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JBEngine: Awesomium User Interface and Artwork progress

Posted by JordanBonser, in JBEngine 01 September 2014 · 317 views

JBEngine Game Development User Interface Awesomium

This past couple of weeks I've been playing around with 3ds max a little more and working on creating animations. Using these animations I realised that my engine can't handle FBX files very well, and in fact the example Model Viewer I got couldn't either. This meant going back to the drawing board and figuring out why FBX animations weren't working. I soon narrowed it down that the use of FBX and the
biped objects in 3DS Max were making it really difficult to import into certain pieces of software. Due to this I am not resorting back to using Collada as my main import type as it is the most standardised and it will work for animations as long as I don't use the biped.

This has caused a lot of frustrating as now I am having to create all my bones and animations by hand, in the long run I think It might be slightly easier as the biped can't really do everything I need it to.
I found a piece of middleware called Coherent UI which allows the use of HTML webpages to display GUI's in games and other native applications. This seemed really powerful and from the look of their website appeared to do everything I wanted it to do. The only issue is that their licenses were a bit limited for what I needed it for. I realised afterwards how useful this middleware would be to me as I would then not need to create all the GUI elements for the engine and would increase productivity rapidly, so I went on the lookout for a similar library which i could use. This is when I stumbled upon Awesomium. It also allows application to take a webpage and render it to a texture, more than this you can interact fully with it using JavaScript for callbacks to C++ functions.

I have been playing with Awesomium over the past week and have managed to get something up and running, rendering the google homepage and allowing some interaction with it. There is still plenty more to be done and it does seem that there is a large performace issue with it at the moment. I believe this is due to the texture being overwritten almost every frame and then uploaded to the graphic card again, although I am yet to profile it.

If i can manage to get these performance issues out the way I will proceed further with it and hopefully be able to throw together a new UI for the game and also the level editor. This will give so much flexibility and also the ability for users to mod the game. they can simply create their own UI by overwriting the current webpage with whatever they would like to display.

Plenty to be looking forward to and I will hopefully have a demo usage of the awesomium up soon.