. Whatever your reasons are.. I'm 100% sure there would be a use for web-browser version, maybe you would even make money on it someday and become a millionaire (doubt that really, but who knows :D) Every beginning is a great thing, if you want to try to do something, just do it.

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ForestDragon
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by ForestDragon » July 3rd, 2018, 11:53 am

enclave wrote:
July 3rd, 2018, 11:50 am
Like you contributing with add-ons like diplomacy mod which just doesn't work and could be named as just one big bug? And then you say "oh i know it doesnt work, but i dont really care. Just was a nice idea to have it." I think you would be the last person to convince somebody not to do something knowing how you do things yourself. Just mind your own business about other people's time, no?
Can't argue with that.
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by Shiki » July 3rd, 2018, 4:00 pm

Maybe you should remove it then :whistle:
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ForestDragon
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Re: Making a browser version of wesnoth?

Post by ForestDragon » July 3rd, 2018, 4:08 pm

Shiki wrote:
July 3rd, 2018, 4:00 pm
Maybe you should remove it then :whistle:
Do you mean the add-on? Yeah, that's actually a good idea. I suppose I might reupload it once it's not an unplayable mess.
Co-creator of Era of Magic
Creator of Tale of Alan (1.12 abandoned),The Golden Age (1.12/1.13, abandoned),XP Bank (1.14),Alliances Mod(1.14), with a large add-on in development
"Real life is like a hyper-realistic VR game, but with permadeath and boring gameplay"

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