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3. September 2014

 

Over the past day there have been a pair of announcements on reddit that are relevant to game developers.  The first is Sony released and open source generic 3D level editor, generically enough called ATF Level Editor.  ATF stands for Authoring Tools Framework, which they open sourced earlier, ATF is a framework of mostly C# based components for making game tool development easier.  It was used to build games such as The Last of Us, and games in the KillZone series.

 

As to the level editor, in Sony’s own words:

 

The LevelEditor is a software tool used to design levels (maps, campaigns, and virtual worlds) for a video game. A level editor is used by a game designer.

 

The standalone LevelEditor is a fully functional modern level editor. Using the LevelEditor, you can design a game world for any video game engine. You can create and lay out terrain, place static game objects in the world (such as rocks, plants, street lights, or buildings), place light sources for game objects, and place Linears for dynamic game objects.

 

The LevelEditor leverages the Authoring Tools Framework and C# for user interface and data management, and leverages the power of C++ and Microsoft® DirectX® 11 for 3D rendering.

 

Originally built from the Authoring Tools Framework, the LevelEditor offers a WYSIWYG interface and a variety of features that support asset management, game object creation, scene layout, and cross-team development. The LevelEditor can also be customized and extended by creating plug-ins. For more about the Level Editor's capabilities, see LevelEditor Features & Benefits.

 

The following LevelEditor features help you construct game levels efficiently and collaboratively:

  • Work with a variety of file formats
  • Associate assets with game objects
  • Position, rotate, scale, and snap game objects precisely
  • Edit game object properties
  • Show or hide groups of game objects to unclutter the view as you work
  • Construct Linears (lines and curves)

 

Screenshot of the Editor in action:

LE_BasicLevel

 

 

The editor is available on Github and you can get more information on the Wiki.  The documentation is available here.

 

This looks like a great option for people that want to roll their own engine, but still want great tooling support.  All that is required to integrate within your own pipeline is a converter to read Sony’s XML output.

 

 

Donkey Tech 3 Engine

 

The next announcement was the open source release of the Donkey Tech 3 engine.  This was an in-house developed game engine that supports the most popular platforms ( desktop and mobile ).  The code is primarily C++/ Qt based.  The engine itself includes a 3D component based world editor as well as a visual graph scripting system, somewhat similar to Unreal’s Blueprint system.

 

Documentation is incredibly sparse, there isn’t even really an overview of what the engine does.  Here is the author’s reddit post:

 

DT3: Donkey Tech 3 by Smells Like Donkey Software Inc.

EDIT: Funny. I forgot the link to the engine. It's HERE

Here's my game engine that I have been meaning to open source for years now. It has a full editor, node based scripting system, DSP audio effects, Particles systems, and supports 2D or 3D games. It's built to be completely generic as to what kinds of games you want to make.

Here's some videos of it in action: Editor, Scripting, Sound, Keyframing

More Info: DT2 Portal - slightly older version of the engine

I hope you find it useful. Enjoy!

 

Here is a description of the previous version of the engine:

 

DT2 contains many cutting edge features to make rapid game development possible:

  • Fully Open Source (when released!)
  • Customizable editor based on Qt 5.0.2.
  • Extensive Visual scripting system featuring lazy updates for faster evaluation.
  • Asset packaging system.
  • Fully integrated and flexible GUI system with FreeType Font support.
  • OpenGL and OpenAL support.
  • Flexible file format support for WAV, OBJ, FBX, 3DS, PNG, JPEG2000, PVR, Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora as well as many optimized (and proprietary) formats.
  • Hot loading of all resources for faster artist iterations.
  • Sprite and Bone (GPU skinning) animation systems.
  • Streaming audio sound effects with OpenAL with built in DSP filter framework. Streaming music system for hardware accelerated music playback where available.
  • Streams both ASCII and obfuscated binary file formats for reading and writing level data. Save anywhere is fully supported.
  • Built in networking for multiplayer games over UDP. Full network serialization.
  • Integrated profiling tools.
  • Pluggable Renderer. Deferred shading renderer on Mac and PC enables hundreds of simultaneous dynamic lights.
  • Hardware Shader Support. Examples of Normal mapping, Parallax mapping, etc.
  • Modern C++ programming methodology.
  • Supported platforms include Mac OS X, Windows 7&8, iPhone, Android and WinRT. Future ports to game consoles.
  • Very flexible particle system built on visual scripting system.
  • Multithreading support.
  • Integrated Unit testing framework.
  • Optional Plug-ins for Chipmunk Physics, Bullet Physics, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora, FBX, as well as proprietary 2D Sprite tools.

 

Here is a video showing scripting within the engine:

 

The game engine code, a sample game and an empty project can all be download on Github.

News


2. September 2014

 

In a piece of bittersweet news, Gideros have announced that they have open sourced their cross platform 2D game system. I explored Gideros a couple years ago when I did a round-up of LUA game engines.

 

For the Gideros forums:

 

Hello folks

Gideros Source released

so as you know recently we finally released Gideros Source, which is now available on Github MIT licensed:

https://github.com/gideros/gideros

We had to revert back to first working version, because for now we don't have time to finish the changes started.

Gideros Development version

Gideros Development version (the one that we are working on) is now available here: https://github.com/gideros/giderosdev

If you have any commits or pull requests, try to provide it to this Development version, as they will also need to be retested and revised.

Also if you have any issues to submit (even with current release), try to submit them to the Development version, because this is where the issues will be fixed and code modified.

When submitting an issue, try to provide as much information as possible, including stack trace (some crash reporting services can also provide links to share specific crash report, you may use them also)

Gideros 2.0

Gideros 1.0 moved too far and Gideros 2.0 is falling behind so badly, that we decided to make it obsolete (basically it is much easier to take Gideros 1.0 and modify it to work with OpenGL 2, than updating Gideros 2.0 to a state of Gideros 1.0)

So later, probably after Gideros Development version reaching stable release and when Atilim will have time, he will make a fork of current Gideros 1.0 version and port all the additions/changes Gideros 2.0 previously had, to make a current working Gideros 2.0 version, which will probably become new active development version.

Hope it all makes sense

Installing new Gideros

Currently we are looking into creating an easy to use build system so that anybody can create an installation package from codes easily.

If you have any suggestions or experience that you can share, we are all ears

For advanced users, build scripts are in gideros/scripts (https://github.com/gideros/gideros/tree/master/scripts)

Getting Gideros License for current/previous versions

Our api now license any copy of Gideros software on any computer.

All you have to do, is to launch Gideros License Manager and authorize with your Gideros account and you will receive license, even if you are not paid customer.

P.S.

And also if you have any suggestions, maybe even fixes, commits, pull requests, (including if you want to be added to Gideros repo on github) pm me or use this thread to discuss them.

 

The market reality for mobile game development SDKs seems to be a harsh one. Of the systems covered in the roundup, LOVE is the only one that didn't under go a major overhaul in the last couple years ( as it was always a pure open source project ). MOAI development effectively stopped for a while and the MOAI cloud commerical component was shut down. Corona was changed to ship in a free configuration with a premium layer and now Gideros effectively stops being sold.

 

There is a silver lining here though. Since Gideros have released all of the source code on Github, Gideros has a chance to live on. It's all on the community now. They did however do a very nice thing by making licenses of existing versions available to existing users, paid or unpaid.

 

I've taken a quick look at the source code. Gideros was written in C++ ( and obviously, Lua ). The editor is written using the Qt libraries. The source they released was based around the Gideros 1.x release ( with a fixed graphic Open GL 1 pipeline ), not the in development Gideros 2. In all honesty, for most of the games Gideros would create, a fixed pipeline shouldn't be too much of a hinderance to most developers.


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