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14. March 2019

The Esenthel engine, previously previewed in this video, have moved from a license based business model to a donation supported one.   Additionally the source code has been released and is available on GitHub.  The source code is not under a recognized FOSS license, instead releasing under a proprietary one with one particularly poisonous condition:

Esenthel Engine code/algorithms/designs may NOT be used for development/improvement of other Game Engines.
You may NOT browse Esenthel Engine source code if you work on improving other Game Engines, in that case
you may only compile it with the included tool and work with the compiled binary version of Esenthel Engine.

If you are working on or contribute to a game engine then you want to stay far away from this source code! Other than this clause, the license is fairly liberal and allows you to use Esenthel freely and without requiring a splash screen or watermark.

The key features of the Esenthel engine include:
  • Very Easy to Use
  • Advanced Graphics and Physics
  • High Performance
  • Low Memory Usage
  • Unlimited Sized Worlds
  • Collaborative Development
  • Auto Publishing
  • 100+ Tutorials and 90+ Documentation Pages Included
  • Esenthel Store to sell your own Items
  • Frequent Updates
  • Rock Solid - Zero Bug Tolerance
  • Free!

Essenthel can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux here.


GameDev News

31. January 2019

Today we are looking at WickedEngine, an open source C++ based 3D game engine with Direct 11/12/Vulkan rendering paths, an Entity Component System and Lua scripting available.  It is inspired by the XNA programming model and has no external dependencies, making it incredibly easy (especially for a C++ project) to get started.  Additionally there is a fully functional level editing tool available, already compiled and ready to use.  The full list of features is available here.  The engine supports Windows platforms including PC and UWP (Phone, XBox, PC).

WickedEngine describes itself as:

Wicked Engine is an open-source game engine written in C++. The main focus is to be easy to set up and use, light weight, high performance, and graphically advanced. The full source code is provided with the MIT license, which means, anyone is free to use it for anything without additional considerations. The code shall not contain any parts with other licensing. The code is hosted on GitHub: For any questions, please open an issue there.

Additionally the developer has maintained a very interesting technical blog on the topic of engine development available here.

WickedEngine is not the only modern open source C++ 3D game engine.  Other similar engines we’ve covered recently include:

Learn more about WickedEngine and see the editor in action in the video below:

GameDev News

1. January 2019

2018 was an interesting year in game development.  In this post/video, we take a quick stroll down memory lane and look at some of the key stories as they occurred throughoutGameDev2018 the year. 

GameDev News General News Programming Design Art Totally Off Topic

24. December 2018

Xenko 3.1 beta has just been released.   This is the first major point release since the Xenko project went open source this summer.  The primary focus of this beta is reorganizing Xenko to make it play nicely with the NuGet distribution system, although this refactoring has some very cool side effects.  Now you are able to use individual components of Xenko on their own.  For example, if you wanted to use the Xenko graphics library on it’s own, you can, independent of the rest of the Xenko game engine.  This release also moves towards Xenko using .NET standard.

Details of the release from the Xenko blog:

Xenko was always a big proponent of NuGet: since first version, Xenko was distributed as a NuGet package.

However, due to limitations (hello packages.config and project.json!), we were leveraging NuGet more as a distribution medium than proper NuGet packages: Xenko 3.0 is still a monolithic single package and it would not work out of the box when referenced from Visual Studio without using Xenko Launcher and Game Studio.

Xenko 3.0 paved the way by making Xenko compatible with the new project system (game projects were referencing Xenko using a PackageReference).

Today, Xenko 3.1 brings Xenko as a set of smaller NuGet package, each containing one assembly, with proper dependencies:


As a result, it is now possible to create a game project that references only the packages you want. Here are a few examples of “core” packages:

  • Xenko.Engine: allows you to use core engine runtime (including its dependencies)
  • Xenko.Core.Assets.CompilerApp: compile assets at build time
  • Xenko.Core.Mathematics or Xenko.Graphics: yes, if you want to make a custom project only using Xenko mathematics or graphics API without the full Xenko engine, you can!
  • Xenko.Core.Assets, Xenko.Presentation or Xenko.Quantum: all those piece of tech being used to build Xenko tooling are also available for reuse in other projects. Nothing prevents you from generating assets on the fly too!

Then, various parts of the engine are distributed as optional packages:

  • Xenko.Physics
  • Xenko.Particles
  • Xenko.UI
  • Xenko.SpriteStudio
  • Xenko.Video

If you don’t reference those packages, they won’t be packaged with your game either. In many situations, it results in a smaller packaged game and improved startup time.

In addition to the above changes, you can take a look at the commit log on GitHub for other aspects that made it into the 3.1 release.

GameDev News

8. December 2018

The open source Duality game engine just received a 3.0 release.  The duality engine, that we featured previously in the Closer Look series is a complete 2D game engine built on top of a C# framework that also includes a comprehensive game editor, a modern component based design, as well as good documentation and a decent sized community.  The only real flaw I can think of is that it is currently Windows only, so that limits the audience to a certain degree.  The 3.0 release is loaded with features, the largest of which is due to the complete rewrite of the rendering pipeline and underlying design, which resulted in a more modern shader based approach and up to a doubling of per frame performance.


Rewrote the entire rendering pipeline, allowing massive improvements in efficiency, ease of use and feature coverage while at the same time shifting towards more modern, shader-focused rendering techniques.

  • RenderSetup resources allow replacing how Duality renders a frame, providing a simple entry point for pre- or post processing steps, as well as completely customized rendering behavior.
  • Self-contained scenes allow using Scene resources as isolated simulation spaces independently of the active main scene.
  • Focus on performance and a more data-oriented design of both rendering and update cycles. A worst-case rendering benchmark comparing v2 and v3 performance went down from 13 ms to 6 ms per frame, as well as 2000+ (gen0 to gen2) GC collections per minute to about 5 (gen0) collections.
  • Refactored core API, replacing many “first iteration” designs with more streamlined ones. The most prominent example might be the deprecation of manual context checks in ICmpInitializable in favor of a simple OnActivate / OnDeactivate method pair, but many similar improvements were done as well.

Be sure to check out the full change log, as the above summary only scratches the surface of what’s new in this release.  As mentioned earlier, the Duality game engine is open source and available on Github.  If you want to see a quick hands-on introduction to Duality, be sure to watch the video embedded below.

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