Is LÖVE really necessary?

General discussion about LÖVE, Lua, game development, puns, and unicorns.
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mike
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Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by mike » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:07 pm

Ok, I am going to start a serious discussion here, so if you want to talk about how to shot web, random number algorithms or other such foolishness feel free to spam the thread with it because god knows that nobody takes anything serious on the internet.

Anyway, my point today is whether or not LÖVE is really necessary. I understand that we are all fans of LÖVE here but, and let's be honest with each other, beyond the scope of nerds who enjoy making games the usability of LÖVE is a bit limited. The saving grace for this engine was the ability to create executable files, removing the problem of forcing players to install LÖVE before they can enjoy your game. The problem that persist is that LÖVE is unefficient (a little self-hate here, but we haven't really focused on optimization as much as we could have) engine that parses code at realtime, is limited to 2 dimensions (sort of) and, concerning features, is stuck somewhere between giving you the power to create whatever you want (setScissor and other such "complex" functions) and doing it for you (particles).

It seems that LÖVE works best for small games, where the scope doesn't go far beyond casual games or ones that take about an hour to complete. This place in the gaming community, however, is reserved for Flash. Now, don't get me wrong, I love making LÖVE[1] and I love making games for LÖVE, but the scope of the engine's usability seems limited due to stepping on the toes of the already-existing behemoth that is Flash, which has the benefit of not requiring any form of download or install.

What do you think? Am I spewing bullshit here or is there truth to be found in this muddled pile of words? This has nothing to do with the future of LÖVE of course, but is simply a discussion concerning it.


[1] Pun score +5000
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LÖVE
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by LÖVE » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:51 pm

Mike,

This is a hard time, now that we have learnt not only to love but also to hate each other.

I am sorry if I have ever tricked you into seeing me as something that I could never be. It was never my intent to keep you away from what brings you forward and gives you fulfillment. If you want to widen your horizon, I did not forget that we promised to let us all the freedom we need.

Whatever you choose to do, I will support it.

- LÖVE

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mike
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by mike » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:01 pm

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a little creeped out by that.
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Merkoth
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by Merkoth » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:16 pm

OK, this should go to the Epic Threads Hall of Honor like... immediately. Kudos to LÖVE for answering.

Now, talking seriously, I think you guys need to decide what do you want LÖVE to be. As it is right now, LÖVE is neither a very high level engine nor a performant, low level one. Is some kind of mixup. Add a simple scene manager, a true sprite/scene node object and you'll have a very different beast. While it's true that both could be easily implemented in Lua, maybe that could hook up more people to use the engine.

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appleide
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by appleide » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:01 pm

Flash is proprietary. This thing is cool. ;)

Its true that love is competing with bigger creatures such as http://processing.org, http://blitzmax.com, and half-dead corpses on life support like http://tntbasic.com, but I still find LOVE the most fun to use out of all of them. It might just be the atmosphere in this forum... or it could just be that LOVE is the only one using lua (ignoring luagre for the moment; its not targeted against newbs) ... or because it has two great developers who puts their hearts into LOVE. :)

p.s Lua is also one of the best scripting languages out there, better than the ActionScript that flash uses, im-not-ho. :)

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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by mastastealth » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Personally speaking, I think LÖVE is necessary, however, my idea of LÖVE was that it would be the "Pygame" for Lua. Unfortunately there are some bits missing that would allow it to be used as a pure game engine (though there is also a nice amount done, such as joystick support, particle and physics engine) so IMO, as Merkoth said, you need to find a focus. LÖVE can be used right now to make some applications and simple type games (easily make anyway, there are always those crazy Lua-geniuses that can make something amazing out of the limitations). However, to make strategy, top-down shooters, RPG games in LÖVE would seem incredibly painful at the moment (and it should eventually be possible, Game Maker is capable of it, and I think LÖVE has potential to get there too).

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farvardin
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by farvardin » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:41 pm

I think too Löve is necessary: flash may be a nice piece of software, but it is closed source, expensive, not available on every architecture.

Löve is rather easy to use. Lua is nicer than python (I hate the mandatory indentations of python). The homepage of pygame is plain ugly.

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bartbes
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by bartbes » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:23 pm

Few things that do it for me (not in any order):
  • The communtity
  • The programmers
  • The simplicity
  • Lua
  • Lua
  • Lua
  • etc...
I mean, I have tried other game engines, but this was the first one in which I was able to create something AND be able to understand what I've done. And lua is a huge pro, it's simplicity, extensibility, etc. I can program PHP, C, C++, some other languages, however none of those are as fun and as easy (and fast) to use as lua.

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osgeld
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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by osgeld » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:43 am

i like it sofar, its different, ie callback functions, but nothing so different that anyone who is used to lua would not be able shoehorn in their practices (like me)

is it necessary? no not really theres agen and braindamage, among others but the active scene, both in the community and in the developers area makes love alot more appealing than (an example from the braindamage forum) "when is sound going to be implemented?" and nearly 3 months later still no news

altho ive only been here for a short time, and have made nothing using love other than some simple test scripts i have a feeling i will be keeping tabs on this one, its lua, it works on the 3 major systems, it has a decent amount of functions, and the ones that are there are most useful and a live community to help others

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Re: Is LÖVE really necessary?

Post by Mr. Strange » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:45 am

Here is the reason I'm up to my eyeballs in LÖVE projects:

1 - I need to use lua and become proficient in it, as lua has become the big winner within professional game development. (Shipped Tomb Raider Underworld last week...)
2 - I need to prototype game ideas as part of the pre-production process. Engineering time is always the limiting factor here.
3 - I need to port my lua scripts between love and whatever other binding engine I might be using at the time, so lua engines with lots of special-case features won't do.
4 - I need a lua community who is interested in games, and supporting games made with lua.
5 - If I need to be moving through forums and such, I'd like to deal with people who are funny, can write well, and know how to provide examples.

I fully suspect that at some point LÖVE will be pulled down the same overly-specialized route that all independent development falls into. But I hope to stave it off as long as possible.

--Mr. Strange

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