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  #26    
Old January 4th, 2014 (02:40 PM).
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I don't think 3D is going to be where the next kit is at, unless I somehow miraculously convince Maruno to undertake that with me, and he has previously expressed interest in 2D. Unity, at least for me, is even more complex when trying to do 2D. I think it is the best engine to use in the end, but I question how reasonable it is to not only switch to something less user friendly compared to RMXP, for minimal limitation relief and few if any, unique key features that Essentials does not have.
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  #27    
Old January 5th, 2014 (09:57 AM).
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Quote originally posted by FL:
I am totally against this.

We have advantages like the ones that you cited, but the biggest element is: The time that this engine will spend to have even half of thing that Essentials have. You need years and years for this engine have HALF of things that Essentials already have. We have to wait a huge time, and, even after this time maybe you get bored and give up too, ended with a engine that haven't even half of the features than Essentials have.

I always prefer to unite ours efforts than try separate engines. In my opinion the benefits really not worth it.

If you do this, I suggest the Mono platform. You code in C# (very similar language than Java) and can run at Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and IOS. Players will love to play the games in all of these OSs.

The Unity 3D engine uses Mono too, maybe you can make a plugin for it, the engine is very flexible and you can make plugin than really change the engine. The lastest Unity have 2D support good enough to work as a 2D engine.
The key difference between Essentials and a new engine is that Essentials was made from scratch. A new engine would be able to look at Essentials' code and see how it does things and (potentially) base its systems off that.

Back in July/August I had a look at C# in Visual Studio for making a Pokémon game engine. That included learning C# from scratch, mind you. After about a month I had a map renderer which supported connected maps, events with multiple definable charsets (e.g. walking/running, with a definable frame rate/number per charset), autotile support (with individual frame rates), support for diagonal movement and 8-way charsets, unlimited tilesets/autotiles per map, directional tile passabilities and jumping. It also supports tiles of sizes 16x16, 32x32 and 48x48, and could auto-detect which were which.

In addition to that, I also made a map editor which was modelled on RMXP. Tile and autotile drawing works about as well as it does in RMXP, it can load and save projects, has a map tree, and so on. I've attached a screenshot of it.

If I can learn C# and Visual Studio from scratch, and come up with what I've made, as well as research deep enough into how Essentials handles maps and such in order to replicate it, then that's something. Okay, maybe I'm more talented than others, but I don't think "years and years to achieve half of what Essentials has" is accurate. Already I have a number of improvements on how RMXP and Essentials works, and it's not even at a proof of concept stage yet.

Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
I am going to say that Unity is a bit more complex than most users would be able to handle. I am sure many members can just pick up unity and figure it out, but the majority most likely will not.

It is not the most basic of game making engines.
There's no reason why the user would have to work in Unity, or whatever other IDE is used for the scripting. We could easily have a separate program for mapping/database (like RMXP) which the majority of people would stick to, and then the IDE for scripting and game compressing (unless game compressing can be put into the RMXP-type program somehow). I don't think this usage of multiple programs to make a game would be a huge problem.
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  #28    
Old January 5th, 2014 (10:11 AM).
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I am really not a fan of having multiple programs to handle tasks that the IDE should handle anyways. I already use a number of programs as it is for RMXP. But this is more than likely a personal issue.

I don't think the use of an external mapping program, is going to patch up the abrasiveness that the Unity UI has on people how really just want to make their own pokemon game without having ever made a game or even extended their basic PC knowledge (or if they even have that in some cases).

I found it amusing that we had another member just yesterday who was having an issue adding the Pokemon Pack for Essentials correctly.

This topic is hard to discuss because the people taking part in it are people who have an understanding of file structures, advanced interfaces, and a bit of game design. Those partaking are an incredibly small fraction of the people in this section.

I am all for using Unity if I am thinking about what I would like to use, but when I think about all of the other people who are not taking part in this discussion, it is frightening to think how many issue posts would pop up on basic issues from new users.
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  #29    
Old January 5th, 2014 (10:28 AM).
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It's entirely possible to make a complete game with Essentials without once looking at the scripts. That would be the goal for any other engine too. Unity having an overwhelming UI wouldn't be a problem, since such a user would never need to use it. Those who do can learn - it's unreasonable to expect to make a computer game with unique features without having to learn any programming skills.

Maybe there's a way to include a script editor and compressor into the mapping program - I wouldn't know because I don't know that much yet. That way it'll be just like RMXP, except geared towards Pokémon games.
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Old January 6th, 2014 (10:01 AM).
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I know very little about 2D gaming and Unity, if I recall, you were looking into it a little bit right?

A custom engine is a lot of work, and I don't really see you getting much support in building it to be honest. It seems ideal, but a bit out of reach to me. I am curious as to which other engines anyone has looked into that has similar flexibility to Unity.

Aside from Unlimited autotiles/map layers, faster, more compatibility with other OSes, better support of gifs and audio files, etc. I know I would like to ensure that multi-player support is added to the list of objectives. To me, that is one of the biggest selling points of a new kit.
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  #31    
Old January 6th, 2014 (10:21 AM).
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Something that is compatible with the MonoGame Framework would be nice. Although, as I posted in another thread today, I am going to try using the Pokemon Azure Engine at some point, although it would be nice to have more options.

2D, preferably.
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  #32    
Old January 7th, 2014 (02:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Maruno:
The key difference between Essentials and a new engine is that Essentials was made from scratch. A new engine would be able to look at Essentials' code and see how it does things and (potentially) base its systems off that.

Back in July/August I had a look at C# in Visual Studio for making a Pokémon game engine. That included learning C# from scratch, mind you. After about a month I had a map renderer which supported connected maps, events with multiple definable charsets (e.g. walking/running, with a definable frame rate/number per charset), autotile support (with individual frame rates), support for diagonal movement and 8-way charsets, unlimited tilesets/autotiles per map, directional tile passabilities and jumping. It also supports tiles of sizes 16x16, 32x32 and 48x48, and could auto-detect which were which.

In addition to that, I also made a map editor which was modelled on RMXP. Tile and autotile drawing works about as well as it does in RMXP, it can load and save projects, has a map tree, and so on. I've attached a screenshot of it.

If I can learn C# and Visual Studio from scratch, and come up with what I've made, as well as research deep enough into how Essentials handles maps and such in order to replicate it, then that's something. Okay, maybe I'm more talented than others, but I don't think "years and years to achieve half of what Essentials has" is accurate. Already I have a number of improvements on how RMXP and Essentials works, and it's not even at a proof of concept stage yet.
Even with this knowledge, and that you are porting and not making from scratch I bet that you need around 1.5-3 years to port everything from Essentials. A huge time, time than you can use for implement A LOT of things at Essentials, you can redo all the screens for another resolution (that you said that took 3 months) around 8 times and several others stuffs, and is possible for you give up resulting in spending a huge time at, practically, nothing usable. Even if you finish this, some people will continue with Essentials (specially the ones with older projects), this will divide the developers and the community.

Again, I always prefer to unite ours efforts than try separate engines.

And C# isn't too different for Ruby (maybe a little, but isn't something like COBOL). Changing from a language to another isn't hard for a good programmer.
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  #33    
Old January 7th, 2014 (04:01 PM).
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Marino is not the only one who would be working on the kit, should we move forward with it. And it may not even be a kit, but an engine. Who knows. But the idea is that we can bring a kit/engine that is more flexible as well as up to date within reason.
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  #34    
Old January 7th, 2014 (04:11 PM).
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You are of course implying that the development time for making a new engine would otherwise be spent improving Essentials, and that the new engine would end up identical to Essentials (which somehow makes it pointless even if it were to be a literal port).

I don't think the existence of another game engine would necessarily split the community. I think it'd give them something more to talk about. More options gives more opportunity to expand.

Putting the community aside, it's at least an interesting programming project to do, for the sake of learning and portfolios and the like. But perhaps that's not relevant to this discussion.
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  #35    
Old January 7th, 2014 (04:23 PM).
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Another thing to add, is that there are a number of other individuals in this section that are more than capable of banding together and updating essentials as add-ons. Why does Marino have to be the one updating Essentials? The community can continue to update it regardless of this kit or engine and it's development.
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  #36    
Old January 7th, 2014 (04:46 PM).
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Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
Marino is not the only one who would be working on the kit, should we move forward with it.
High probably, at least 95% will be done by Maruno (excluding new ideas, feedback and bug reports), like Pokémon Essentials these last years.

Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
And it may not even be a kit, but an engine. Who knows. But the idea is that we can bring a kit/engine that is more flexible as well as up to date within reason.
Yes but, in my opinion, this idea doesn't worth it price (including the time spend and the risk).

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
You are of course implying that the development time for making a new engine would otherwise be spent improving Essentials, and that the new engine would end up identical to Essentials (which somehow makes it pointless even if it were to be a literal port).
"Would end up identical to Essentials" I mean more of "reaching to the point that Essentials reached, with all Essentials features" will take a huge time. It doesn't means that you can't put things in parallel or stop advancing if you reached at this point (or even abandon some features).

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
I don't think the existence of another game engine would necessarily split the community. I think it'd give them something more to talk about. More options gives more opportunity to expand.
Yes, but the others devs can't easily port features from an engine for another. You can only use one engine per game, this also will divide the people, the add-ons, the questions, the support, etc. This coin has two sides.

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
Putting the community aside, it's at least an interesting programming project to do, for the sake of learning and portfolios and the like. But perhaps that's not relevant to this discussion.
You are right, but the same can also be said for doing other things with Essentials, like implementing a multiplayer battle system or triple battles.


You are free to do what you want, but you asked for opinions, your know. I wish you good luck whatever will be your final decision.

EDIT:

Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
Another thing to add, is that there are a number of other individuals in this section that are more than capable of banding together and updating essentials as add-ons. Why does Marino have to be the one updating Essentials? The community can continue to update it regardless of this kit or engine and it's development.
Technically Essentials is a Wiki project, but few ones done some relevant thing about the project. Almost all ends up to Maruno.
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  #37    
Old January 7th, 2014 (05:51 PM). Edited January 7th, 2014 by Worldslayer608.
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Maruno and I have been discussing this in private off and on, in regard to the community, purpose and execution. This is not necessarily an open project for everyone to chip in, like essentials is now. At least not go my knowledge. If we do this, we are going ahead as dedicated development crew. You are baselessly assuming that the work will fall on Maruno when you are talking about individuals that actually hold themselves accountable as much as possible.

This kit, in my eyes, is exactly what this section needs. I have watched this section die out more and more each month, updating Essentials is not enough to continue driving the section forward and growing.

MARUNO! My auto correct on my phone keeps saying Marino.
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  #38    
Old January 7th, 2014 (06:25 PM).
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As far as a kit I'd like to see a homebrew ROM kit complete with a Pokemon based tool for mapping and scripting. It'd be neat, don't know what console it'd be for though, mainly just something that combines a lot of the good aspects from both ROM hacking and Game Dev.
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  #39    
Old January 7th, 2014 (08:35 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Gexeys:
As far as a kit I'd like to see a homebrew ROM kit complete with a Pokemon based tool for mapping and scripting. It'd be neat, don't know what console it'd be for though, mainly just something that combines a lot of the good aspects from both ROM hacking and Game Dev.
Game Dev scripting is scripting that is FAR less restricted than ROM racking scripting as are the graphics. Any aspect of actually ROM hacking restrict the engine and thus you will not see anything like a ROM hacking tool with the engine. The idea is to lift existing limitation that RMXP presents, not create even more limitations.
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  #40    
Old January 8th, 2014 (03:07 AM).
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I don't think Gexeys was talking about Rom-HACKING per se.
He was pointing to the opportunity to make the kit able to MAKE a custom rom able to be played on a GBA. AKA Homebrew.

While this is really improbable, I for one would love the idea, since being able to play your games on an actual handheld system has alway been the Pro for Rom Hacking and Con of Gam Dev.
The constricts and limitations on the GBA's system makes this, as I said, very improbable though.

I'm really up for helping out with an engine like this, or trying to maintain Pokémon Essentials while Maruno is working on a new enginge. Only problem is that I am like a 5 year old who wants to drive a forklift. Sure, I might make it go forward, but I might as well crash or even kill someone in the process. lol
I am way too inexperienced with scripting to make it happen, but my point is that there are people here in the community who wants help.
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  #41    
Old January 9th, 2014 (05:40 AM).
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Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
Maruno and I have been discussing this in private off and on, in regard to the community, purpose and execution. This is not necessarily an open project for everyone to chip in, like essentials is now. At least not go my knowledge. If we do this, we are going ahead as dedicated development crew. You are baselessly assuming that the work will fall on Maruno when you are talking about individuals that actually hold themselves accountable as much as possible.

This kit, in my eyes, is exactly what this section needs. I have watched this section die out more and more each month, updating Essentials is not enough to continue driving the section forward and growing.

MARUNO! My auto correct on my phone keeps saying Marino.
Baseless? Isn't baseless. Look at Essentials kit, almost all work falls to Maruno, and this is a successful and very used kit. If the new engine doesn't have these features the scenario will be even worse. Look at other people Pokémon Engines, almost all are abandoned. Maruno probably is the best one for an engine like this, but he isn't perfect and even statedY than had problems with boredom at long projects, imagine this huge one...

So you will make a closed project? Why? Why a closed project will receives more support than a open project? Isn't the opposite?

Abandon Essentials and let's everyone waits this new engine have the features/content of Essentials during around 1.5-3 years that will be worse for this section. And there the possibility of this engine would not be completed, a engine half-made almost certain will be useless and all the effort will be thrown away.
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  #42    
Old January 9th, 2014 (07:43 AM).
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You keep being so negative. Essentials won't disappear just because I stop working on it. It won't continue to be popular just because it no longer gets "official" updates (although I suspect much of its popularity stems from being the only viable choice of engine). No one will be forced to drop everything they're doing indefinitely just to wait for a possible new engine to come out. It's attitudes like yours that put people off from even trying.

You're still assuming I would keep improving Essentials if I wasn't "distracted" by making a new game engine. There's no guarantee of that; more than once I've come up against hard limitations which can't be surpassed in RMXP, or been faced with the prospect of remaking huge chunks of code, which I simply don't want to do. That, plus being all by myself on working on Essentials (i.e. being without encouragement to continue), is very off-putting. What if I promise to stop working on Essentials regardless of what I choose to do next? Will your opinion on me helping out with a new game engine change at all?

I think in many senses it's a good idea to not be public about the development of a game engine. The vast majority of followers won't know anything about how to actually create an engine, and will say vague and useless things like: "I think there should be multiplayer support." Oh, and they'll also want to "beta test" the engine, which actually means they just want quicker access to it. That's distracting and frustrating. Having a set and focussed team working on a new engine would be the best way to go about it.
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  #43    
Old January 9th, 2014 (08:25 AM).
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I would like to say this:

Even though we are talking about it, it is really just talk at this point. This thread does not exist to give us an idea of what we ARE going to do with an engine or kit, but rather give developers and idea of what people envision a new kit being. So that if none of us do it, maybe down the line some lurker decides they want to pick something up and this thread is here for them to look at.

There is no need to cry wolf here.
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  #44    
Old January 9th, 2014 (09:34 PM).
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It just so happens that I've been toying with the idea of tackling a large project like this for my own practice and experience. In any case, despite not having personally used Essentials, here's what I've envisioned such a starter kit might need to include/accomplish:

Engine/Language
I would assume that an engine built from the ground up with Pokemon-style games in mind would be preferable. Utilizing Unity could potentially have too steep of a learning curve for those who aren't already familiar with the interface. As far as languages are concerned: Java is the most portable, (I think that) C# seems to have the fastest development time on Windows, and C/C++ is the most ... flexible, for lack of a better word. Based on some light research, if you really wanted to, porting C/C++ to other OS's is definitely doable, although not as easily as Java of course. I'd go with Java or C++ just on personal preference.

Also, the basic engine/kit should include map/npc/pokemon and any other basic editors so that the average user can at the very least create a (content-wise) vanilla game without having to muck around with actual scripting or coding.

Style/Gameplay/Other notes
Direction
One thing that I would most definitely like to see is a move away from imitating gameplay on the NDS: since I'm assuming that most fan-developed games are played on a PC, fan game development should also be free from being bound by limitations or design choices which make sense on handheld consoles but not-so-much on a PC, including but not limited to screen size, usage of the mouse and keyboard, etc. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, but I'm slightly disappointed in the amount of fan-developers who simply imitate and expand on current Pokemon games without giving any thought to the reasons behind various design choices (Although, this may be caused by the inherent limitations of RMXP/Essentials - I don't know).

2D/3D
I think that full 3D would be fairly difficult to pull off, especially if you wanted the engine to also be compatible with 2D. The implementation of position tracking, z-height, and other various things is vastly different between the two (as far as I know... I don't have that much experience), so trying to cram both into a single kit doesn't make sense to me. I'd say that a 2D/pseudo-3D would be the best compromise, if positions are still tile-based. In theory, if the code was properly modularized, it would be relatively simple to switch between 2D and part/pseudo-3D.

(I feel like I'm only going to embarrass myself if I keep trying to talk about the technical aspects of developing an engine, so I'll leave this post as it is and take some time to collect my thoughts and do some more research :d)
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  #45    
Old January 11th, 2014 (03:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Maruno:
You keep being so negative. Essentials won't disappear just because I stop working on it. It won't continue to be popular just because it no longer gets "official" updates (although I suspect much of its popularity stems from being the only viable choice of engine). No one will be forced to drop everything they're doing indefinitely just to wait for a possible new engine to come out. It's attitudes like yours that put people off from even trying.
I prefer to say "realistic" rather than "negative". It's attitudes like yours that result in several parallel attempts for making engines that end up in an incomplete, abandoned engines, basically the said at this thread. I'm sure that you are more competent and has more experiences making a kit/engine that the great majority of others attempts, but you aren't perfect.

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
You're still assuming I would keep improving Essentials if I wasn't "distracted" by making a new game engine. There's no guarantee of that; more than once I've come up against hard limitations which can't be surpassed in RMXP, or been faced with the prospect of remaking huge chunks of code, which I simply don't want to do. That, plus being all by myself on working on Essentials (i.e. being without encouragement to continue), is very off-putting. What if I promise to stop working on Essentials regardless of what I choose to do next? Will your opinion on me helping out with a new game engine change at all?
Good points. Your question was:
Quote:
I've been thinking a lot about this topic recently, specifically about retiring Essentials and moving on to something better (a truly free engine with fewer limitations, better usability and so forth). Would this be a good move to make, do you think?
So I answer: This will be a bad move. If the question was:
Quote:
What if I promise to stop working on Essentials regardless of what I choose to do next?
I encorage you to won't do this because of the huge time about reach at the Essentials points and the chance about giving up resulting at, practically, nothing usable, but if you really wish to do this, just do this, maybe you succeed at this.

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
I think in many senses it's a good idea to not be public about the development of a game engine. The vast majority of followers won't know anything about how to actually create an engine, and will say vague and useless things like: "I think there should be multiplayer support." Oh, and they'll also want to "beta test" the engine, which actually means they just want quicker access to it. That's distracting and frustrating. Having a set and focussed team working on a new engine would be the best way to go about it.
Good points, I understand now.

---
At a new engine, I wish to emphasize the importance of the engine has a feature to export the game for playing at mobile OSs or even an engine that only make mobile games. Isn't hard to run a free Android emulator at Windows and this will make the engine more different and interesting, despite more harder to be made. The mobile value is raising at these times and will be higher at the future. What everyone thinks about this?
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  #46    
Old January 11th, 2014 (04:30 PM).
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I agree that mobile gaming is a big trend right now and being able to make games for Android or iOS would be great, seeing as it would create a lot of new players.

I do however not think it should be the only export option.
Having to emulate the game in order to play it on a PC is a very bad move imo. A lot of people easily get confused when they have to use a separate program to run a game, and you would lose a lot of players.
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  #47    
Old January 18th, 2014 (12:16 PM).
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Quote originally posted by tImE:
I agree that mobile gaming is a big trend right now and being able to make games for Android or iOS would be great, seeing as it would create a lot of new players.

I do however not think it should be the only export option.
Having to emulate the game in order to play it on a PC is a very bad move imo. A lot of people easily get confused when they have to use a separate program to run a game, and you would lose a lot of players.
Really? The people at Emulation & ROM Hacking section (the biggest at Pokécommunity) disagree with you.

Making an engine that can export for PCs AND mobiles its a very hard task.
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Old January 18th, 2014 (02:59 PM).
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Thanks for all the demotivation FL, it is just what we need here in GD.
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  #49    
Old January 18th, 2014 (05:07 PM).
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Vociferocity
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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I think it would be really cool to look into android/os porting! it would be amazing to play pokemon games on your phone, and I think it might be a way to add a little diversity to fangame designs? apps really lend themselves to casual gameplay, like candy crush or words with friends, where you play for five minutes here and there. I know this is like My Gamedev Issue, but I really do think it would be super awesome to see some different game designs.

to be honest, I feel like retiring from essentials isn't a terrible idea! we're at the point as a community that everyone should be able to contribute - at least small fixes and scripts - to keep adding functionality. as a basic pack, it's fine. it's great! does it need maruno's full attention? should it? I don't think so, not when there's the possibility of an game engine that we could do so much more as game developers with. essentials is as cool as it's going to get, let's face it!
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Old January 19th, 2014 (04:31 AM).
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FL
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Quote originally posted by ЩѻƦḽᶑʂḽдƴƹƦ™:
Thanks for all the demotivation FL, it is just what we need here in GD.
Yes, GD need to be more realistic. The newcomers need to stop trying to do a game with all regions or MMO as the first game. We have more complete games this way. If the people know the two sides of the coin, we would have less disillusion and resigns.

Your post sounds too personal. I only gave my opinion and never says that the Maruno project is "impossible".

Let's discuss this subject in other thread or by direct messages, this became too off-topic.
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