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17. June 2019


The nCine Engine is a C++ powered, open source MIT licensed 2D game engine that has been under development for over 7 years.  It is a lower level code based framework, although it does support Lua scripting out of the box.  The engine also integrates the ImGui framework making creating tools and UIs a breeze.  The nCine engine works on Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.

Highlighted features include:

  • ImGui debug overlay and profilers
  • Lua integration for scripting
  • OPenGL 3.3/OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Spritesheet based animated sprites
  • Scengraph based transformations
  • Particle simulation with affectors
  • Sound and music playback
  • Text rendering with kerning
  • Support for multiple texture formats
  • Profiler graphs and statistics
  • Works on multiple platforms
  • Template containers and algorithms
  • Fully C++11 compliant codebase
  • High precision monotonic timers
  • Atomic counters
  • Thread pool creation, synchronization and affinity assignment
  • Basic math lbrary for vectors, 4x4 matrices and quaternions
  • Logging system with multiple levels and console or file output
  • GLFW 3 or SDL 2 for window and input on PC
  • Joystick support with hot swap and gamepad mappings
  • Android assets support
  • Google Test based unit tests with coverage checked with Gcovr
  • Microbenchmarked with the Google Benchmark support library
  • Doxygen based documentation with Graphviz class diagrams
  • Periodically checked with Cppcheck and Valgrind
  • Periodically linted with clang-format (previously with Artistic Style and Uncrustify)
  • Instrumentation for the Tracy frame profiler

With so many game engines on the market, you may be wondering… why another one?  Well the author explains exactly that right here.  The cCine project is hosted on GitHub and provides a Pong demo to get you started, implemented in both C++ and Lua.

GameDev News Programming


3. June 2019


Raylib is an open source C based cross platform game framework released under the zlib/libpng open source license that I previously referred to as “the easiest C/C++ game framework I’ve ever found” and that description is still true today.  Raylib started life as a way to teach non-programmers game development in an accessible manner and I would say for the most part, mission accomplished.  Since that initial release, raylib has continued to improve and the just released raylib 2.5 is one of the biggest releases yet.

Details from the release notes:

  • New window management and filesystem functions to query monitor information, deal with clipboard, check directory files info and even launch a URL with default system web browser. Experimental High-DPI monitor support has also been added through a compile flag.

  • Redesigned Gamepad mechanism, now generic for all platforms and gamepads, no more specific gamepad configurations.
    Redesigned UWP input system, now raylib supports UWP seamlessly, previous implementation required a custom input system implemented in user code.

  • rlgl module has been redesigned to support a unique buffer for shapes drawing batching, including LINES, TRIANGLES, QUADS in the same indexed buffer, also added support for multi-buffering if required. Additionally, rlPushMatrix()/rlPopMatrix() functionality has been reviewed to behave exactly like OpenGL 1.1, models_rlgl_solar_system example has been added to illustrate this behaviour.

  • VR simulator has been reviewed to allow custom configuration of Head-Mounted-Device parameters and distortion shader, core_vr_simulator has been properly adapted to showcase this new functionality, now the VR simulator is a generic configurable stereo rendering system that allows any VR device simulation with just a few lines of code or even dynamic tweaking of HMD parameters.

  • Support for Unicode text drawing; now raylib processes UTF8 strings on drawing, supporting Unicode codepoints, allowing rendering mostly any existent language (as long as the font with the glyphs is provided). An amazing example showing this feature has also been added: text_unicode.

  • Brand new text management API, with the addition of multiple functions to deal with string data, including functionality like replace, insert, join, split, append, to uppercase, to lower... Note that most of those functions are intended for text management on rendering, using pre-loaded internal buffers, avoiding new memory allocation that user should free manually.

  • Multiple new shapes and textures drawing functions to support rings (DrawRing(), DrawRingLines()), circle sectors (DrawCircleSector(), DrawCircleSectorLines()), rounded rectangles (DrawRectangleRounded(), DrawRectangleRoundedLines()) and also n-patch textures (DrawTextureNPatch()), detailed examples have been added to illustrate all this new functionality.

  • Experimental cubemap support, to automatically load multiple cubemap layouts (LoadTextureCubemap()). It required some internal rlgl redesign to allow cubemap textures.

  • Skeletal animation support for 3d models, this addition implied a redesign of Model data structure to accomodate multiple mesh/multiple materials support and bones information. Multiple models functions have been reviewed and added on this process, also glTF models loading support has been added.

You can download raylib here, while the source code is available here.  In terms of learning the API, pretty much all you need to know is available on this cheatsheet.  Additionally there are a huge number of examples available (that can run in your browser) right here, each including full source code.

GameDev News


2. May 2019


OGRE, Object-oriented Graphics Rendering Engine, an open source MIT licensed 3D renderer just released version 1.12 after almost a year in development.  The release is heavily focused on internal rearchitecting for future development.

Key features from the 1.12 release:

  • #include directive supported for GLSL shaders
  • PF_DEPTH support for shadows with the RTSS and the Terrain component
  • RTSS 3.0: vastly improved internal API and refactored shader library
  • Per pixel-shading on D3D11/ GL3+/ GLES2 by default (via RTSS)
  • The GL3+ RenderSystem is now used for rendering the reference Test images
  • More precise timings for built-in profiler and support for external profiling via Remotery
  • unified API for fixed-function pipeline and shaders
  • NEON intrinsics for OptimizedMath on ARM (Android)
  • Stable Material library (Media/) that you can reference in your projects
  • the MSVC SDK now also includes the Python and Java components
  • support for loading 1.7 style terrains (aka “terrain.cfg”)

You can learn more about the release in the New and Noteworthy document available here.  Additionally the source code for OGRE is available here on GitHub.  The book mentioned in the video below that covers OGRE for game engine development is Game Engine Architecture.

GameDev News


2. April 2019


Today marked the release of Microsoft’s seminal IDE Visual Studio 2019.  It is available for download right now at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/.  The community edition of Visual Studio 2019 is completely free to use so long as your company makes less than $1M USD annually or has > 250 PCs.   Free trials for the Professional and Enterprise versions are also available.  For more details on the differences between versions, be sure to check here.

There are several new improvements and features available in Visual Studio 2019 including improved performance and start up times, a new AI driven code tool called IntelliCode, .NET core 3.0 support, C# data breakpoints, tighter integration with GitHub and Azure, multiple improvements to mobile development using Xamarin, a new remote coding interface called Live Code and much more.  You can read the complete Visual Studio 2019 release notes here.

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac also received a new release, including intellisense support taken directly from Visual Studio.  You can read the full release notes here and download here. (be sure to click the MacOS tab if required).

You can watch a condensed to under 10 minute version of the keynote in the video below.  In addition to the keynote, Microsoft have a series of training materials and more in-depth sessions available at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs2019-launch/.

GameDev News


12. February 2019


Orx is a fairly unique data driven plugin based C++ game engine we featured a previous version here.  The project is open source under the ZLib license and works on Windows, Linux and MacOS and can target these platforms plus iOS and Android.


New features of Orx 1.1 include:

  • GLFW 2.7 to GLFW 3.3 for updated display, mouse, joystick and keyboard support.
  • Multiple monitor support.
  • Support for gamepad mappings (as per SDL database).
  • Hardware cursors and icons.
  • Updated Android support.
  • Drag and Drop support for file names.
  • Clipboard support.


Full details of this release are available in the change log and precompiled binaries are available here.  Be sure to watch the video below to learn more about this unique 2D game engine.

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