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5. January 2014

 

There is a new entrant in the game engine space, the Godot game engine from Okam Studio.  The engine was apparently used for in-house projects and is over a decade in the making.  The editor runs on Linux, Windows and OSX and can target desktop, mobile, consoles as well as HTML.

godot1

godotss2.png

godotss1.png

 

From observation, the engine appears to be similar to Unity, but powered by C++.  It uses a custom scripting language that appears LUA like.

 

In the developers own words:

We’ll be opening a game engine that has more than a decade of work (and several iterations) as MIT license soon.

It’s not an engine made by hobbyists, this is a production tool used to develop and publish plenty of games for PC, Consoles and Mobile. It’s currently in beta stage, meaning it’s feature complete and fully usable, but lacks very little fine tuning and testing. It has a similar feature set to Unity (little less stuff on 3D front, much more stuff on the 2D front, debugging). and runs on all the popular desktop and mobile platforms, as well as on the web (through asm.js).

Unlike almost any other game engine with this level of features, the editor runs fine in Linux, as well as Windows and OSX, and supports one click deploy.

 

Apparently the engine is being released under the MIT open source license ( a very generous license ) and is undergoing polish before complete release.  If you are interested in early access, contact [email protected].

 

I’ll be keep an eye on this one… a C++ powered Unity like engine is sure to be interesting to many.  Not sure exactly when it will drop but for now we are … Waiting for Godot.

 

Ok… that was bad.   More details as I get them.

News Programming


19. December 2013

 

I just received the following email from Havok:

 

Project Anarchy December updates!

 

Havok

Happy Holidays Fellow Anarchists!

 

We can't believe how fast the year has gone by. We announced Project Anarchy in March, launched in June, and ended the Beta in November. Here’s a recap what's been going on:

Project Anarchy 2013.2.5 is Out!
Some highlights of the new release include:

  • vPlayer - replaces vSceneViewer and features an improved UI for debugging options and scene selection, improved interaction with vFileServe, better camera configuration, and a consistent interface and feature set across all platforms
  • New vGameSolution Creator – helps you quickly create a new Visual Studio project with all the necessary configurations for Windows, Android, and Tizen
  • A newly rewritten vFileServe tool
Additional enhancements to vForge: gui improvements, workspaces for sharing projects, improved rendering features, new file system classes, a new logging system and integrated documentation in vForge. Check out the release notes for more information.

 

Project Anarchy Mobile Game Dev Challenge

If you haven't entered the Project Anarchy Mobile Game Dev Challenge yet, you should! You can win up to $100,000! Also note, if you submit your game content by February 1, 2014 you’ll be eligible to receive feedback from Havok’s support team on how you can improve your game for final submission. We’ll also choose up to ten Early Submission Finalists to showcase and promote their games at Havok's GDC booth in March, and one lucky winner will get $10,000 cash (and will still be eligible to win the $100,000 grand prize)! Check out the details and sign up here!

We’ve Added Autodesk Scaleform for Free!
We’ve integrated the full version of Autodesk Scaleform software into Project Anarchy. Now you can design innovative user interfaces seamlessly across many platforms and use the Adobe Creative Suite to create menus, UI elements and 2D graphics. More details can be found here.

New PC Exporter License Available Q1 Next Year!

We announced the PC Exporter for Project Anarchy, allowing you to release your mobile projects on PC! Licensing will be available during Q1 next year, priced at $499 per seat.

Upcoming Events

  • January 15: Project Anarchy Open House at Havok. We'll be hosting an Open House night at Havok's San Francisco office for Project Anarchy users who want to share their games and get advice from the Havok team. If you are in the San Francisco area, be sure to swing by! You can RSVP on our Eventbrite page.

We'll check in with you next year!

-The Project Anarchy Team

 

PC Export for 500$?  Impressed!

News


12. November 2013

 

I know this is a release that many people have been waiting for, the Unity version with out of the box support for 2D.

 

So, what’s in this release:

  • 2D, including tools for making sprites, scene population, physics and animation. Pro version includes automatic texture atlas generation and alpha cut outs.
  • Mecanim improvements. New keyframe based dopesheet, drive blend shapes, and perhaps most import, full scriptability of the animation system.
  • MonoDevelop 4.0.1 support.  MonoDevelop 4 is loads better, so this is nice.
  • iOS new features include Game Controller support, OpenGL ES3
  • Windows 8 support for the trial api for try before buy enabling your game
  • Support for Plastic SCM version control software
  • Pro Only feature – nav mesh can now be altered at runtime
  • A lot of smaller improvements

 

You can see the new 2D workflow in the video below:

 

You can download Unity 4.3 right here for free.

News


22. October 2013

 

Hot on the heels of their 100,000$ contest announcement the guys at Project Anarchy have another major announcement.  The latest update to Project Anarchy now includes Scaleform… for free!

 

SAN FRANCISCO – October  22, 2013 –Havok™, a leading provider of 3D game development technology, announces today that it has integrated the full version of Autodesk® Scaleform® software into Project Anarchy, Havok’s completely free end-to-end mobile 3D game production engine. The addition of Autodesk’s industry leading UI solution to Project Anarchy complements Havok’s Vision Engine, Physics, Animation and AI technologies and offers developers a complete solution for faster, more efficient game development.  Games built using Project Anarchy can be deployed for free on iOS, Android and Tizen mobile platforms without commercial restrictions on company size or revenue. The latest version of Project Anarchy, which now includes Scaleform is available for download now at www.projectanarchy.com/download.


Autodesk Scaleform has helped game developers create immersive UI for over 1,500 game titles. Leveraging the power of the Adobe Flash toolset, Scaleform provides streamlined, artist-driven workflows that help developers create 3D game menus, HUDs, animated textures, in-game videos and mini-games more quickly.


“Project Anarchy was created to give mobile developers a complete solution for all aspects of the game development process, and Scaleform is the perfect addition to round out that package,” said Ross O’Dwyer, Head of Developer Relations at Havok. “We have an incredibly active community and their feedback is really important to us. We saw demand for an improved UI system and we’re happy to be able to deliver it and further empower our developers with the strength of the Scaleform toolset.”


“Scaleform provides a robust solution that allows developers to rapidly create high production value user interfaces for a wide range of game genres.  Coupled with the comprehensive Project Anarchy toolset, developers are empowered to design innovative user interfaces seamlessly across many platforms,” said Marc Bennett, Director Interactive Display Solutions, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “The Scaleform toolset and the robust functionality offered by Project Anarchy allow developers to give their mobile titles a level of polish usually reserved for big-budget console games.”    
Project Anarchy includes 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®, and Uncharted. With features like an extensible C++ architecture, a flexible asset management system, Lua debugging, customizable game samples and tutorials, and a full fmod® integration for audio, Project Anarchy offers game developers the ability to quickly iterate on their ideas and create incredible gaming experiences.


For further information on Project Anarchy, developers can visit www.projectanarchy.com and www.havok.com. More information on Scaleform can be found at: http://gameware.autodesk.com/scaleform  

 

You can read the official announcement here.  If you’ve never heard of Scaleform it’s basically a striped down game oriented version of Flash intended to be embedded in games.  Tons of AAA games use Scaleform for their UI layer ( Crysis, Deus Ex, Witcher 2, etc ).  Scaleform is also available for Unity as a plugin, but in the case there is a 300$ price tag attached!  Scaleform is also available for the UDK although I am unsure of the licensing conditions.

 

So, if you are looking for a cross platform mobile 3D engine, Project Anarchy just got a great deal more attractive.  Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, GameFromScratch does have a series of tutorials available! If you just want an overview of what Project Anarchy actually is, start here.

News


1. October 2013

 

This game engine came to my attention yesterday on reddit so I took a bit of time to check it out and it has potential.

 

First off, it also has a few problems.  The installer has absolutely no feedback to say that it installed, no UI, nothing.  It left me scratching my head about what was going wrong and in the end everything was working fine behind the scenes.  It all ended up being moot though, as I never got the evaluation key I applied for anyway, so I was never able to run the local executables anyway.  This is all those teething growing pain issues and no doubt will be resolved in time.  My money says my email provider simply rejected their email… it happens.  Fortunately we can still get a pretty good look as the IDE runs in the browser as well and their is a demo on their site.

 

Speaking of which, here it is:

image

 

You can run the editor in demo mode by clicking here.  Unfortunately you can’t actually create projects this way, but it will give you an idea what SpellJS can do.  Otherwise you need a key.  There are a couple options here, free, not free and slightly more expensive.  Or more specifically:

 

image

 

 

So basically its free for non-commercial use, or 99 euro per developer if you want to make money selling your game directly.  If on the other hand you want to make money via advertising and/or make use of the analytic or cloud features it’s 239 euro per developer.  All told, fairly reasonable pricing in my opinion, but they will face the same trouble all other engine companies face…  a lot of their competition is free.

 

Then there is the matter of what platforms are supported:

image

 

That’s most of the major platforms covered with Flash support as a fallback for the non-compliant browsers out there.  The HTML5 layer is built over WebGL with fallback to Canvas/CSS3 rendering for non-compliant browsers.  The Android and iOS publishing is as native applications, not as web apps by the way, which is good as the iOS browser performance is often abysmal while Android is a mixed bag.

 

Ok, back to SpellJS…  the layout is pretty straight forward.

 

Games are laid out in terms of Scenes.  On the left hand side you’ve got the scene graph:

image

 

Right click on a scene and select Render Scene and it appears in the Scene view:

image

 

Here you can this scene in your game.  There are buttons across the top for pausing the scene and switching in and out of development mode.  Unfortunately they didn’t seem to work for me, I am not sure if this is a side effect of the editor.  SpellJS is supposed to support live editing, allowing you to change your game as you play it.

 

Across the right hand side is a context sensitive area depending on what you have otherwise selected.  This for example is what happens if you select the physics component in Update:

image

 

While if you have an entity selected, such as the HighScore, you will see:

image

 

This is where you would configure your various entities by setting the properties of attached components, or by adding new components.  Much like Unity, you can attach a series of components to your entities and multiple entities to your scene.

 

So, where the heck does code go?  That is the realm of scripts.  On the left hand panel, select Library:

image

 

And you will see the various assets that make up your game, such as graphics sounds and… scripts.

image

 

Here for example is the script showFinish showing in the in IDE editor:

image

 

The editor supports code folding, syntax highlighting but unfortunately doesn't seem to support code completion.

 

Scripts arent your only option, if you look the various systems that compose the update group, if you right click demo_asteroids.system.shoot and select show for example, the code that composes the system will be shown in the editor.

image

 

image

 

On other big question is… how is the documentation?  Quite good actually.  There is a Getting Started guide, a half a dozen tutorials and a fairly comprehensive, if a little sparse, reference guide.  One annoyance is, each click opens in a new tab, leading to tons of tabs to be closed.

 

image

 

All told, this looks like a very polished product and if you like working in JavaScript is certainly worth checking out.  Should my product key ever arrive and my calendar opens up a bit, I will take a closer look.  You can check them out at SpellJs.com.

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