Subscribe to GameFromScratch on YouTube Support GameFromScratch on Patreon
24. December 2015

 

Care of /r/gamedev, Ultraviolet released version 1.3.  In their own words, Ultraviolet is:

Ultraviolet is a cross-platform, .NET game development framework written in C# and released under the MIT License. It is heavily inspired by Microsoft's XNA Framework, and is intended to be easy for XNA developers to quickly pick up and start using. However, unlike MonoGame and similar projects, Ultraviolet is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for XNA. Its current implementation is written on top of SDL2 and OpenGL, but its modular design makes it (relatively) easy to re-implement using other technologies if it becomes necessary to do so in the future.

At present, Ultraviolet officially supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Android. Support for additional platforms will be forthcoming in future releases.

 

From the release 1.3:

 

Core

  • Ultraviolet Framework now supports Mac OS X.

Installer

  • Installer will now install project templates for Visual Studio 2015.
  • Installer will no longer install project templates for Visual Studio 2010.
  • Installer will no longer install project templates for Visual Studio 2012.

Graphics

  • Completely rewrote the text layout engine.
    • Text layout engine now does a better job of inserting line breaks.
    • Text layout engine now supports non-breaking spaces.
  • Implemented glyph shaders.
    • Glyph shaders allow custom logic to be applied to each glyph at the time it is rendered, allowing for complex visual effects.
    • Added support for the |shader| formatting command.
    • Added methods to TextRenderer for specifying glyph shaders.

Presentation

  • Lots of miscellaneous fixes, refactorings, cleanup, and general improvements.
  • UVML binding expressions been significantly improved.
    • Binding expressions can now contain arbitrary C# 4.0 code, i.e. {{2 + 2}} or{{DateTime.Now}}
    • Binding expressions must be compiled into an assembly using the new binding expressions compiler. This can be done ahead-of-time or at runtime on platforms which support it (Windows, Linux, OS X).
    • Added arrow syntax for directly referencing elements in the same view, i.e. {{foo->Value}}
  • UVSS has been improved and has gained some new operators.
    • UVSS parser now understands the inheritance relations between styled types.
    • Added "navigation expression" operator (|) and "type conversion" operator (as)
      • As foo | bar as Baz meaning "property bar on foo, which has type Baz."
    • Added "logical child" operator (>?)
      • As x >? y meaning "y is the logical child of x."
    • Added "templated child" operator (>>)
      • As x >> y meaning "y is the templated child of x."
    • Added "exact type" operator (!)
      • Referencing TypeName will apply the style to elements of type TypeName and any of its descendants. Qualifying this with the exact type operator, i.e. TypeName! will cause the style to only apply to elements of that exact type.
  • Added support for touch devices.
  • Implemented visual effects for elements.
    • Implemented BlurEffect built-in effect.
    • Implemented DropShadowEffect built-in effect.
    • Implemented ShaderEffect built-in effect.
  • Implemented element transforms (render and layout).
    • Implemented TransformGroup transform.
    • Implemented IdentityTransform transform.
    • Implemented MatrixTransform transform.
    • Implemented RotateTransform transform.
    • Implemented ScaleTransform transform.
    • Implemented SkewTransform transform.
    • Implemented TranslateTransform transform.
  • Implemented element adorners.
  • Implemented keyboard and game pad navigation.
  • Implemented tool tips.
  • Implemented modal dialog boxes.
  • Implemented cursor queries.
  • Implemented TabControl.
  • Implemented PasswordBox.
  • Completely rewrote the TextBox control.
    • TextBox can now edit multiple lines of text.
    • TextBox should now generate significantly less collection pressure while typing.

Ultraviolet is available on Github.

GameDev News


24. December 2015

 

ShiVa, a 3D WYSIWYG game engine, just released ShiVa 2.0 Beta 4.

 

From the release:

Beta 4 features

When we changed the rendering pipeline with Beta 3, we intended to move ShiVa into a better, more future-proof direction, that would give us lots of room for exciting new features in the future. Unfortunately, this also broke backwards compatibility with older ShiVa 1.9.2 generated STK packs. We are going to remedy this problem with Beta 4. In the Authoring Module, you will find a new target named ShiVa. From here, you can generate STKs containing either games or just resources, as well as STE packages. Naturally, these new STKs will be fully compatible with the new engine shaders.

For everyone working with Android, we are very pleased to tell you that ShiVa is now supporting Android Studio, which means error messages caused by newer SDK/NDK combinations that plagued your 1.9.2 development pipeline should be a thing of the past. We have a tutorial on the new process in our online docs.

androidstudio

As software engineers, we are naturally most excited about the changes under the hood. The Editor interface, which was previously rendered using Qt4, is now powered by modern Qt5 libraries. This might not sound like a big change, but in fact it completely overturned our schedule for this release. That means you are not getting the full feature set we originally envisioned for this release, but instead something much more valuable in the long run: optimization and performance. Previous Beta versions of ShiVa 2.0 have been rightfully criticized for loading assets and games much more slowly than 1.9.2, along with the framerate lock of 30 FPS on some hardware configurations. Qt5 forced us to implement some previously neglected enhancements, which led to a much needed performance boost. We are now able of reaching framerates well beyond 60 fps Vsync and hundreds to literally thousands of frames unsynced - depending on hardware configuration and scene complexity of course. These improvements carry over to all platforms, including Linux and the open source driver world, which now deliver playable framerates with most of the engine rendering features supported.

magnifyingFPS

The Apple TV engine has evolved and become a truly separate target with plugin support, not just an iOS afterthought. Beta 4 also adds full support for the Apple TV touch remote. We have mapped the touchpad to a conventional controller stick and Menu, Play as well as the Click to joypad buttons. The gyro is fully mapped too, of course.

These are the big changes waiting for you in Beta 4. However we have added numerous tweaks to almost every module, and updated all the engine ports to support the current S3DX SDK. We hope you will enjoy these little changes wherever you may find them, because they add significantly to a smoother and more satisfying editing experience.

More Betas coming soon

The move to QT5 was much more work than originally anticipated, but we are now back on track working on the last missing modules. We are determined to ship a first public release of ShiVa 2.0 as soon as possible next year. Beta 4 was released just a little over a month after Beta 3.1, and we intend to keep the development momentum and bring you more Betas in quicker succession. Please make good use of our Beta website and especially our bugtracker. If you have already reported on our system, please check whether your bug has been fixed with the new version and close or bump the threat (add a note) when appropriate.

GameDev News


23. December 2015

 

Unity just released the first patch for Unity 5.3.

From the release notes:

Improvements
  • (706098) - Compute: Improved compute shader import times, particularly on Windows (since 5.1 we were always compiling them for GL4.3+GLES3.1 too, while most people only need DX11).
  • (754898) - GI: Light probes and ambient (everything with SH calculations) match ground truth more closely now.
  • IL2CPP: Optimize method prologues for code size and incremental builds.
  • SceneManagement: Add Scene.GetRootGameObjects() to return the root game objects of the scene.
  • SceneManagement: Add SceneManager.CreateScene() API to allow creating new empty scene at runtime
  • tvOS: Enable Dynamic GI
Changes
  • iOS: Enable bitcode support by default.
Fixes
  • (687655) - Core: Fixed: Not ignoring '~' folders in projects
  • (none) - Android: Fixed NullReferenceException on x86 devices running Android 5.0 or newer.
  • (750362) - Android: Fixed Cloth::SetUpSkinnedBuffers() crash.
  • (none) - DX11/XB1: Fixed FP16 static batched mesh vertex compression to actually work there, was always decompressing to FP32 before.
  • (none) - DX11: Fixed wrong VRAM detection on some Intel GPUs, resulting in shadows not being rendered.
  • (none) - Editor: Fixed MissingMethodException when using some of the API from UnityEngine.WSA namespace.
  • (754898) - GI: Fixed light probes / skybox ambient being wrong in some cases, 5.3 regression.
  • (740808), (747666) - Global Illumination: Enlighten – Fixed an issue where Unity crashed if scene was unloaded before it got a chance to fully load.
  • (752879) - Graphics: Fixed - Realtime reflection probes in some cases did not have trilinear filtering properly set on them.
  • (691038) - IL2CPP: Ensure thread id is valid for all threads.
  • (752737), (751428) - IL2CPP: Fixed an issue that caused a crash in Class::IsSubclassOf.
  • (737529) IL2CPP: Fixed ExecutionEngineException being thrown on System.Reflection.MonoProperty::GetterAdapterFrame.
  • (752153) - IL2CPP: Implemented out marshaling for arrays correctly.
  • (746822) - IL2CPP: Implemented the Thread::Abort and Thread::ResetAbort methods. This should allow a Socket to be closed properly while another thread is waiting in a call to Accept or Connect on that socket.
  • (749988), (733609) - IL2CPP: Properly cleanup when a native thread is cancelled rather than exiting normally.
  • (750153) - IL2CPP: Provide a proper argument for instance methods on value types invoked via a delegate.
  • (none) - iOS/IL2CPP: Fire all GC profiler events. Fixed GC data in internal profiler.
  • (755365) - iOS/tvOS: Build all object files with correct SDK.
  • (752178) - iOS: Added bitcode support.
  • (750311) - iOS: Added Xcode 7.2 to iOS plugin compatibility list.
  • (749289) - iOS: Duplicate another image layer when not all are defined.
  • (none) - Linux: Fixed a corner case where tearing would occur on some WMs even with vsync enabled.
  • (753595) - Mecanim: Fixed a bug where lights would not be animated in Legacy.
  • (752847) - Mecanim: Fixed a bug where RectTransform couldn't be animated in Legacy.
  • (none) - Metal: Wrongly claimed to support DXT1/DXT5 texture formats on iOS, and ETC on Mac.
  • (691466) - Mono: Preserve non-volatile XMM registers across calls on 64-bit Windows during JIT compilation.
  • (none) - OpenGL core: Fixed shaders with multiple const arrays.
  • (755423) - Particles: Fixed error message spam on particle systems that have no particles (5.3.1 regression).
  • (none) - SamsungTV: Fixed wrong jpg library access problem.
  • (748904) - SceneManagement: Fixed the issue that script association was lost when another scene was loaded.
  • (none) - SceneManagement: Fixed the issue that the unloaded scenes would be removed from the hierarchy when entering playmode, if they were first in the hierarchy
  • (none) - Shaders: Fixed a bug in Standard shader GGX specular term, introduced in 5.3.
  • (none) - Shaders: More proper environment reflection in Standard shader for very rough surfaces.
  • (753925) - tvOS: Fixed rendering path selector in player settings.
  • (756044) - tvOS: Fixed missing symbols for simulator builds.
  • (none) - tvOS: Fixed UnityEngine.Apple.TV.Remote API access in editor.
  • (740782) - UI: Fixed crash in some cases after deleting world space Canvas.
  • (751207) - Windows Store Apps: Populate autorotation settings to screen manager.
  • (752546) - Windows Store Apps: Fixed Directory.CreateDirectory() for forward slashes.

GameDev News


22. December 2015

 

Welcome to the next section in the ongoing Closer Look at series, a series of guides aimed at helping you decide which game engine is right for you.  Each closer look at entry is a cross between a review and a getting started tutorial that should help you decide if a game engine is right for you.  Today we are looking at the Atomic Game Engine with the extensive editor support forked from the Urho3D game engine that I covered earlier.  The engine itself is written in C++ while the primary programming language is JavaScript, however .NET and TypeScript bindings are available as is a community created Haxe binding.

 

Wait you say?  A commercial game engine forked from an open source project??? Don’t worry, put down your pitchforks, this is an example of commercialization done mostly right.  First off, it’s a noticeable improvement over the original in many ways.  Second, much of the derived source code is still available freely and open source.  Finally the Atomic team are making pro licenses available to contributors of dependencies such as Urho3D, Box2D, TypeScript, Tiled, etc.  This is a nice approach and one I would like to see more closed software layered over open source software adopt.  There is also a free version available with limitations that we will discuss shortly.

As always, there is an HD video version available here.

 

Pricing Structure

 

** Important EDIT ***********

The following details are no longer accurate.  Since this was published, the Atomic Game Engine transitioned to an MIT open source license and is now free to use.

**************************

 

As mentioned earlier, there exists a free option and a number of other tiers.  As of writing Atomic Game Engine is currently in Early Access which includes a lower price (and increased instability…).  The pro licenses include a lifetime of upgrades.  Here is the full pricing structure:

image

 

As you can see the free version you have to choose between 3D, Android or iOS support and must have less than $100,000 annual revenue and includes a splash screen.  The indie license revenue is capped at $500,000 and there is no splash screen requirement.  In my opinion at least, this price tier is fair.  One major caveat however, to build completely from source you will need a Pro license otherwise you have to wait for new binary releases.

 

The Editor

The editing environment is probably the biggest feature of Atomic, so lets start there.  This is the welcome screen when you first load Atomic Editor:

image

 

As you can see there are several sample projects to start from.  Create a new project using File->New Project menu, which will show the following dialog:

image

 

You can work in 2D or 3D mode within Atomic.  For this example I will choose 2D.  Next define your project settings:

image

 

You will notice that TypeScript and JavaScript are the default languages available.  You can work in .NET, Haxe or even using C++ but at this point in time you will be mostly on your own.  The tooling and documentation is mostly oriented for JavaScript development for now.  As it is layered over Urho3D, if you are comfortable in using Urho3D with C++ you should be able to adapt to C++ in Atomic fairly simply, plus the majority of documentation is still applicable with minor changes.  C++, .NET and Haxe targets are beyond the scope of this review however.

 

Now that we have a project loaded, the left hand side of the editor changes slightly.  The top portion represents that assets of the current project, the mid portion contains the contents of the currently selected folder, while the bottom portion represents the scene graph of the currently selected scene.

image

 

With Scene.scene selected you can see that a default scene contains a Camera and a Node entity.  Like most modern game engines Atomic uses the composition approach, although instead of Entities and Components, you have Nodes and Components, but the end result is very similar.  Now that we have a scene selected, it should be visible in the middle portion of the UI:

image

 

This is where you select and arrange the entities within your scene.  You can instance new entities… er, nodes by dragging them in from the left side of the screen.  With a node selected, the right hand side shows the property inspector giving us access to the properties of the node as well as the components it contains:

image

 

Adding new items to the scene is trivial, simply click the Create button in the hierarchy area.  The options are limited to Node or for some reason in 3D there is an option for Light.  You can also create a prefab instance that we will discuss later.

However for adding components there are a ton more options available.  Adding a component is simple a matter of clicking Add Component in the inspector with the appropriate Node selected.

image

 

Each component type has it’s own corresponding editor.  The following for example is the Rigid Body components editor:

image

 

Game assets can be imported via drag and drop.  This process automatically triggers the appropriate importer:

GIF

 

The Programming Experience in Atomic Game Engine

The primary or lead programming language when working with Atomic Game Engine is JavaScript, while .NET, Haxe and Typescript language bindings exist (but aren’t documented).  The source code is primarily written in C++, while the editor is created using the Typescript language.  You could of course code your entire game using C++ if you preferred, but again, the process is currently undocumented.  The programming model is pretty intuitive and quick to come to terms with.  For the following code examples, I will be looking at the Platformer2D example.

 

Taking a quick look at the generated source code, you can find your project’s entry point in the Scripts folder:

image

 

Here are the contents of main.js:

// This script is the main entry point of the game

// create the start ui programmatically, we could also
// use a ui template
//create  main view
var view = new Atomic.UIView();
//create a window
var window = new Atomic.UIWindow();
//disable tile bard and make it non resizeable
window.settings = Atomic.UI_WINDOW_SETTINGS_TITLEBAR;
window.text = "Physics Platformer";

// Create a layout, otherwise child widgets won't know how to size themselves
// and would manually need to be sized
var layout = new Atomic.UILayout();
layout.rect = view.rect;
// give ourselves a little more spacing
layout.spacing = 18;
//axis to y
layout.axis = Atomic.UI_AXIS_Y;
//add ours layout to window
window.addChild(layout);

//create a text field
var text = new Atomic.UITextField();
text.text = "Please select the time of day:";
layout.addChild(text);

// Buttons layout
var buttonLayout = new Atomic.UILayout();
buttonLayout.axis = Atomic.UI_AXIS_X;
layout.addChild(buttonLayout);
var buttonDaytime = new Atomic.UIButton();
buttonDaytime.text = "Play Daytime";
buttonDaytime.onClick = function () {
  run(true);
  //we need to return value here, otherwise we will be GC'ed
  return true;
}
buttonLayout.addChild(buttonDaytime);

var buttonNightTime = new Atomic.UIButton();
buttonNightTime.text = "Play Nighttime";
buttonNightTime.onClick = function () {
  run(false);
  //we need to return value here, otherwise we will be GC'ed
  return true;
}
buttonLayout.addChild(buttonNightTime);

window.resizeToFitContent();

// add to the root view and center
view.addChild(window);
window.center();
var dayTime;
function run(daytime) {
  //ok, then remove ours window
  view.removeChild(window);
  //require GlobalVariables module, and set its dayTime value to the current daytime
  require("GlobalVariables").dayTime = daytime;
  //load main scene!
  var scene = Atomic.player.loadScene("Scenes/Scene.scene");
  //if we are running ours game on android
  if(Atomic.platform == "Android" || Atomic.platform == "iOS") {
    //requiring a dpad module
    var DPad = require("DPad");
    //create a new view
    var uiView = new Atomic.UIView();
    //creating a new DPad
    var dpad = new DPad();
    //adding horizontal and vertical buttons
    dpad.addAll();
    //ok, then we could init ours dpad
    dpad.init(uiView);
    //create a jump button
    var jumpButton = new Atomic.UIButton();
    //unset its skin, because we will use UIImageWidget
    jumpButton.skinBg = "";
    //create ours jump button image
    var jumpButtonImage = new Atomic.UIImageWidget();
    //load image
    jumpButtonImage.setImage("UI/jumpButton.png");
    //resize ours image by 2.2x
    var jumpButtonWidth = jumpButtonImage.imageWidth*2.2;
    var jumpButtonHeight = jumpButtonImage.imageHeight*2.2;
    //calculate position
    var posX = Atomic.graphics.width - Atomic.graphics.width/8-jumpButtonWidth/2;
    var posY = Atomic.graphics.height - Atomic.graphics.height/4-jumpButtonHeight/2;

    //sets jumpButton rect, specify position and end position
    jumpButton.rect = [posX, posY, posX+jumpButtonWidth, posY+jumpButtonHeight];
    //sets jumpButtonImage rect, we specify there only end position
    jumpButtonImage.rect = [0, 0, jumpButtonWidth, jumpButtonHeight];
    //adds image to jumpButton
    jumpButton.addChild(jumpButtonImage);
    //adds jumpButton to the dpad view
    dpad.view.addChild(jumpButton);
    //sets jumpButton capturing to false, because we wanna make it multitouchable
    jumpButton.setCapturing(false);
    //binds jumpButton to KEY_SPACE
    Atomic.input.bindButton(jumpButton, Atomic.KEY_SPACE);
  }
}

This is actually a fairly advanced main.js, some are as simple as:

// This script is the main entry point of the game
//Load scene
Atomic.player.loadScene("Scenes/Scene.scene");

In this particular example the first half of the code demonstrates programmatic generation of a UI.  The later half creates an on screen controller if running on a mobile platform.  As you can see from the second, much shorter main, it can be as simple as calling loadScene() passing in the scene you create using Atomic Editor.

 

The majority of code in your project will be organized in components:

image

 

Components are attached to Nodes just like any other component.  Here for example is a script component attached to the Level node in the platformer example:

image

 

And the contents of that script:

"atomic component";
//requiring LevelParser module
var LevelParser = require("LevelParser");

//A Level
var component = function (self) {
  //start function will be excecuted, after connecting our component to the node, after the constructor
  self.start = function() {
    //get TileMap2D component from our current node
    var tileMap = self.node.getComponent("TileMap2D");
    var tmxFile = tileMap.tmxFile;
    
    //looping main game song
    var music = Atomic.cache.getResource("Sound", "Sounds/JumpingBat.ogg");
    music.looped = true;

    //create LevelParser object
    var levelParser = new LevelParser(tileMap);
    levelParser.createPhysics(tileMap, tmxFile);

    var position = levelParser.getSpawnpoint();
    position[1] += 1.5;

    //create a child prefab
    var node = self.scene.createChildPrefab("Player", "Prefabs/Hero.prefab");
    //set it position to the current node position
    node.position2D = position;

    //get all entities from our map which names MovingPlatform
    var platforms = levelParser.getEntities("MovingPlatform");
    for (var i = 0; i < platforms.length; i++) {

        var p = platforms[i];
        var node = self.scene.createChildPrefab("MovingPlatform", "Prefabs/MovingPlatform.prefab");

        node.position2D = p.start;
        node.startPos = p.start;
        node.stopPos = p.stop;
    }

    //get all entities from our map which names Coin
    var coins = levelParser.getEntities("Coin");
    for (var i = 0; i < coins.length; i++) {
        var node = self.scene.createChildPrefab("Coin", "Prefabs/Coin.prefab");
        node.position2D = coins[i].position;
    }

    //get all entities from our map which names BatWaypoint
    var waypoints = [];
    var batWaypoints = levelParser.getEntities("BatWaypoint");
    for (var i = 0; i < batWaypoints.length; i++) {
        waypoints.push(batWaypoints[i].position);
    }

    //get all entities from our map which names Bat
    var bats = levelParser.getEntities("Bat");
    for (var i = 0; i < bats.length; i++) {
        var node = self.scene.createChildPrefab("Bat", "Prefabs/Bat.prefab");
        node.position2D = bats[i].position;
        node.scale2D = [.5, .5];
        node.waypoints = waypoints;
    }

    //get all entities from our map which names Vine
    var vines = levelParser.getEntities("Vine");
    for (var i = 0; i < vines.length; i++) {
        var vnode  = self.scene.createChild("Vine");
        vnode.createJSComponent("Components/Vine.js", {startPosition : vines[i].position});
    }
    
    //reduce num rays on mobile/web platforms for better performance
    if(Atomic.platform == "Android" || Atomic.platform == "iOS" || Atomic.platform == "WebGL") {
      self.scene.getChild("TheSun").getComponent("DirectionalLight2D").numRays = 512;
    }

  }

}

exports.component = component;

You may notice the exports statement at the bottom of the example and the require statement at the top.  Atomic uses CommonJS for module support.  This particular example implements the start() method, which will be called automatically on the component during creation.  There is a method update() that will be called each pass through the primary game loop and is where the majority of your game logic will most likely be performed.  You can also create and subscribed to arbitrary events, enabling easy component to component component communication.

 

This example also illustrates another powerful feature of AGE, prefabs.  In the line:

var node = self.scene.createChildPrefab("Player", "Prefabs/Hero.prefab");

This is programmatically creating a prefab named Player from the file Prefabs/Hero.prefab.  Prefabs are simply pre-configured Nodes that can be re-used and instanced easily.  To create a prefab you simply create a node, add it’s various components, then drag that node up into your project resources, generally into a folder called prefab. 

 

One other thing you may notice is that double clicking a script brings up an integrated code editor:

image

 

This is an incredibly handy feature that is sadly somewhat broken right now.  Normally the editor has a great deal more functionality including full code completion but a bug resulted in it’s removal.  As of writing they are in the process of integrating Chromium and improving the integrated editor.  That said, the majority of users make use of an external editor.  One popular choice is the Atom editor, which has a Atomic Game Engine package available:

image

 

This enables you to run Atomic projects directly from the Atom editor, or to open the current project in the Editor.  That said, it didn’t actually work for me, saying atomic-cli NPM package needed to be installed, which it was.  Not sure what the error here was.  On cool thing about using Atom as your editor, is if you also use the Typescript language, you get complete and accurate intellisense in the editor:

image

 

There is a Typescript seed project (among other things) available in this Github repository.  You may have noticed a few moments back that I mentioned a CLI, or command line interface.  Assuming you have Node installed, you can install it using the command

npm install atomic-cli –g

This interface enables you to create, edit and run projects directly from the command line, which also makes it easy to integrate AGE into existing text editors such as Sublime Text or Notepad++.

 

The actual coding process is a bit beyond the space/time we have available here.  Given that Atomic is built on top of Urho3D you can expect a full featured and expansive API including pretty much all the functionality you expect from a modern 2D or 3D game engine.  If you want more of a taste for what coding in AGE is like be sure to check out the examples repository which contains a pretty comprehensive set of examples to learn from.  Of course the existing Urho3D documentation is also a good source of information, although some things will obviously be different as this is a fork.

 

Platform Support

Once you finish developing your game it’s time to deploy and AGE makes this process easier than most.  Depending on version, the following platforms are available:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • WebGL
  • iOS
  • Android

And building for a platform is as simple as choosing Build->Build Settings and filling in the appropriate values:

GIF

 

Documentation and Community

 

As is often the case with in development engines, documentation is not the strong point of Atomic Game Engine.  There is a complete reference guide available somewhat confusingly under the videos section of the AGE website.  There is also a robust collection of examples available, which truth told is going to be your primary source of information for the foreseeable future.  As this engine is based on a fork of the Urho3D engine, a good chunk of Urho’s existing documentation is still applicable, although it will be a challenge for new developers to figure out when this is and isn’t true.

 

There is a community forum with a  growing community.  It’s not exceedingly active, but almost every single question goes answered, which is a good sign.  Additionally there is a Gitter chat which can be thought of as a version of IRC that  lasts forever and no doubt pulls a bit of traffic away from the forum.  It does seem to be quite active and a fast source for answers.  Bugs and features are tracked using github and are very active making development quite transparent.  Finally there is a Wiki, but it is extremely sparse at the moment.

 

Summary

 

Atomic Game Engine is very much an engine under development and at times it shows.  On the other hand, it is based on a very mature engine, so there is no reason you wouldn’t be able to use it in a production ready environment.  I am not going to answer the question “Is it worth it to use Atomic instead of Urho3D?”, as value is an incredibly subjective concept.  What I will say is the Atomic Game Engine adds a layer of tooling and polish on top of a game engine that required a layer of tooling and polish and did it well.  The developer experience using Atomic is a great deal nicer than the developer experience using Urho3D.

On that point, would I recommend Atomic Game Engine to new users?  No, not yet, but mostly due to the in development nature and the current lack of documentation.  In the future though, I imagine all of that will change and this will be an easy to recommend engine.  Now, what about to more experience developers?  Well if you are willing to work on an engine that is under development, there is certainly a lot here to like.  If you are looking for a Unity-esque editing experience, but with a much cleaner coding experience and access to the source code, certainly give Atomic a shot… especially with early access pricing in effect.

 

The Video

Programming


22. December 2015

 

There is a preview of the upcoming Leadwerks Game Engine 4 available on Steam today.

From the announcement:

We completely rethought how large-scale scene management should work to bring you a one-of-a-kind vegetation system for handling massive amounts of foliage. Instead of storing each instance in memory, our new system uses a distribution algorithm to dynamically calculate all relevant instances each frame for rendering and physics. This allows enormous densely packed scenes with minimal overhead. The results are blazingly fast, efficient, and easy to use.  In fact, the new system is so advanced it's featured in the upcoming book Game Engine Gems 3.  Other features include autocomplete in the built-in script editor and integration with Steam Leaderboards.


Attached Image

To help you make the most of the new vegetation system, we're also introducing the Nature Model Pack DLC.  This includes trees, plants, grass, and rocks, to make a variety of outdoors settings with.
Leadwerks Game Engine 4 is a free update and allows publishing of games for the PC and Steam Machines.

 

The timing is good as right now Leadwerks is 80% off on Steam.

GameDev News


See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

Month List

Popular Comments