Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tinkering with Torque3D

I have abandoned this blog for a long time, mostly connection problems, time and lazyness, missing a lot of interesting news, like new open source engines. But it is time to write a bit about my last effort: underestanding Torque3D. 

GarageGames took a drastic decision some time ago: to open its commercial game engine Torque, after some financial troubles almost killed what once was the war horse of indie developers. Yes, believe it or not, Torque was as famous as Unity3d. Regrettably, releasing something as open source doesnt ensures a wild success. Torque is affected by a poor cross-platform support (Torque3D still doesnt support Linux officially, and Torque2D doesnt supports a so widely spread platform as Android!), not to mention that the stressing process took its toll on development. Even when Torque3D features an excellent scene editor, which I dare to say rivals Unity one, it is lagging behind in technological aspects like renderer.
The community havent been entusiast in adopting Torque, probably because cross-platform is a key factor to be accepted among free software adepts (here, cross-platform=Linux), but probably that will change as soon as the Linux/OS X/Android support gets officially integrated and released. Also, the documentation is old, I still havent seen a guide or videotutorial about Torque3D 3, and thats a year old version. Again, this is being addressed for version 4.
The major obstacle, in my case, to learning the engine, has been its weird client/server architecture. Processing a click requires editing one file, which in turns sends a "command" to the "server", which means that a second script should be edited to add the "command". But my trick to overcome this has been to follow each tutorial several times, and slowly add my own changes.The forum and chat have been helpful, but dont expect quick answers. Anyway, the engine is not totally out of comprehension (maybe a bit harder than Unity3d, but easier than Unigine), and Im sure that mostly programmers will get it, as long as they take the time to study it, which of course, applies for any other engine out there. What else can I say? It is free, it is in development... all it needs is that you jump in and push.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NeoAxis 3D 2.0 released

Yesterday, NeoAxis 3D engine released version 2.0. Read the official announce to get all the details, but the only interesting thing worth mentioning is the new Free Edition. Support for Linux and mobile platforms is planned at some point in the future, as it has been since I can remember.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Three Normal Mapping Techniques Explained

Yesterday I discovered this excellent article, via  Gamasutra. Implement your own normal mapping!

Irrlicht 1.8.1

A few days ago was released Irrlicht 1.8.1, a bugfix release. I havent looked at this engine for a long time, but I expect to tinker a bit with it as soon as I have some free time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The winter, I mean, Fallout 4, is coming

The rumour machine has started producing... well, rumours. Some days ago, a new site was openend, allegedly by Bethesda. The Survivor only displays a counter which will end next december, and you can read a careful analysis in Fallout Gamepedia. A couple of days later some specialized sites reported that Bethesda has filed a trademark registration for Fallout 4, but neither that can be considered 100% certain. Remember that a couple of months ago a similar document for Half Life 3 was filtered and resulted to be a fake (or at least, retired).
I prefer to wait before making assumptions, besides that a Bethesda developed Fallout 4 does not ranks high in my interests list. After all, they ruined pretty much the franchise with their view of what a Fallout game should be.
If you like the post-apocalyptic setting and old school RPGs, you should take a look at After Reset in Kickstarter, or Underrail (which is on alpha funding on Desura). They both deserve your support.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Playing with Torque 3D

Even when I find Unigine editor easier to use to add and edit objects, I think that Torque editor in some details is comparable to Unity3D. But programming requires some time to get used to its weird client/server architecture.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SDL 2.0.1

A bugfix release is not news, but the interesting thing here is not the release itself (actually, I havent confirmed the release, I just saw the RC announced a week ago in the mailing list). The interesting part of this is that SDL 2 branch has started its walk in the development world.
Regrettably, lack of backwards compatibility will delay SDL 2 adoption. Even when it implements old functions, the initialization process is different and requires that your programs be ported. I guess that will take some time to have SDL 2 in repos, but there is no reason for developers to delay porting their projects, which is a trivial, but time consuming task if you have a lot of code lines.