Coding Needs

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This page outlines the areas of the code where additional programmers are needed. This information is especially useful for programmers who wish to help out with the game's development, but are not sure where to start. This page only lists areas that need attention and a brief description of each area. This page does not list what specific tasks need to be completed or give any indication of priority of those tasks. That information can be found on the Allacrost bug tracker at: . Look for any entries in the bug tracker with a severity of "trivial", "text", or "feature". These entries are treated as development tasks (all other levels of severity are treated as bugs).

Note: Check the Timestamp

Because this page has a tendency to not always be up-to-date, look at the date it was last modified. It can be found in the lower-left hand corner of the page.

General Area (# programmers needed)
Short description of general area. The # of additional programmers is the sum of all specific areas.
Specific Area (# programmers needed)
Short Description of area

Game Engine (1-2 programmers needed)
The game engine is the core of the Allacrost code base. The code that creates the game experience utilizes the various components of the engine in order to execute the game by playing audio, drawing graphics, processing user input, etc.
Audio Engine
The audio engine uses the OpenAL and vorbisfile libraries to playback sounds (.wav) and music (.ogg). This code is fairly advanced, supporting features such as customized looping, distance attenuation, and support for many audio effects such as fading.
Input Engine
The input engine uses the SDL library to process keyboard, gamepad, and joystick input from the user. This engine component also provides support to allow the player to customize and retain their control settings. Mouse input is not supported by the input engine at this time.
Mode Management Engine
Allacrost operates by utilizing a stack of "game modes". This is what allows us to quickly traverse from a map, into a battle, into a pause state, and then back out again. The mode management engine maintains this stack of game modes.
Script Engine
The script engine's primary purpose is to serve as an interface between Lua (our scripting language) and C++ (our primary language). It utilizes the Lua C API and Luabind libraries to achieve this goal. Support for C++ to read, write, and modify Lua files is provided by this class, as well as mechanisms for allowing Lua to access C++ code constructrs.
System Engine
The system engine provides a wide variety of engine utilities for other pieces of code to make use of. Two of its main purposes are providing timers and an accurate timing update system, as well as providing internationalization support using the gettext library.
Video Engine (1-2 programmers needed)
The video engine is the largest and most complex of all the game engine components. The video engine uses the OpenGL library for graphics rendering, libpng and libjpeg for image file manipulation, and SDL_ttf for text rendering. The video engine implements support for texture management, text rendering, animation, lighting, special effects, and a long list of other features.
Global Code
The global code contains a series of objects and a manager that implement game elements which need to be shared between more than one game mode. For example, items are a game object that are used both in battles and in character menus. Characters, enemies, skills, are all examples of global objects. This code implements each of those objects, as well as a singleton class which actively maintains global objects which need to be retained on a more permanent basis (such as characters in the party, or inventory). Nearly all global data are retained in a Lua file in one way or another.
Global Main
The primary global code serves as a manager for some types of global content which are created, such as characters. It is also where the save/load feature of the game is implemented, and keeps a record of all the events which have happened in the game up to the point that the player has arrived at.
Global Objects
Global objects include: items, weapon, armor, shards, and key items. These classes are fairly simple and are often passed between different areas of the code.
Global Actors
Global actors include characters, enemies, and a host of other small classes that make it easier to operate with these actors.
Global Skills
Global skills include skills which are executed by characters and enemies (usually in battle), as well as providing support for elemental effects and status effects which are prevalent in the game.
Game Modes (4-5 programmers needed)
Game modes implement the "meat" of the game. They are the code which drives sprites to move throughout a bustling community, or when the party fights a fierce battle against numerous foes, or allows the player to shop for new equipment for their characters. Game modes make several calls to the various components of the game engine and manipulate global code objects to make this all happen.
Battle Mode (1-2 programmer needed)
Quite simply, this is the game mode that is active when the game characters are fighting in a battle. It manages a queue of actions that each actor is waiting their turn to take, executes those skills and the graphical and audio effects that accompany them, and interprets user input to take appropriate actiosn.
Boot Mode
Boot mode is the first game mode that the player sees when starting the game. It allows the player to start a new game, load a save game, configure the game's setting, and view the game's credits.
Map Mode (1 programmer needed)
Map mode is active whenever the player is walking around exploring a map in a town or dungeon. It is the largest and most complex of the game modes, implementing A* pathfinding for on-screen sprites, support for scripted action sequences, rendering a mutli-layer tiled environment, and using a variety of scripted visual effects to create a unique atmosphere for each map.
Menu Mode (1 programmer needed)
Menu mode allows the player to view their current party status, including the party's current location, each character's stats and equipment, and all objects in the inventory. It also allows the player to manipulate that data by using items or executing skills, changing equipment or characters, and saving the game.
Pause Mode
Pause mode is active while the game is paused.
Quit Mode
Quit mode is active when the user has requested a quit command, and serves to provide a double confirmation to make sure that the player truly wishes to quit the game or return to the main menu (boot mode).
Shop Mode (1 programmer needed)
Shop mode provides a user interface for the player to purchase and sell wares. It also allows the player to easily examine the differences between their current inventory and the equipment for sale, and provides a shopping cart interface to make transactions.
Game Editor (3 programmers needed)
The Allacrost game editor is a separate program from the game, using the QT4 GUI library to implement its primary interface. It also utilizes the game engine (especially the video engine) in its operation. The two primary purposes of the game editor are to create and edit maps, and to browse or add new game content (media).
Map Editor (1 programmer needed)
The map editor is what we use to create, edit, and refine the basic properties of our maps. Typically, this includes map tile and object (sprite) placement. It also supports the creation of tileset definition files, which are files which define the properties of each tile contained within a tileset image.
Content Editor (2 programmers needed)
The content editor allows the user to browse through and examine game images, playback game sounds or music, or view specific data such as enemy stats. The user may also use this interface to edit or add additions to this game content.
Miscellaneous Code (1 programmer needed)
Miscellaneous code covers anything that does not fall under the previous three general areas. Examples include utility code and a testing interface that is used to help discover problems in the game engine.
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