Mobile?

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Geekydude4
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Mobile?

Post by Geekydude4 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:11 am

I had an idea the other day. :idea-alt: Why not make a Bzflag mobile? So I went and grabed my DS lite and thougth about the controls and it could work. There is even a market for touch screen which might be cool. Thanks, I just wanted to throught that out there for coders. (You could make an Xbox version to! :D ) Please send ideas and if you like mine!

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JeffM
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Re: Mobile?

Post by JeffM » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:28 am

This is not a new idea. Search the forums for other discussions on it and why the project is not interested in doing a fork for limited platforms.

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War Pig
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Re: Mobile?

Post by War Pig » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:29 pm

IIRC, there was incompatibility with the Xbox SDK and the GPL that made the possibility of developing bzflag for that platform, and others like it, impractical from a licensing perspective.

With regards to mobile devices, there was the issue of lag and latency associated with the various mobile networks that made playing on (at least non-wifi) mobile devices unattractive. This may be different now, but for the developers to develop for a platform that would have little chance of supporting an acceptable playing experience would be a waste of developer resources, and ultimately be detrimental to the game.

All that said, bzflag must eventually move to these sorts of devices, as the lightweight gaming landscape moves away from the desktop and onto mobile and dedicated devices. The good news is, bzflag is open source. As soon as a developer comes along that has the both interest and skills, the bzApp will be born. Already there is a developer working on porting bzadmin to ios. Can a client be far behind?

For now, I think the developers are headed in the right direction, with clear focus on the most important issues. Adding new features and supporting new platforms needs to take a back seat to fixing the problems; and bzflag has plenty of problems. ;)
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blast
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Re: Mobile?

Post by blast » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 pm

War Pig wrote:IIRC, there was incompatibility with the Xbox SDK and the GPL that made the possibility of developing bzflag for that platform, and others like it, impractical from a licensing perspective.
Can't remember if there was an issue with the Xbox SDK, but I know that the Apple App Store license conflicts with the GPL. However, BZFlag is LGPL, but I'm not sure how the differences between GPL and LGPL would affect the app store eligibility.

The main problem with writing for game consoles is that you generally have to pay a very large sum of money to get a development kit, and then you have to code specifically for that platform (or buy some game engine that can help you target multiple platforms). For a free game, that's just not reasonable. The Xbox 360 does have the ability for indie developers to write games using C# and the XNA framework for a nominal fee (I think it's like $100/year/developer).
War Pig wrote:All that said, bzflag must eventually move to these sorts of devices, as the lightweight gaming landscape moves away from the desktop and onto mobile and dedicated devices.
I really don't think you'll see BZFlag move to console/mobile devices, ever. It would be a new game in the spirit of BZFlag.
War Pig wrote:As soon as a developer comes along that has the both interest and skills, the bzApp will be born. Already there is a developer working on porting bzadmin to ios. Can a client be far behind?
Yes, VERY far behind. Also, it isn't someone "porting" bzadmin to iOS. It is someone writing a completely new piece of software that can talk to BZFlag servers and operate in the same fashion as bzadmin.
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Re: Mobile?

Post by indy » Thu May 29, 2014 4:58 pm

Let's resurrect this conversation and see where it goes...

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Re: Mobile?

Post by macsforme » Thu May 29, 2014 7:48 pm

Traditional television gaming consoles like the Xbox and Playstation are likely still a no-go, as the licensing and monetary considerations create very little motivation for someone to go to the trouble. There are other platforms, like the OUYA for television, and an assortment of handhelds, which are more friendly toward projects like ours and may be more viable. The good news is that many of these support SDL, which is what we use on most platforms for window and input handling. The bad news is that most of these support only OpenGL ES, which our ancient rendering code is light years away from.

There has been talk from time to time of adopting a graphics rendering engine to modernize our graphics with minimal effort. Many of these support OpenGL ES and are already working on platforms like iOS and Android. Realistically though, there are more pressing priorities for the developers we still have left, and very little progress being made in general over the last few years. Your best bet is to learn the skills to implement something like this yourself. Once you start working on it, it's likely that other people will help you if the project interests them.

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Re: Mobile?

Post by JeffM » Thu May 29, 2014 8:17 pm

Nothing about the subject has changed, so resurrecting it will result in the same thing. It's not something we are going to do now with our current code base.

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Re: Mobile?

Post by ZE BOZZ » Fri May 30, 2014 3:09 am

I would love to have a "bzadmin app" or as blast said back in 2011, something that
can talk to BZFlag servers and operate in the same fashion as bzadmin.


On various occasions I have had the need for or talked about this possibility in depth with different people and the great help it could be managing servers and etc right from your phone or tablet! It still remains a great idea and one that is, of course, plausible. It would just take some time being placed into it, to make a reality and also a capable programmer that feels like it doing it. :D
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Re: Mobile?

Post by JeffM » Fri May 30, 2014 5:15 am

Our designs for better administration have been to use an HTTP connection to the server and manage it over a web interface (the current release supports HTTP connections, it's how the fastmap system works). This way you don't need an app for every platform, just a browser.

The webadmin plugin just needs to be finished up and given a set of features, the protocol and authentication is already in .

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Re: Mobile?

Post by ZE BOZZ » Fri May 30, 2014 1:15 pm

That's exciting! I was thinking about it some more and I was wondering if it might be best for only registered players to be able to use the webadmin. Now that you can access it from many different devices and the accessibility has been multiplied, so to speak, there is an even greater risk for this service to be used for the wrong reasons. If registered players are only allowed to use this it could cut down on a lot of the ways it could be misused. It would also be a great encouragement for players to register. Pretty much the same principles as only allowing registered players to talk.

If this would be a stretch that's fine, just a suggestion :D
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Re: Mobile?

Post by blast » Fri May 30, 2014 7:26 pm

ZE BOZZ wrote:That's exciting! I was thinking about it some more and I was wondering if it might be best for only registered players to be able to use the webadmin. Now that you can access it from many different devices and the accessibility has been multiplied, so to speak, there is an even greater risk for this service to be used for the wrong reasons. If registered players are only allowed to use this it could cut down on a lot of the ways it could be misused. It would also be a great encouragement for players to register. Pretty much the same principles as only allowing registered players to talk.

If this would be a stretch that's fine, just a suggestion :D
The way the plugin has been written in 2.99.x was that it needed authentication, and then it enabled pages based on your available permissions. So you wouldn't see the "Kick" page unless you had the kick permission, for instance.
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Re: Mobile?

Post by JeffM » Fri May 30, 2014 8:30 pm

The HTTP system is a service that is provided for different plug-ins to use. Each plugin can ask for a specific authentication style (none, HTTP_AUTH, or BZID). BZID uses the weblogin system and works with normal registered users just like these forums, in game authentication, or other third party websites.

The webadmin plugin as Blast mentioned uses the BZID authentication method so it is only available for registered users. It also ties into the in game permission system as he said to determine what each person can do. This gives it the same permission and useability structure as bzadmin or an in game client, so there should be no additional security issues from using HTTP ( we took all this into account when designing it).

Other plugins that use HTTP don't do any authentication, like fastmap. Since it's download only we let anyone download the map.

In a general security setting our HTTP system is pretty good, since it only supports a subset of HTTP and isn't designed for general file access like dedicated servers, there are fewer places that we had to secure against attack (No PHP, SQL, or other places for injection for instance).

Again the guts are there I think it just needs it's web templates completed.

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Re: Mobile?

Post by JeffM » Fri May 30, 2014 8:55 pm

I guess I never checked in the actual webadmin plugin into the 2.4 or 2.6 branches, so I am wrong about that part being there. The back-end and authentication work is done.

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