iOS Port Discussion

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iOS Port Discussion

Post by macsforme » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:06 am

Sniper752 wrote:So when are we going to get BZ for iOS? :P
That will depend a lot on how Tim Riker responds to the email I just sent him. A lot of people would argue that BZFlag's license (LGPL) does not allow it to be distributed via Apple's app store. Someone started working on it (http://forums.bzflag.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=16882), but stopped because of this very concern. I am hoping Tim will add an exception to the license allowing this use, or else re-license BZFlag under something more permissive.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by blast » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:28 am

I'm hoping that he rejects any such exception or licensing change (and I will be emailing him suggesting he reject your request). I will not be interested in providing services for or contributing to BZFlag any longer if it's going to possible to release closed-source binaries and forks of the game, which your 'permissive' licenses would allow. I feel a walled garden platform like iOS is not the place for Free Software.
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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Bulldozer » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:00 am

blast wrote:I'm hoping that he rejects any such exception or licensing change (and I will be emailing him suggesting he reject your request). I will not be interested in providing services for or contributing to BZFlag any longer if it's going to possible to release closed-source binaries and forks of the game, which your 'permissive' licenses would allow. I feel a walled garden platform like iOS is not the place for Free Software.
... and this is why we can't have nice things. Stallman's all-or-nothing attitude is one of the prime reasons I no longer actively contribute to open-source.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Zehra » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:32 pm

In my personal opinion I think that going towards a close-source platform model to get new users could cause us to lose many of our current ones.
Last edited by Zehra on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Bulldozer » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:22 pm

Flak 18 wrote:If there is a sudden change in the licensing that would allow bzflag to be released under a closed-source license, I believe that we would lose most of our users since many of them came to bzflag because of it being open-source(me included).
Just because Apple's distribution model requires closed binaries does not mean that the application needs to be closed source (or indeed that any part beyond the distributed binary and the signing keys needs to be closed).

VideoLAN (for iOS in particular) is a prime example of how this can be done right. See http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ios.html; the only significant change is a dual-licensing under both the GPL and the MPL (Mozilla Public License), the latter of which allows for App Store style distribution.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by macsforme » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:42 pm

There are several licenses that would still require the code to be open-source but are not so restrictive that you can't deploy a build to the Apple app store. Mozilla is one example. That is all I am asking for.

The software freedom ideals in the GPL/LGPL are admirable, except when they get in the way of actually being able to use the software on devices you want. I realize some people are trying to make a statement, but it's a war I don't think we will win, and I would personally rather just be able to play the game. Nothing regarding BZFlag's open-source status needs to change.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Zehra » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:56 am

Constitution wrote:There are several licenses that would still require the code to be open-source but are not so restrictive that you can't deploy a build to the Apple app store. Mozilla is one example. That is all I am asking for.

The software freedom ideals in the GPL/LGPL are admirable, except when they get in the way of actually being able to use the software on devices you want. I realize some people are trying to make a statement, but it's a war I don't think we will win, and I would personally rather just be able to play the game. Nothing regarding BZFlag's open-source status needs to change
I understand your point Constitution, but I have a small concern that is based on the possible release of bzflag on another platform with a different license that it may be technicality "open-source" but due to technicalities it may not be "open-source".
I would like to see bzflag on other platforms, but there is the issue with licensing that might or might not lead to issues.
Last edited by Zehra on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by macsforme » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:17 pm

Flak 18 wrote:I understand your point Constitution, but I have a small concern that is based on the possible release of bzflag on another platform with a different license that it may be technicality "open-source" but due to technicalities it may not be "open-source".
I'm sorry, but that made no sense to me.

I've already said what the target second license would be (Mozilla), which is approved an an open-source license on the Open Source Initiative (https://opensource.org/licenses/MPL-2.0). The Mozilla license does not permit closed-source binaries. So, why don't you tell us specifically why the Mozilla license isn't open-source enough for you.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Zehra » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:54 pm

The Mozilla Public License (MPL) is fine I think, but that is not the problem, the main thing that could occur is based on Apple's App store and Google's Google Play Store.
see here http://www.google.com/intl/en-US_us/policies/privacy/
Also http://www.google.com/intl/en-US_us/policies/terms/
Also http://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/en-ww/
Also http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-ser ... terms.html
The issue at hand is not with the license, but it's based on these company's Terms of Use and their Privacy Policies that would create issues.
Many people enjoy our current Terms of Use and our Privacy Policies, but if we have to change all of that and more just to get one more platform then it is not worth the effort.
We already have Windows, Mac, and Linux. If we're trying to get more and we compromise on what created bzflag, then it's a fools game.
Let us work on what made bzflag great, then we'll be ahead as we work on next version of bzflag.

p.s. I think it would be a smart idea to put this is a different topic.
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by click click boom » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:38 am

Excited to announce BZFlag on the IPhone6. I made a video of the game being played. Feel free to watch it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8rSWl8szJ8

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by blast » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:35 pm

I don't think you're "announcing" that as there was already a youtube video on this thread with BZFlag running on an iPhone. You're announcing the release of a video of you running a bad iOS port of BZFlag on your iPhone.

The controls are very unfriendly. You have to bring up the onscreen keyboard to press 'i' so you can spawn. You can't see what chat you are typing because the keyboard covers it. You can't see your screen when you are driving because you have to navigate by touching the whole screen, instead of having proper controls in the lower corners of the screen. You can't tap on menu items to select a menu item (you have to scroll with a drag and then tap to select instead of just tapping on a specific item).

If you've tried other 3D FPS games on mobile, you've probably noticed that they try to avoid making you cover the screen with your hand. They have a virtual on-screen joypad to move around, and a couple context-sensitive buttons, and they place these in the bottom two corners of the screen. They allows you to control the player avatar without covering the parts of the screen you need to see.

At minimum, BZFlag would need a virtual joypad, and buttons for jump and shoot. This is somewhat problematic because the radar would probably be where the joypad would be, so it might need to have a different radar position, such as the lower center of the screen, and have the chat hidden and then toggle between radar and chat. Then you'd probably not want to have the tabbed interface and instead just have fewer messages show up. And how do you zoom the radar? Pinch to zoom? That won't work too well in the heat of battle. What about binoculars? Another button somewhere for those?

So sure, it currently runs on the iPhone, but it's not a good experience. And the more you're needing to change for mobile, the less it's still BZFlag. You'd be better off writing a new game in the same vein as BZFlag but specifically tailored for mobile.

And all of this is just the smaller things. What about the actual coding end of things? If we want to replace our custom UI system with a third-party UI library and we going to have to limit ourselves to ones that work on mobile too? Or would we need to find one for desktop and one for mobile? We have a hard enough time supporting three platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux), and now we're supposed to add two more?

I realize there's a number of die-hard fans that love BZFlag, but when we're comparing it to modern games made by small teams, it just doesn't stand up. I'm not saying we can't get there, but we're currently not. We have a mouse cursor on our menu, but can't click on anything. We have a MOTD that shows up behind the menu. We have outdated help text and clunky UI elements. We have FPS dependent physics calculations that perform wildly different at 30 FPS and 200 FPS. We have clients that perform the majority of game logic and a server that isn't much more than a relay. We don't provide tutorials and assistance for new players. We have hundrends of downloads per week but where are those players? They probably don't come back after their first experience with the game. That is what we need to fix. A mobile port isn't going to fix the systemic issues with this game, it will just shove those issues onto yet another platform or two.

I've linked these elsewhere, but I'll link it here again. This is what I feel we need to target to start getting BZFlag on the right track: https://wiki.bzflag.org/DevelopmentPlans/2.6.0

Also, I've split this into a new thread since it was no longer about GCW Zero button mapping.
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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by click click boom » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:47 pm

I don't think you're "announcing" that as there was already a youtube video on this thread with BZFlag running on an iPhone. You're announcing the release of a video of you running a bad iOS port of BZFlag on your iPhone.
Excited to announce BZFlag on the IPhone6. I made a video of the game being played. Feel free to watch it. This was not already on youtube, what was already on youtube was a observer only client. So as I stated again "I made a video of the game being played."

The controls are very unfriendly. You have to bring up the onscreen keyboard to press 'i' so you can spawn. You can't see what chat you are typing because the keyboard covers it. You can't see your screen when you are driving because you have to navigate by touching the whole screen, instead of having proper controls in the lower corners of the screen.
Fair point, if constitution took a year to release this I feel confident it would be "blast approved" with no quirks in it. But lets sit back and consider the amount of time that it took to release this. Lets also apply some common sense to this. If the long term goal is for this to be on the app store which is still far away why is Constitution going to make a perfect client with a joy stick and other neat features if it doesn't make it to the app store? That would be a total waste of work. So lets sit back and pull up our panties and appreciate what has been done.
You can't tap on menu items to select a menu item (you have to scroll with a drag and then tap to select instead of just tapping on a specific item).
Now you brought up some valid points but this is so minor, if BZFlag on the pc still doesn't use the mouse to navigate through the menu options, swiping on the phone to move up and down is the equivalent of using the keyboard arrows up and down.
If you've tried other 3D FPS games on mobile, you've probably noticed that they try to avoid making you cover the screen with your hand. They have a virtual on-screen joypad to move around, and a couple context-sensitive buttons, and they place these in the bottom two corners of the screen. They allows you to control the player avatar without covering the parts of the screen you need to see.
Yes great idea that's the common sense approach, but as I have said before lets appreciate what has been done in the short time and completing a BZFlag app with no quirks that would not accomplish the end goal would be pointless.
At minimum, BZFlag would need a virtual joypad, and buttons for jump and shoot. This is somewhat problematic because the radar would probably be where the joypad would be, so it might need to have a different radar position, such as the lower center of the screen, and have the chat hidden and then toggle between radar and chat. Then you'd probably not want to have the tabbed interface and instead just have fewer messages show up. And how do you zoom the radar? Pinch to zoom? That won't work too well in the heat of battle. What about binoculars? Another button somewhere for those?
And this is why I would play the game utilizing a blue tooth mouse or keyboard, of course the game could be played at its current state, but none of these modifications are needed if you use a mouse or keyboard. So if we can get potential players to download it and transition over to the pc that would be great. Or those players that download it invest in a cheap blue tooth keyboard that would always be great. This could be easily accomplished by noting "game requirements" right before they download the game.
So sure, it currently runs on the iPhone, but it's not a good experience. And the more you're needing to change for mobile, the less it's still BZFlag. You'd be better off writing a new game in the same vein as BZFlag but specifically tailored for mobile.
It actually is a good experience. Just because you might need to add a joy stick to the game doesn't mean it's not BZFlag...
And all of this is just the smaller things. What about the actual coding end of things? If we want to replace our custom UI system with a third-party UI library and we going to have to limit ourselves to ones that work on mobile too? Or would we need to find one for desktop and one for mobile? We have a hard enough time supporting three platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux), and now we're supposed to add two more?
Well it seems that Constitution took this project up on his own and didn't require any one else's support so looks like 4 platforms could be supported.
I realize there's a number of die-hard fans that love BZFlag, but when we're comparing it to modern games made by small teams, it just doesn't stand up. I'm not saying we can't get there, but we're currently not. We have a mouse cursor on our menu, but can't click on anything. We have a MOTD that shows up behind the menu. We have outdated help text and clunky UI elements. We have FPS dependent physics calculations that perform wildly different at 30 FPS and 200 FPS. We have clients that perform the majority of game logic and a server that isn't much more than a relay. We don't provide tutorials and assistance for new players. We have hundrends of downloads per week but where are those players? They probably don't come back after their first experience with the game. That is what we need to fix. A mobile port isn't going to fix the systemic issues with this game, it will just shove those issues onto yet another platform or two.
Comparing this BZFlag app to other current multiplayer games it actually fares well. But this is my opinion vs yours and we will never see eye to eye on that part so we can agree to disagree. A mobile platform could definitely be used to gain new players and not just gain them but to maintain them (my opinion). But you brought up another valid point on how do we maintain them on the PC side. I have some ideas but they are just ideas.
I've linked these elsewhere, but I'll link it here again. This is what I feel we need to target to start getting BZFlag on the right track: https://wiki.bzflag.org/DevelopmentPlans/2.6.0

Also, I've split this into a new thread since it was no longer about GCW Zero button mapping.
Fair enough



Thanks for some valid points,
CCB
Last edited by click click boom on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:30 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Zehra » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:06 pm

[redacted]
Last edited by Zehra on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by click click boom » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:17 pm

**********ccb: What lag issues? I noted what sort of lag I was getting if you took the time to watch the video, also doesn't every device offer wifi?
Issues on porting are what?
Rule and ban issues?, ummm it's easy to avoid a ban now isn't it? the same can be applied to the PC, what's the difference? I could recycle my modem and get a new ip every time Flak 18, or play under a local VPN. This is not the intention of this conversation though..
Play under different callsigns in the league?, that's been done like twice in the leagues history is that doesn't stop the advancement of a app moving forward. So what happens is, once your found playing under two names in a league you are banned. Not hard to figure out. And if one wants to take the time to do that more power to them, sounds pretty pointless. I put a lot of activity into the Gu league and BZFlag I think 99.9% wouldn't want to play under as a alias in another team.


****************ccb: In case you failed to read the prior posts...Constitution is a BZFlag developer and is the one who made this app. I guess you would want to know why he made his job harder?
So Constitution, why did you do this to make your job harder?
Yes, devs do a lot, all that they do is appreciated. If one wants to make a app why can't he FLak 18?

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by blast » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:36 pm

I don't feel Flak's issues are actual issues. If the game was allowed to run over mobile broadband, then sure, that could add lag (or at least jitter) into the equation. Wifi is already bad enough about adding jitter. I don't see how there would be any security or ban issues, though.
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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by macsforme » Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:01 am

There seems to be a widespread misconception that the bzflag project is expected to maintain this. They are not. It was clear to me long before I started this effort that there is no interest in mobile support within the official project. BZFlag is open-source software, so people can take the code and go in a different direction if they want to.

Blast wasn't wrong in anything that he said, and he does have what sounds like a good plan for a more viable bzflag project. I don't necessarily see the necessity of pointing out every way in which a work in progress is not a finished product, however. CCB wasn't wrong either, and has been one of the few people who has actually recognized the significant amount of time I put into this project over about eight months so that some people might enjoy using it (thanks, CCB). I have heard all kinds of reasons why people won't publicly support it; for example, the above misconception, thinking the client isn't even possible or won't work, being concerned that I want to make this closed-source, or being afraid of further divisiveness if they do support it.

So, can we have some peace? This is just a project that I'm doing for fun on my own time. I haven't asked anything of anyone else, other than asking Tim Riker to allow me to make it easily accessible. If you don't like it, fair enough. Does that mean that nobody else will? No.

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Re: iOS Port Discussion

Post by Monster » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:55 pm

If this was in the play store I would totally use it to observe league matches!

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