11 December 2009

I will be often posting about Neko from now on… because all future plans of ChaosForge more or less depend on Neko. While most of the people reading the forum know it by know, and even people outside ChaosForge sometimes talk about it, I noticed that Neko did never receive a formal introduction…

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It is no secret that all of the ChaosForge roguelikes up to date were written in FreePascal. Why I decided to switch to C++ now is a topic for another time, let it just be known that after switching languages I lost my biggest asset in FreePascal — Valkyrie .

While there is a C++ library in the works that is named Valkyrie , it is not a roguelike library anymore. Rather, the C++ Valkyrie will (hopefully) become the engine of StarDreamer one day. This decision was made, because when I was switching languages I decided to abandon the roguelike world.

Many reasons made me change my mind however. I decided that it’s not yet time to retire as a roguelike developer. Sure, DoomRL is, and will remain written in FreePascal. But from the moment I started to think about DoomRL 2 I knew it would be written in C++. Hence the need for a brand new roguelike foundation library.

Neko was born!

The name “Neko” (“cat” in Japanese) came from the idea that it will be lightweight (at least compared to C++ Valkyrie. And because I really love the sound of it :).

While I’ll be ranting on the design issues and ideas of Neko, I can state it’s main planned features:

  1. modern C++ — I even wanted to use boost, but seeing how hard it is to set up for newcomers I decided to stick to STL/TR1. Still it will be very object oriented.
  2. cross-platform — this is almost a no-brainer, right? Yet, I want to port it to PSP too ;).
  3. visual — true-color, GUI’s, and cool effects are planned, to make it look very modern, or at least as modern as an ASCII game may be.
  4. adaptive — while terminal support is still maintained, the main target is SDL mode, allowing for normal play on post-XP Windows systems
  5. standards based — I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Where possible standards will be used — STL, lua, xml… including standard libraries like SDL, zlib, pdcurses, etc.

Apart from that I hope it will qiuckly intercept all the features that FPC Valkyrie had, redesigning them in the more powerful C++ form.

So when will we see a Neko-based roguelike? I hope that no later than the next 7DRL compo ;-).


Melon · 11 December 2009, 02:14

I also hope that we will see Neko! soon [;

Mrazerty · 11 December 2009, 02:56

I’m truly looking forward to this. Pascal (or languages based on Pascal) are indeed getting a bit old (it’s 2009) so I think it’s an excellent decision to make the switch to C++.
I already see Chaosforge getting more and more popular every day (yay 1000+ members!) but if everything you said there is true, this will definitely bring it on the map.
With some luck and optimism, you might even not only expand Chaosforge with this, but the whole roguelike community! Who knows? (^^,)
I wish everyone involved in this a happy developing and fluent bug fixing! :)

Neko wa totemo kawaii desu yo! .

Tavana · 11 December 2009, 05:59

When I get some time on IRC with you and a working Visual Express, we’ll have a chat about this. ;)