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26. March 2013

Well, this one came out of left field… well, that or GDC, but it's easily the biggest news yet for mobile game developers.

NewImage

 

Havok, the makers of the popular Havok physics engine, the Vision 3D game engine and much much more, just announced Project Anarchy.

 

What exactly is that?  Well, I'll let them describe it.  From Havok.com.

 

At the 2013 Game Developers Conference today, Havok™ unveiled Project Anarchy, a complete end-to-end mobile 3D game production engine. Havok announced that developing and releasing a game with the technology will be free on many leading mobile platforms, without commercial restrictions on company size or revenue.


Project Anarchy will include Havok’s Vision Engine together with access to Havok’s industry-leading suite of Physics, Animation and AI tools as used in cutting-edge franchises such as Skyrim™, Halo, Assassin’s Creed®, Uncharted and Skylanders. The free download will also include a broad range of game samples and tutorials to help the mobile development community hit the ground running. Havok will be giving open previews of the technology on the main show floor throughout GDC.


As part of this initiative, Havok will launch an online community to proactively promote and support developers through all stages of production via a dedicated website www.projectanarchy.com. Project Anarchy will also encourage free sharing and collaborative development of extensions and customizations by the community.


“We’re consistently blown away by what the AAA industry creates with our technology,” said Ross O’Dwyer, Head of Developer Relations at Havok. “We’re really delighted to be able to offer these professional grade tools to mobile developers for free and we look forward to supporting the mobile game development community to make some stunning games with the technology over the next few years.”

 

The site Project Anarchy is just an email sign up page for now.  For the record, submitting your email address will get you no additional information at the moment.

 

So then, what exactly does this mean?  From the sounds of it, they will be "giving away??" mobile versions of Vision Engine, their Physics Engine, Animation Software and their AI package.

 

The number of commercial product's that have used these products is almost too high to count.  I don't really get the finanicals of this deal, all we have to go on is:

will be free on many leading mobile platforms, without commercial restrictions on company size or revenue

I don't really see any gotcha words in that sentence, other than maybe "on many leading".  I don't really understand how Havok makes money in this scenario, except maybe for upsetting people on non-mobile versions?  I will post more details as I get them.

ProjectAnarchy launches later this spring.


26. February 2013

 

Just saw this pop up on Reddit and I thought I would share.  Yesterday a new engine was released, Loom.  (Nothing to do with the excellent game from LucasArts).image  Loom works on Mac and Windows and can target Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.

 

 

 

Loom is a new game engine 2D game engine, written in C++ and powered by their own custom scripting language, which is a mix between C# and ActionScript.  Looking at the code samples, this engine is obviously built over top of the Cocos2D game engine, which is one of those love it or hate it APIs.  Built around a command line interface, you can rapidly create and debug projects.  Additionally it includes a gameplay framework, UI library, Tweening library, Chipmunk physics, unit testing and more.

 

 

 

 

Licensees get the complete C++ source code and right now, licenses are free.  Eventually indie licenses will be 500$, and going up from there, so if you are interested, be sure to snatch up a license now.  You can read full details about the licensing here.

 

There are a good number of demos available with source code.  They also offer paid support, which is always handy.

 

You can learn more about the Loom engine at TheEngine.co.  Clever name that… Sign up for a free license here.

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6. February 2013

As we reported back in december, Torque2D was going open source.  Well, the day has finally arrived, Torque2D's source code is up on Github now.

Torque2D Logo

 

 

So what is Torque2D?  It is a 2D cross platform game engine, previously under a commercial license.  I will let them describe their baby:

 

 

In simple terms, Torque 2D is an extremely powerful, flexible, and fast engine dedicated to 2D game development. The following is a breakdown of the core facts about the engine:

Currently supported platforms:
* Windows
* OS X
* iOS

Support for new platforms is surely on the way. In fact, YOU get to help us decide what we should work on, be it Linux, Android, editors, or just simple bug fixing. 

Languages:
* Core: C++
* Windows: C++ and Windows API
* OS X: C++, Objective-C, and Cocoa API
* iOS: C++, Objective-C, and Cocoa touch API

Main Features:
* Box2D physics
* Simple and flexible sprite system
* Composite system capable of rendering thousands of images and animations with little performance impact
* Integrated asset system that manages all your asset loading and unloading in an optimized manner
* Flexible module system that makes rapid prototyping a snap and code reusability a simple matter
* TexturePacker Support
* TAML serialization format (like XAML and XML)
* Batched rendering
* Multiple collision shapes
* Built-in unit testing framework, cross platform
* Solid behavior system for packaging reusable game logic that can be applied to multiple sprites in different projects

In addition to the core engine languages, you can script all your game play via TorqueScript. This is a C-like syntax language that is very simple to learn and utilize for your projects. Additionally, persistent files such as particles, levels, GUIs, and more are stored as "TAML" (Torque Application Markup Language). If you have ever edited XML or XAML in the past, you should feel more than comfortable with TAML.

Blazing Speed
Blazing fast performance on Windows, OS X, and iOS. On desktop platforms, you can have thousands of sprites, particles, and physics objects running at once without ever dipping below the 60 fps mark. While more limited, iOS hardware can run the engine at a solid 60 fps, even with hundreds of objects interacting on screen.

 

Very cool move open sourcing this GarageGames, I hope it works out for you.

 

You can read the complete announcement here.


30. January 2013

 

Don’t you just love it when you are thinking about doing something, then someone else comes along and does exactly that thing for you?  Well, exactly just that very thing just happened to me.  I had long considered doing a comparison post of some of the most popular HTML5 game engines, facing them all against each other implementing a common game and see which one came out on top.

 

Well, BuildNewGames.com just did exactly that.  In their words:

Today we are going to compare three popular JavaScript game engines: CraftyJS, ImpactJS and LimeJS. You really can’t go wrong with any of these great choices, but they do have their own strengths, weaknesses and style. Taking some time to get to know what’s out there is well worth it before embarking on a game

 

Most interestingly, he followed in the vein of popular TodoMVC example, of implementing a standard application to give you a quick glance at each framework in action.  The author has implemented a Breakout clone using each library.  Like so:

breakout screenshot

 

This is a very useful exercise, and I hope others pick up the baton and implement the same program in their framework of choice. 

 

In the end, ( spoiler alert ), the author comes to the follow conclusion:

So which engine is the real winner? I will leave that to you to decide. Since Lime and Crafty are free and open source, it’s easy to dive into them and give them a whirl. Impact is at a disadvantage here, as you need to pony up for the license before you can start playing with it. It’d be nice if Impact had some sort of trial period option.

 

If you are trying to select a JavaScript game engine, this is certainly a great read.

News Programming


27. January 2013
Logo

 

LibGDX is a popular Java based open source cross platform game programming library that supports desktop, Android, HTML5 and now… iOS.

 

Other details about this release:

 

  • Minor changes to the Livewallpaper API. Note that the LWP support is still a little buggy. It’s a contribution, and while i did quite a bit of clean-up it’s still not entirely where it should be. I’d be super happy if someone took on that backend!
  • If you want to deploy to HTML5 you now need to use GWT 2.5!
  • We have rudimentary Maven support. Thanks a ton to Team Gemserk for libgdx mavenizer and all their help with this!.
  • Android Daydream support, a contribution by talklittle! This one is stable.
  • Gdx controllers extension, for Android/Ouya and desktop. HTML5 could be an option too! Volunteers? (looking at you Nex) Some notes on the current stub backend for HTML5
  • The gdx-net API is now part of core. Fetching things via HTTP should work on all backends. Here’s a little test. Big thanks to Noblemaster and Gemserk who led this effort!
  • Not exactly part of the release, but here’s a quick rundown on how to make your libgdx game work with Ouya!
  • Again, not exactly part of the release, but here’s an awesome guide by Swarm on how to integrate Swarm with your libgdx app! Note that you should probably interface the Swarm API so your desktop project continues to work.
  • First release of the iOS backend

 

 

The iOS release does have some caveats though.  You need a Mac, XCode and ( here’s the stickler ) a MonoTouch license, just like the PlayN project’s iOS port.  Unfortunately, MonoTouch costs 400$, so this is one of those things you should be aware of upfront.

 

That said, iOS is often the biggest market place, so being able to port your game could be easily worth the 400$ price tag. 

 

The following features are in the queue for the 0.9.9 release:

 

 

You can read the entire release notes here, and access the source code here.

 

Nice work LIBGDX team.

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