Firstly, if you want to start your own rhythm game / GH/RB/FoF clone, first ask yourself what it is you want to bring to the party that isn't already here. There are a lot of people with good ideas, and if you are thinking of starting a new project, chances are you have some skill to back you up. In that case, maybe you could put that skill to use developing FoFiX?
The code is there, all open source. Branch off from that and start adding things in. Don't be afraid to experiment and break things, that's what development is all about. No doubt you will be informed that your branch is "unofficial" and won't be supported. Of course not. It's your code, you support it. If you get some good features in and people like your work, you'll probably be invited to join the team and your code patched in (once all the bugs are out and everything is integrated properly).
It's happened before. A few years ago there was a big push for career mode. A lot of people thought it was pointless. the devs weren't doing anything about it. A "Team Hero" came along, branched off from what everyone else was doing, and added career mode. It got popular quickly, but received a lot of criticism for "ignoring" the direction of the main development. But the code was solid and worked well. And that project did die... because their code was patched in to the main branch. That team is still in the FoFiX credits. They even have their own section:
FoFiX credits wrote:Team Hero
Lsapg09, Jrdnxxhero, Blackfriday, blessedmain911, ADH,
razlo7, coolguy5678, arfn24, Qwedgeonline
But I can't use FoFiX as a base, you say. Why? You don't know Python? You only know C++? That's no excuse. Once you know one programming language, you can pick up others quite easily. Python's pretty easy to get your head around. And there's lots of documentation. A good coder knows how to look at docs and ask questions on forums.
Or is the FoFiX base code too big and scary? Well, okay, it kinda is. Especially right now, with plans to overhaul large sections who knows what it will look like next week? In that case, branch off the more stable 3.x maintenance branch. Or go really oldschool and use RF-mod, or herring, or even the original FoF base. There's no reason not to. Your code may be able to be ported to FoFiX somehow, and if it can't you've still got your own rhythm game without having to write the base. Progress is made before you even start. And it's your game, you can take it in any direction you want from that base.
Whether you decide to fork of existing code or not, there's some issues you need to be aware of when announcing your project.
First and foremost, you're going to get flamed. It's not a nice fact, but it's the truth. There are people here who have seen many many projects come and go, and they're all sick of it. There are others who will not like the fact that you refuse to support feature X. Ignore them. It's your game, do what you want with it. If they don't like it, tough.
If you get to a stage where you think your project is "finished" (as if that ever happens on any project) and people still don't like it, ask yourself who the game is for. You supported what you want to support and ignored what you didn't. Why? Was it for them? Or was it for your own enjoyment? If it was for you, then don't let what they say get to you. It's your game, the way you want it. If it's for them, ask them what they want. If you can't deliver let them know you can't. If someone else can, maybe you'll get help. If you simply won't deliver for whatever reason, then the game isn't really for them, is it?
Personally, I'm a fan of FoFiX. It has so much potential if people with the appropriate amount of time and skill could just invest into it. But I'm not kidding myself, it's not the be all and end all of free rhythm games or open source games or anything like that. It lacks. In some places it tries too hard to be like the commercial games. In some places there's shoddy implementations. In some places it's being artificially held back by one thing or another. It's far from perfect, and there's plenty of room for improvement.
If that means a new project comes along, which denounces any form of support for FoFiX, but is superior in every way, then for me FoFiX dies. A fond memory of the past. The fact is, I haven't yet seen that. Maybe your new project has what it takes, maybe it doesn't. Maybe Phase Shift will be the new king. Maybe PULSE will turn out awesome. Maybe Acedia turns RockFan into the next big thing and proves all the naysayers wrong. Maybe Unreal Voodoo (or someone else) picks up Frets On Fire and kicks it up to the next generation of rhythm games. Who knows? I don't. Do you? No. So don't pretend you do.
Don't diss a project because it's doomed to failure like all the others, or even because it does what some other clone already does. Maybe it will do it better when it's finished. Projects come, development slows, projects die. Sometimes they die before development finishes, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they continue to live on slowly until the next person comes along to breathe life into it. Try to be supportive. Give constructive criticism; don't just roll your eyes at yet another doomed rhythm game project.
In this thread, I would like to see people talking about their own experiences with other rhythm game developments. Whether you were coding, doing graphics, testing, or just watching development progress. How it the project progressing? What pressures are you facing? Why don't people understand your decisions? Did your project die? Why do you think that is?
This is a thread for discussing any and all rhythm game projects, past and present. What hurdles there are and how to pass them. In this way, people who have had successes or failures on past projects can pass the lessons they learned onto the next generation so that their projects won't fail.
But I'm warning you now, no flaming. No targeting specific people or projects in a negative manner. We need some constructive with our criticism.