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  • Game Development Community

    dev|Pro Game Development Curriculum

    State of www.twsanpi.cn

    by Eric Preisz · 03/14/2017 (11:05 am) · 58 comments

    I once heard someone say that GarageGames is like a cockroach that never dies. Truth be told, the heart of GarageGames has always been the community that drives it and GarageGames "formal" hasn't played a role in GG for nearly as long as we did (i.e. GG truly has a life of it's own).

    We (I) continue to run GG.com and are happy to do so, but I fear that we don't have much in the way of redundancy and I worry that the lights will go out unexpectedly. At some point, this site will "break" and there won't be the funds to fix it. I'm writing this to start a dialog on how we can preserve this information and make it accessible in a more sustainable way.

    Or, maybe it's a loosing battle and you don't rely on the site?

    Here are some things to consider:

    1) Many of the items in your account are in a fuzzy state of ownership. Many of the contracts are archived/missing so we can't open source something we don't own 100%. For example, GG doesn't own 100% of TGE code which is why it isn't open sourced by us.

    2) We will need to sanitize everything to protect personally identifiable information.

    3) We would consider selling the site/assets for a profit generating concern provided that the users best interests are preserved.

    4) We would consider giving away sanitized information under a CC license.

    About the author

    Manager, Programmer, Author, Professor, Small Business Owner, and Marketer.

    04/26/2017 (7:33 pm)
    Well, I do database stuff as part of the day job, so you could definitely get me a archive backup and we can plot out what work needs done to scrub it and get something working as an archive site, at minimum.

    If the stuff gets scrubbed, it wouldn't be alltogether difficult to get some sort of method of searching it, or if we're lucky, keep the existing site front, just trim out the unique info and backend stuff and just have it be a form of a snapshot that can be readily perused. There's a few ways we could go about it all.
    04/28/2017 (8:59 pm)
    This is sad to hear as I just had always assumed there would be a demand for Torque along Unreal and Unity. It's sad to know GG may be disappearing, but at least I have all the great tools that were made over the years to play with and reminisce over.
    04/29/2017 (9:05 am)
    @Clayton: Torque itself is doing fine. This discussion is purely in regards to our dear, old www.twsanpi.cn website :)
    04/29/2017 (5:15 pm)
    @Jeff: I think we have different views on "doing fine".

    This is actually an account my college created when I started at DeVry, but I was a member further back when GG had been set up to allow the users to create studio pages for other users to join. GG I loved back in the day because it gave the combination of feeling indie and professional at the same time. So it is sad that the site is dying.

    As for the engine, I wondered how well it is doing. When I was in DeVry until 2011, I regularly saw the top three engines for 3D being Unreal, Unity, and Torque while the 2D was Game Maker and Torque. The pass three or so years I've seen several top 15 and top 20 game engines and not seen Torque on any of them. This is what made me think Torque was done too when I read this entry.

    Is there even an IRC channel anymore? Not been on it in a few years too.
    04/29/2017 (5:27 pm)
    Yep, the irc is actually still running!

    And the engine itself has been progressing fairly well regardless of how the www.twsanpi.cn site itself fares. If you haven't kept up on it - and to be completely fair, we need to start pushing on those 'top engine lists' again, because a lot of them are WOEFULLY out of date, which is probably why they have T3D ranked so lowly - you've got the release blogs on here as well as on the more active newer community forums at forums.torque3d.org. I've also got my workblog on there which I discuss a lot of the WIP and RnD stuff that's happening right now.

    So while it may have waned in the top lists, partially due to a lax marketing effort on our part, the engine itself is making solid progress in getting updated and brought to modern bear in a lot of aspects, from usability and rendering. If you had any specific questions regarding that, lemme know.

    If there's any particular 'top game engines' lists you had been peeping at, I'd greatly appreciate getting pointed at those so we can look at getting those sorts of entries updated.
    04/29/2017 (6:34 pm)
    Wow, I am really outdated. I wasn't even aware there was another Torque site outside GG. I'll have to make an account over there and get back into Torque. As I said, I downloaded all the tools I owned for nostalgia sake.
    04/30/2017 (9:50 am)
    Torque 3D is now under the MIT license

    Site: http://torque3d.org/

    The awesome Tosion IDE, AFX(the mighty special effect system) and GMK have gone MIT as well :O)

    In many ways Torque 3D is still very solid.

    Now we just need to secure this site's data in some way so we have/keep a solid knowledge database.

    04/30/2017 (1:28 pm)
    I need to get a new PC. My laptop I bought in 2014 and sadly runs Torque too slow and my desktop is an old Vista PC from 2006 or earlier. Now that I know T3D is still going strong I will have to get back into using it when I can financially get a new PC that can run it without significant slow down. Does T3D work with new compilers? I use mostly VC2013 and 2015.
    04/30/2017 (10:53 pm)
    Yeah, compilation utilizes cmake, so pretty much anything cmake can generate to, we can compile in - though there IS a bug in the current version of VS2017 that doesn't play nice with template stuffs, 2015 works perfectly.

    I'd also say go ahead and give it a roll anyways. There's been a lot of performance improvements(though still a lot we're shooting to speedboost further for 4.0, such as threading the renderer). If your laptop can push DX11, you should see a decent performance jump as well.

    Worst case, you just hold tight while you wait on your comp upgrade and we'll just keep further doing performance improvements :)
    05/07/2017 (5:42 pm)

    Long time fan of Torque. It was the first engine i was exposed to during my studies so I guess I am oddly attached to it.

    I run a site that is attempting to aggregate all the old and forgotten tutorials for valves GoldSrc and Source engines (www.sourcemodding.com) so i have first hand experience with hunting the net for lost and forgotten material and I would hate for GG to meet the same fate.

    I plan to eventually do the same with Torque related tutorials, tools and other resources via www.torquemodding.com. (not live yet)

    Only for the Archive.org so so much would be lost so I will make a shameless plug @ a small browser extension I made for Firefox and Chrome that eases the process of archiving pages on the net.

    You can grab the chrome extension here
    The Firefox extension is available via the addon store here

    Please use it if you come across a tutorial or even a zipped file or image to preserve the legacy of GG and torque.

    Regarding the hosting of GG I guess that the downloads are probably the biggest drain on resources? Have you considered hosting these files on something like Mega or GoogleDrive?

    I can offer hosting for GG if the downloads were hosted elsewhere ( I dont have a huge amount of SSD VM space ^^ )

    Anyway, I will end my thoughts there. If you need to get in touch catch me here torquemodding@gmail.com
    05/09/2017 (11:51 am)
    I just moved to Eugene, OR last week and I'm flooded with memories every day of when I came to visit GG 10 years ago to jumpstart my career in gaming. I'll never forget the influence this company had on me. I hope you guys find the right pivot to stay in the game. My favorite tech was always TorqueX which is long ago dropped. But perhaps you can develop something with Unity, which is a great piece of software, but their community doesn't have the same feel I found here. Not to mention their pro plan sucked.

    GG always granted source access and empowered us to become great developers!

    I'm excited to be living in the city where Garage Games was founded, dubbed the Silicon Shire, now. I hope you guys can find the gusto to stay in the biz and keep this site running for eternity.

    Also, start selling those garage games mouse pads again! I lost mine at my last job, so I only have a grey one. My full color Red/Blue is gone.
    05/10/2017 (9:10 am)
    So do we have any news about how we keep this amount of data safe?

    Who will get the data?
    05/10/2017 (9:20 am)
    I exported a sanitized version of the database yesterday. I'd like to go over it one more time and make sure I didn't include any personal/account information. I'm planning to just post it here.
    05/10/2017 (1:27 pm)
    Awesome! Thanks :O)
    05/12/2017 (8:08 am)
    Any chance this will also include data from TDN?
    05/12/2017 (8:57 am)
    Yea, TDN looks doable as well.
    06/16/2017 (12:58 am)
    Sad days if it really is coming to an end, over 10 years now and its one of the only communities that i keep coming back too every now and then, hope it doesnt just fade away totally but in honestly it is sad when coming to check again and only finding a handful of posts in 6 months ...
    06/16/2017 (9:32 pm)
    Andy: Swear, we gotta get some links on the main pages here so it doesn't slip the radar, but most of the activity is on the newer forums, here: forums.torque3d.org Feel free to commune over there as well :)
    06/20/2017 (2:09 am)
    Cheers Jeff, totally forgot about that site :/
    06/21/2017 (1:10 pm)
    @Eric - what is causing the Master Server downtime for Torque Game Engine? Can the problem be solved to get the stable Master Server back with a long uptime?

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