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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Raptor85

Aether cross-platform API/Game Engine

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[size=3][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]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.[/font] Once it's out of alpha, it will be released free and completely open source.[/size]

[size=3]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.[/size]

[size=3]You can view the kickstarter page here [url="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1844752097/aether-game-engine-open-source-linux-android-windo"]http://www.kickstart...x-android-windo[/url] and the project page where you can download and try an alpha version of the engine yourself here [url="http://www.midnightfragfest.com/aether"]http://www.midnightfragfest.com/aether[/url][/size]

[size=3]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)[/size]

[size=3]A short features list (by no means complete, just some I consider important)[/size][list]
[*][size=3]"listener" model for key/joystick/mouse/touchscreen/etc.. [/size]
[*][size=3]keyboard binding system for key remapping[/size]
[*][size=3]console system to pass commands to components[/size]
[*][size=3]internal message pump for communication between game elements, somewhat similar to what many operating systems use[/size]
[*][size=3]fully featured logging system, with tagging and dumping to console, files, and android logcat.[/size]
[*][size=3]automated state management system for simplifying game loops and UI layers[/size]
[*][size=3]abstracted rendering interface allowing for later upgrades to new renderers without changing the existing API[/size]
[*][size=3]automatic scaling and virtual screenmodes, simplifying desktop and phone development especially for pixel art games[/size]
[*][size=3]automated texture handling, including proper backgrounding, context re-creation and texture re-loading on all platforms[/size]
[*][size=3]simple api for primitive drawing and batching quads[/size]
[*][size=3]accelerated ttf drawing system, with C style string formatting[/size]
[*][size=3]automated sound system for simple music and SFX handling and volume control[/size]
[*][size=3]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.[/size]
[*][size=3]serializers for safely and simply handling local configuration files and online high score lists[/size]
[/list]
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