As you can plainly see, the interests of this community have changed from software and game development to unicorns. As such, the ENIGMA project has been discontinued, effective immediately. For the third year in a row.
Okay, enough of that now. On to serious matters.
Upon further consideration, it has appeared to me that C++ just isn't right for ENIGMA; despite my best efforts, I don't think I can pull off all the things Game Maker does without a better system. Specifically, one with such goodies as dependent typing and a good garbage collector, so users can use ds_list_create and just forget they did so without worry, and so late at night when it's hard to keep track of what I'm doing, I'll be fine. I won't have to fear that I've made a mistake in my coding; something else will let me know or just take care of it for me. We all want that, right? Switching to a better language could definitely improve development speed, in that respect.
Besides, it's time to give the project's organization some serious rethinking. POD has become, though efficient, too confusing when looking at the bigger picture: we're better off calling things by reference. Doing so makes sense, and will help the garbage collector and any debugging implementations as well.
I was looking at C# or Java, maybe even with some Haskell. All of those languages are gaining popularity quite quickly; chances are they'll work on all the platforms we want ENIGMA to compile for within the next ten years. Those languages don't each offer all of the features I mentioned above, but they'll make mine and users' lives easier.
Think about it: With their garbage collectors and referencing systems working for us, you can just create a ds_list, forget about it, and in a few steps, it'll just be gone! To ensure that users don't accidentally reuse a destroyed list, the integer-id (probably between 0 and 20) will cease to exist along with it, meaning you can no longer set any variables to it. So, if you said, for example:
a = ds_list_create();
But then just stopped using "a"'s list for a while (like if you had it in an alarm that was taking a really long time to execute and so probably never would), list 1 would be freed. So what would happen if you were to pass "1" to ds_list_find again? That's the beauty: You can't! When list "1" is freed, so is the constant "1" from the game. That means that from now on, you can't use "1" anywhere in your code, and ENIGMA will make sure that you don't accidentally add anything to obtain "1". Also, make sure not to divide by it, as doing so may cause an error (don't worry though, each of these languages has great exception handling).
This can be accomplished by keeping everything stored as pointers, especially constants. Instead of "1" just being an integer in memory, it will be an integer pointing to an integer, and then another integer to verify that our integer points to an integer. Simple, yes? Efficient, too: modern processors are making it so no one will even notice the effects of doing so.
I haven't seen any Java games for Wii, yet, but maybe they could be played through the Wii's browser. On the other hand, I have seen one C# program for the Wii
, and I'm sure it has reached shelves of hard-core gaming fanatics everywhere; just look at it. Although I don't think development with C# for non-Windows systems will be supported by Microsoft, they have agreed not to sue for it
Because of that, C# is looking like a really good option. Plus, using C# would give us access to Microsoft's powerful .NET framework on Windows, which end users would simply have to download. It's only a few hundred megabytes. The Mono team has been working very hard to get that framework running on other operating systems, too; it should be mostly supported.
I can't wait to hear your comments on this. I feel we'll need a new logo to go along with it, possible something with gears and happy faces.
something about unicorns