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Aether cross-platform API/Game Engine


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#1 Raptor85   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 180

Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:37 AM

Just in time for ludum dare, the newest update of my "Aether" game engine is now up and running (at least in a "alpha" state) and I've gone ahead and launched a kickstarter campaign to try and raise some funding to accelerate development. If you've never seen my posts on this project before (mostly over on the ludumdare site and tigsource), in short Aether is a high level API/Game Engine designed for rapid development and to make developing a native game for all major platforms simple and easy (currently Linux/Windows/Android, mac and ios in the future once I have a mac to build on) while having both "C" and "C++" style exported interfaces allowing the programmer full freedom to use whatever language/IDE/tools they want. Once it's out of alpha, it will be released free and completely open source.

It creates a unified API 100% identical across all supported platforms and transparently handles all platform specific code, texture management, windowing, backgrounding, and whatever else each OS requires for proper functionality (like pausing the tread and releasing resources on android, then reloading them on resume) with the goal of allowing the game developer to focus entirely on their game and not have to worry about platform issues, opengl/directx code, and the like.

You can view the kickstarter page here http://www.kickstart...x-android-windo and the project page where you can download and try an alpha version of the engine yourself here http://www.midnightfragfest.com/aether

Currently it's in what could probably be considered an "alpha" state, though It's very much usable right now and most of my own android applications on google play have been re-written to run on it. I've also used older revisions of this engine for the past few ludum dare competitions. The current preview version download contains a test application with source, the android template project (later on once the project is a little more mature I'll provide a build script to automate creating the android port, right now you have to manually build with ant after linking your game source folder) and the development libraries and headers for linux and windows. (this is a new release however, and the windows version has at this point only been tested under WINE, after this ludum dare though I should have the feedback to squish any windows specific bugs that have shown up in the new build)

A short features list (by no means complete, just some I consider important)
  • "listener" model for key/joystick/mouse/touchscreen/etc..
  • keyboard binding system for key remapping
  • console system to pass commands to components
  • internal message pump for communication between game elements, somewhat similar to what many operating systems use
  • fully featured logging system, with tagging and dumping to console, files, and android logcat.
  • automated state management system for simplifying game loops and UI layers
  • abstracted rendering interface allowing for later upgrades to new renderers without changing the existing API
  • automatic scaling and virtual screenmodes, simplifying desktop and phone development especially for pixel art games
  • automated texture handling, including proper backgrounding, context re-creation and texture re-loading on all platforms
  • simple api for primitive drawing and batching quads
  • accelerated ttf drawing system, with C style string formatting
  • automated sound system for simple music and SFX handling and volume control
  • abstracted file handling for saving and loading data, without having to worry about paths, seperators, and knowing where you can safely save to on different operating systems.
  • serializers for safely and simply handling local configuration files and online high score lists


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