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8. January 2016

 

Special thanks to @Dillybob on Twitter for bringing this engine to my attention.  QICI Engine is a HTML5 game engine and toolset layered over top of Pixi and Phaser, a library I am a huge fan of.  The engine is well documented and completely free.  The source is available although oddly enough the Github page just contains prepackaged archives.

 

In their own words, QICI Engine is:

QICI Engine is a free and open source JavaScript game engine library with a web-based comprehensive suite of toolset for making HTML5 games.

With QICI Engine, creating HTML5 Games just like Web Development, use your favorite code editor, use your favorite web browser, leverage JavaScript language and all the best web development tools. QICI Engine takes care of the complexity of the underlying technologies, so you just focus on what's important - making your game!

Technology Stack

QICI Engine is based on the free and open source HTML5 game framework Phaser, which uses Pixi.js for WebGL and Canvas rendering across desktop and mobile web browsers.

Phaser is actively developed and maintained by @photonstorm, but QICI Engine uses the specific version Phaser 2.3.0. We keep track of bug fixes and performance improvements for Phaser, so you can use the customized Phaser version that QICI Engine provides safely.

QICI Engine is made up of three parts: QICI Core, QICI Widget and QICI Editor:

  • QICI Core: A JavaScript Game Engine library that is based on Phaser.
  • QICI Widget: A JavaScript UI library for creating rich application.
  • QICI Editor: A web-based editor with a Node.js server for accelerating HTML5 game development.

The QICI Core is the core of QICI Engine, the QICI Editor would not work without it, but the QICI Core can function on its own to be used to make a HTML5 Game by writing code without QICI Editor. But for complex UI, it’s really hard to build and maintain without the help of WYSIWYG visual interface, with QICI Editor even artists and designers can help to build the game’s UI.

QICI Widget provides the HTML5 UI widgets for making the GUI in QICI Editor.

QICI Core is a JavaScript Game library, QICI Widget is a JavaScript UI library, and QICI Editor uses Node.js for accessing the file system, so QICI Engine is a Full-Stack JavaScript Game Engine.

Features

 

 

Very cool project and certainly one I am checking out.  Oddly however, when you download the current version from their website, on first run they tell you an update is available and you download it.  I hate when this happens.

GameDev News ,

7. January 2016

 

Tiled, the popular open source level editor, just released version 0.15.0.

 

From the release notes:

Those who remember the Tiled 0.14 release announcement may remember that I wanted the next release to be Tiled 1.0. We're not entirely there yet, but Tiled took a big step towards being more functionally complete.

The most important changes regarding this made sure that you can now load maps that refer to files that are for whatever reason no longer accessible. Previously, you'd then have to fall back to correcting the map file by hand. Now Tiled will tell you about the problems it found and allows you to fix them:

main.tmx — Tiled_068.png1210x713 91.7 KB

In addition, you can change any of these references through the Properties view after clicking the relevant items. And when changing a tileset image, you can also change its parameters like tile size, margin and spacing.

Enable/Disable Plugins

Another important bit of functionality is that you can now choose which plugins are enabled. By default, only the generic plugins for exporting to Lua, JSON, CSV and for enabling Python import/export scripts are loaded. The project-specific plugins were often leading to confusion and now need to be explicitly enabled.

Plugins can be enabled and disabled without restarting Tiled.

Layer Combo Box

The status bar got a little more useful, since it now allows you to quickly switch the current layer. If you're not actively changing around your layer stack, this can entirely replace the Layers view:

isometric_grass_and_water.tmx — Tiled_071.png1028x120 94.3 KB

Other Noteworthy Things

If you're using an image collection tileset, you can now choose how many tile columns it should have. Eventually I'd also like to add a dynamic wrapping display mode, but this should help in the meantime.

A Terrain Generator tool was added, which helps a lot with generating a certain type of terrain tileset. But, I still need to write the usage instructions and I forgot to include it in the binary packages.

You can now go past the edges of the map when panning with the space bar, middle mouse button or the mini-map. This can be really helpful when you're editing things on the edge of the map.

Change log
  • Allow loading maps with broken external references
  • Allow plugins to be enabled/disabled
  • Allow changing tileset image parameters
  • Allow changing the images of tiles in a collection tileset
  • Allow changing external tileset references
  • Allow panning over the edges of the map
  • Added Terrain Generator tool
  • Added column count property to image collection tilesets
  • Added a combo box for changing the current layer to the status bar
  • Moved the AutoMapping while drawing toggle into the menu
  • Removing tiles from collection tilesets no longer changes tile IDs
  • Unified layer offset handling
  • Default tile layer data format changed to CSV
  • Deprecated pure XML and Gzip-compressed tile layer data formats
  • Fixed random tile picker for tiles with zero probability (by Henrik Heino)
  • Fixed saving of alpha value of the map background color
  • Fixed crash in tmxrasterizer and tmxviewer
  • Fixed tmxrasterizer not reporting write errors
  • Fixed isometric rendering bug with odd tile heights (by Ryan Schmitt)
  • Updated Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish translations

Many thanks to all who contributed!

 

If you want to learn more about Tiled, we have a comprehensive tutorial series here on Gamefromscratch.com to get you started.

GameDev News

7. January 2016

 

The Superpowers HTML5 game engine is now open source and available on Github. In the developers own words, Superpowers is:

download

 

Superpowers is a downloadable HTML5 app. You can use it solo like a regular offline game maker, or setup a password and let friends join in on your project through their Web browser. It's great for working together over long periods of time, for jamming over a weekend, or just for helping each other out with debugging!

... not just for making games!

We've built the Superpowers Game engine and a bunch of asset editors to make games with TypeScript. But the coolest thing is this: Superpowers itself is actually engine-agnostic. It's just a piece of software for collaborating on projects and you can extend it with project types and editors.

Use Superpowers to make static websites, Lua LÖVE games, slideshows, blogs, movies... whatever you can come up with!

 

There is a pretty solid set of tutorials and documents available here should you require more information.  You can see a demo of SuperPowers in action in the video below.  WARNING!!! Mute your sound, trust me.

GameDev News ,

6. January 2016

 

The event many people have been waiting for… the ability to order an Oculus Rift of your own has now arrive.  You can now pre-order an Oculus Rift today by clicking here.

 

So, the news everyone is waiting for… how much exactly is the Rift going to cost?

image

 

GULP!

 

$600???  Wow…  that’s pretty much double what I was expecting.  Not that I was particularly excited after discovering that my machine can’t even run the Rift.  You see, if you own a laptop that has Optimus technology… it doesn’t work with the Rift anymore, they broke compatibility with version 0.7.  If someone at Oculus is listening, you might want to put it in big bold letters OCULUS RIFT DOES NOT RUN ON 99% of LAPTOPS!

 

So, a very high price point and incompatible with laptops…  I don’t exactly expect a VR explosion.  Let’s just say I am suddenly much more excited for the HTC Vive.  I will say however, I have a GearVR and I absolutely love it.  That said, it was also $100.

GameDev News

6. January 2016

 

Another Unity 5.3 patch was released today.

 

From the release notes:

Fixes
  • (750357) - iOS: Added font containing Lao characters to the fallback list.
  • (none) - iOS: Don't enable bitcode by default for Mono.
  • (none) - OpenGL core: Fixed a crash with AMD and NVIDIA on Windows when using RenderTexture with recent drivers.
  • (none) - OpenGL core: Fixed a crash with Intel GPUs on Linux.
  • (none) - OpenGL core: Fixed text rendering with AMD GPUs on OSX 10.9.
  • (756734), (756754) - OpenGL ES: Fixed crashes with new Samsung firware.
  • (752821) - [treeview] Make right and left arrow select next/previous parent for fast expand/collapse.
  • (758120) - WebGL: Fixed a crash when setting Application.runInBackground, if Strip Engine Code is enabled.

Windows download link.

Mac download link.

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Massive Release of Infocom Text Adventure Design Documents
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23. November 2015

Infocom logo.png

Today over 4000 documents from Infocom were released on archive.org as the Infocom cabinet.  This collection of documents contains reams of design information from many classic text adventures including:

  • Planetfall
  • Sorcerer
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • A Mind Forever Voyaging
  • Leather Goddesses of Phobos
  • Stationfall
  • Zork Zero

 

From the blog post announcing the release:

During the production of GET LAMP, I spent a lot of time digitizing or photographing all sorts of artifacts and documents related to Interactive Fiction and text adventures. This included books, advertisements, printouts, and various ephemera that various players or programmers had lying around from that era. This would usually involve one or two ads, maybe a map or two that someone had drawn, and one or two photos snapped at a convention.

But not in the case of Steve Meretzky.

If you’re coming into this relatively new, or even if you need a little brush-up, let me state: Steve Meretzky has earned the title of “Game God” several times over, having been at the center of the early nadir of computer games in the 1980s and persisting, even thriving, in the years since. He continues to work in the industry, still doing game design, 35 years since he started out as a tester at what would become Infocom.

But more than that – besides writing a large amount of game classics in the Interactive Fiction realm, he also was an incredibly good historian and archivist, saving everything.

EVERYTHING.

When we finally connected during production (as it turned out, we lived within 10 miles of each other), Steve showed me his collection of items he had from the days of Infocom (which spanned from roughly 1981 through to the company’s eventual closing and absorption by Activision in the early 1990s). And it was a hell of a collection

It’s of questionable use today, game design has changed a great deal, but the huge volume of information is nothing if not interesting!

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