Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

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Jabberwocky
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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Jabberwocky » Thu Sep 17, 2009 00:14

A little late on reading this thread - my brain seems to forget to check for new posts in the announcements section.

The bottom line for me is this: if charging for supplementary tools allows you the time to make those tools, it's a good thing.

I think tools are good for CEGUI users regardless of whether they buy them. If they do, then they get the use of the tool. If they don't, then at least the tools help CEGUI sustain more long-term development, perhaps allowing for improvements in the core library. These tools also help keep our expertise as CEGUI users relevant, as more new projects continue to adapt it due to the availability of these tools. I'd be extremely happy if, when joining a new project, they told me "we use CEGUI". I'd be like, "sweet! I totally know how to work that shit, yo. I'm like a CEGUI guru. My CEGUI-fu is strong." Or something like that. Again, the more CEGUI is developed, the more likely this is.

There are a number of small purchases I've made for my game. Off the top of my head: Particle Universe, FreeWorld3D, and the Scythe Physics editor (which is now free, but used to cost money). Each of these were extremely useful to me, and I was happy to lay down the bit of money they cost. I likely would have also bought OFusion had OgreMax not served my needs. I'm also strongly considering buying OgreSpeedTree once I have a chance to evaluate v2. Had a strong ogre-specific terrain editor emerged earlier in my project, I would have certainly bought that too.

So, the precedent has certainly been set that people will pay to support professional tools, for use with otherwise free open-source software. In general, I think people are happy to pay this money if they can, as a sign of appreciation and a way to donate to the project.

I did manage to reskin CEGUI by hand-editing the .lookandfeel file, but it was tricky. A couple little things like scrollbars were particularly finicky. A skin editor would have been very welcome, and would likely lead to much more widespread use of the falagard skinning system.

A couple additional thoughts:
- a free download of an evaluation copy (perhaps with some major bits of functionality disabled, like saving) would help people decide if they want to buy it.
- another idea would be to start a shop of different skins that people can buy, ready to use for their project.
Last edited by Jabberwocky on Thu Sep 17, 2009 00:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Jabberwocky » Thu Sep 17, 2009 00:23

CrazyEddie wrote:I don't necessarily agree that $30 (US) is expensive, although I accept that some people will feel that way. IMO many people spend more than this a week on alcohol and cigarettes - surely that money is better spent on a professionally written skin editor :D


$30 would be a light week. :pint:
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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby CrazyEddie » Thu Sep 17, 2009 08:49

Thanks for all the input.

Jabberwocky wrote:then at least the tools help CEGUI sustain more long-term development, perhaps allowing for improvements in the core library.

This is definitely a consideration that perhaps many people overlook. I know for a fact that there will need to be some work done in the falagard related parts of the core library to better support the tool I have in mind - so right off the bat CEGUI will get some much needed enhancements, all totally free of charge ;)

I've pretty much decided that this tool will go ahead. Once 0.7.0 is out, I have a totally unrelated project I have to complete, then I'll be back and will begin working on this tool. I figure it would not be a great amount of time before I have something that a selected few people could aid in beta testing - perhaps your efforts will net you a discount or a free license or some thing :)

Jabberwocky wrote:
CrazyEddie wrote:I don't necessarily agree that $30 (US) is expensive, although I accept that some people will feel that way. IMO many people spend more than this a week on alcohol and cigarettes - surely that money is better spent on a professionally written skin editor :D


$30 would be a light week. :pint:

:lol:

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Stefan Lundmark » Wed Oct 14, 2009 22:19

Just wanted to chime in and say that I would consider $30 a small price to pay for such a tool.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby CrazyEddie » Thu Oct 15, 2009 09:25

Thanks for the input and support for the possible $30 fee :)

I intend to make a start on this after I get back to work on CEGUI in December ('back' because shortly I'll be away for a few weeks).

CE.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby kingIZZZY » Sun Oct 18, 2009 14:02

A bit expensive for me (was considering buying The Orange Box recently which is also for $30 and includes the Source SDK Base which is prolly a smarter way to develop my game idea than manually coding it with Ogre/CEGUI/Bullet/OIS/etc etc...)

I'll prolly be one of those asking for a discount :)

But the necessity of such a tool? Priceless.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Nimos » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:57

I agree that the lack of available skins is probably the biggest obstacle for CEGUI to overcome before really becoming the standard choice of ingame GUIs.

I am completely new to creating skins and being more into programming I am mostly interested in the skins themselves. In other words, I am more interested in paying (a reasonable amount) for a good collection of skins (with a generous license) than for the editor. But I understand that the editor might be a prerequisite for such a collection. Perhaps you could arrange some kind of deal with a few selected skinmakers and put together a nice collection? Maybe they get the tool for free and a piece of the income in exchange for their skins (of course some kind of quality check of the skins would be needed here)?

However, these are just my thoughts. My interaction with cegui is mainly in code and through the GUI editor.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby CrazyEddie » Thu Oct 22, 2009 08:38

Hi guys,

Thanks to both for the comments - there's certainly a pattern appearing here, I think ;)

I think the idea of a 'skin pack' - whether free or paid - is something that would be good to see if we can get enough artistic types interested.

With regards to licensing and any charging for the tool, there will certainly be "something" by the way of a price, though the exact nature of that is still undecided; there's a few possibilities here - more so once the main CEGUI project starts accepting donations again; the only thing I'll commit to saying (well, repeating) is that whatever final decisions is made, it should cost a user no more than $30US to obtain a license ;)

CE.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby emarcotte » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:37

Hi,

I'm still new to all of the CEGUI-ness and doing stuff only as a hobby. First off I'd have to say that having started writing a skin by hand has been the most important part to learning how various bits and pieces fit together. I had done a small school project using CEGUI before and just 'made it work' somehow. Now on a new project I'm actually digging into it and trying to understand it all.

Having spent the time to sort of figure out how skinning works, I can see where a tool would be very nice :)

Assuming the tool comes out before I have run out of need for it, I would probably purchase it. Especially if it provides some instant feedback. The edit xml, run program, check results, stop program, approach I am taking seems kind of slow :)

Eugene

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Aiursrage2k » Thu Oct 29, 2009 19:18

Yeah I think its a good idea. The current editor is not that great so having a nice would be great! The biggest problem is that its hard to get the artist to do it

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby Cloudage » Wed Nov 25, 2009 09:23

i think $30 for such a tool is okay.and if there will be a demo(or a video demo,or even just a simple introduction html page) inside the sdk distribution will be great.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby CrazyEddie » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:29

Thanks again for the comments. I expect to start making some progress here soon.

With regards to including some kind of demo / promo material in the SDK, it's probably a certainty ;)

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby asafy3 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 06:42

I might be resurrecting a dead thread, but I think paying whatever small fee that's up there is totally legitimate for two reasons:

1) So far, this entire project is out there, free of charge. I think CE and the team deserve a little credit and help in maintaining stuff.

2) The skinning issue is probably the only one that doesn't have a valid editor (CELayoutEditor and the Imageset Editor both make it extremely easy for a user to get that "click and drag" feeling that's needed, especially at the beginning of the road when working with CEGUI). And honestly, even after working with CEGUI for the past 3 months, I'm still slightly shaking when running my application after tweaking a looknfeel file... If nothing else, this tool can tremendously help in reducing the overhead of work needed when editing looknfeel files.

If people can do without it, fine. But I am willing to bet that once someone understands and works with CEGUI for a bit, they will agree with BOTH the reasons above.

I think that if the skinning tool is kept to a reasonable minimum amount of functionality, it would be an awesome tool for the beginners, helping them set up some simple and useful widgets, a good helping tool for advanced users to avoid the overhead of manually editing the looknfeel files, and a good starting point for experts before they actually dive into the looknfeel files for the more advanced tweaking needed when working on these heavily enhanced widgets.

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby maori » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:08

heya Guys

sorry CE i havent been around lattly been in hospital :( so my activity here and on my project has been non exsitant so properbly be a lot more posts from me asking for help :D in the near future i know you missed me LOL

you allready know my views on this tool :D
trying to upgrade to 0.8.2 from 0.7.9 :D

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Re: Falagard Visual Skin / Scheme Editor

Postby CrazyEddie » Wed Jan 27, 2010 09:33

Hi & welcome back :P

Sorry to hear you have been in hospital; nothing too serious I hope.

Feel free to post any questions you like - whether or not we answer them is another matter :lol:

With regards to this tool, work should get underway very soon. Things have been delayed somewhat due to the level of issues in the 0.7.x code, which I have given priority to.

I have been working on a new skin these last three days (for something coming soon - watch this space ;)) and have been solidly convinced that a skin editor is absolutely essential and needs to be done ASAP, since expecting people to hand create them is not a realistic option for most projects IMO; in this respect, those guys out there who have done it deserve huge respect and kudos.

CE.


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