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The Mechanical Heart: Engine Upgrade

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The Mechanical Heart

Development Blog

This week marks the final(ish) turning point for TMH's Engine. If you have read previous additions you ay know the engine was originally written in C++ and used Direct X 9 Graphics library. A little over a month ago, I decided to upgrade the graphics library to Direct X 11. Unfortunately this took way longer than expected (See Appendix A). But at last I have a working version of the engine using Direct X 11.

In other news TMH has got a new logo / artwork for 'The Mechanical Heart':


So Why The Upgrade to Direct X 11?

Firstly, and maybe the most important reason was that graphical programming is one of my weakest areas of programming, so I wanted to expand my knowledge and learn new techniques. Among those techniques, I really wanted to add lighting/shadowing to TMH, I feel this will add great depth and vastly improve the graphical fidelity of the game. Here I have to shout out Migi0027 because, he has been/will be, a big help getting lights to work in the game. He recently released a lighting blog entry which looks really good.

Another reason I wanted to upgrade was the ability to use shaders. I am aware that you can use shaders with Direct X 9, however at the time I was using the Fixed Function Pipeline. And I thought if I had to change the pipeline, I might as well use the latest version of the library.

Finally, maybe one of my biggest motivator, I am now using a Camera instead of drawing straight onto the projection. This may seem trivial but it now allows me to do lots of different effects with ease. I previously moved or drew each image with an offset according to where my 'pseudo' camera was, I.E. moved the world to simulate the camera moving. This was suppose to be a temporary measure, however it stayed in the engine for far too long. One of these effects I want to play around with is screen shake. You can read up on my techniques in my blog post:Good Vibrations .

What's next?
Well, I am glad I have got the engine working with Direct X 11, Some areas need tweaking but that should take a couple weeks at most. Lights will no doubt take a bit longer and lots of fine tweaking.


As you can see, not that I expected there to be, but there is no graphical difference with drawing images. But things start to look good when I add a simple light to the scene.



This is only a glimpse of things to come, but it is an exciting time for TMH.

As I previously said, graphics programming isn't my forte, so after lights/shadows are implemented this may be the last time I touch graphics in this project* and as a result of that I am getting excited to go back to mechanics programming.

*unless I decide to port to Open GL, So lets hope there isn't my demand for that wink.pngcool.png

Until next time,

[size=2]Appendix A
[size=2]I would like to apologise for lack of development blogs, last few weeks have been hectic from job interviews / tests to working 54 hour weeks. I do try to keep this as a weekly blog, but rest asure I have the next few blogs planned smile.png. Also I was blown away by the popularity of my last blog entry thank you all who liked/upvoted and a special thanks to Gamedev.net for featuring it. I definatly know the standards you guys like now, so I will try to keep any technical blogs up to standards from now on smile.png
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Why would you go to openGL? Unless you have a reason to port this to many platforms there would be 0 reason.

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Why would you go to openGL? Unless you have a reason to port this to many platforms there would be 0 reason.

That is the reason :) . Unless I get some sort of funding, its not happening lol.

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