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Hi all,

I'm a software engineer, but not a game programmer. I've only played around a little with game engines. I've also dabbled with pixel art and 3D modeling. I'm thinking about buying Voxatron to play around with, but am wondering if I wouldn't be better off spending my time learning something like Godot. So for those who have bought it and made some games in it, is there anything you wished you knew before buying it?

One of the things I'm wondering about is just how limited it is. From what I've seen you have rooms that are a maximum of 256x256x256 voxels to work with. You have to create new rooms and stitch them together (somehow) to create a larger area. Are there limitations on the number of rooms you can stitch together? How feasible it is to create a somewhat large game playing space?

There also doesn't seem to be much in the way of guides for learning how to script, which is something I would want to do. The lack of information makes it hard to know just how much can be done with scripting, as well as how easy or difficult it is to script the ideas I have.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

P#95344 2021-07-27 14:42

I think the main selling point of zep's fantasy console is that it's simple and wonderfully constrained. It's definitely not the type of constraint that makes you want to bang your head lol.

Also as any other platform/language consideration, you might want to clear up a few things:

  • What's your purpose?
    • To learn new things?
    • new hobby?
    • want to be a professional game dev?
    • just want to create something that you can share with others?
    • make money?
  • What's your current level of expertise, what languages have you tried etc. I know that language is just a tool but depending on your purpose, not having to learn a new one might be a good thing :D
P#95345 2021-07-27 14:55

Your questions kind of lead back to my questions regarding what Voxatron is capable of. I don't expect to make AAA games with it, but if it's only capable of handling a game made up of 10 256x256x256 grids, for example, then I might try something else. Same goes for the ease and capabilities of scripting.

I'm a Python developer, and love that language, but it's hardly a good language for game programming. That's why Godot appeals to me. Its native scripting language is based on Python. I know of Pygame and the Python Arcade Library, but those are too limited. I don't mind learning a new scripting language, but if I'm going to learn a heavy duty programming language, it will probably be C#.

P#95347 2021-07-27 15:33 ( Edited 2021-07-27 15:57)

> Same goes for the ease and capabilities of scripting

Hmmm then I personally think you will benefit more from learning a more mature game engine rather than Voxatron (which is still alpha). No matter how good an alpha version is, it's subjected to a possibility of massive and breaking changes (and it will be a pain[or joy]{but mostly pain} when such change is introduced), especially if your game need to be maintained later. If 3D is not a requirement, maybe try LOVE2D?

> I'm a Python developer, and love that language, but it's hardly a good language for programming

this line I must say, triggered me on a multitude of levels my friend :D. I personally think it's a decent language, with massive user base (and library ofc!), and a lot of flexibility. Never had a huge problem with it, mostly just the lack of typing (which has been gradually introduced since 3.5) and efficiency (probably no cure sadly, I hope langs like Nim or Crystal get mature soon enough). But maybe your experience says otherwise soo yeah.

P#95348 2021-07-27 16:01

> this line I must say, triggered me on a multitude of levels my friend :D.

You missed my edit:

> I'm a Python developer, and love that language, but it's hardly a good language for game programming.

Lol

P#95349 2021-07-27 16:12

> I'm a Python developer, and love that language, but it's hardly a good language for game programming.

that's more understandable lol, good luck for your journey ahead :D

P#95350 2021-07-27 16:18

Thanks.

I guess I'll wait for someone else to address the specific questions I asked. I'd still like to have those answered.

P#95351 2021-07-27 16:25
:: merwok

Godot is certainly generic, powerful, documented, big community, professional-grade, etc. It seems to be approachable for hobbyists but haven’t tried it myself. Some people dislike its hierarchy of scene/node/I forgot.

I think Voxatron can be fun if your expectations are calibrated right.
In short, it’s a small fantasy console made for diorama-style games. It was a shooting game at first, but can be used for games of many genres. Development is slower than pico8, there aren’t a ton of tutorials and guides out there, some questions on the bbs get quick answers and other don’t. There is no online multiplayer, but maybe tools like parsec work. Some cools new things can be seen in zep’s tweets then we wait for a release with them. If you’re okay with the aesthetics (voxels, palette, fixed perspective) and you have ideas that you want to make on your own, then it could be a great platform for you. Watch and read the tutorials that exist, study how voxatron games are made. The small community on bbs and discord can help with lua questions for example! It may feel more like using an old machine with little doc and no support than a modern active game engine, but it is being improved and will be something really nice when it’s done.

For me as a pico8 fan, it was an easy purchase because I saw it as an extra 5$ to support lexaloffle and to try another style of game dev (point-and-click IDE rather than pure code, actors and props, built-in behaviours) with another visual style. I’ll probably never make 3D models and textures, but voxel art is more approachable.

Now specific questions:

I don’t know for sure if there is a limit on rooms. It’s not mentioned in the docs or FAQ. I don’t remember playing a game long enough to see that many rooms.

Rooms are connected with doors; see designer manual.

Games can mix the different styles of dev (click IDE, microscripting, full scripting) — see https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=43358 for pointers to threads explaining that. (There’s also a fourth style that’s a pico8 cart embedded in a voxatron game, with thick pixel looks.) Scripting can control everything on screen; see this cool example:

What kind of ideas do you have?

P#95553 2021-08-01 17:08

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