Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hitting The Ground Running


Was so absorbed with the schedule, emails, tasks and delegation on Tuesday I completely forgot about blogging. I am here to rectify that a little and list out the stuff we have done in the last two days.

Changing the grass in Test Level is now instant, and no longer takes an absolute age. Added a MEDIUM technique to the entities to allow cheaper shadows along with the flash light effect. We extended the grass drawing range and made the grass fade out better so no more grass popping out of nowhere. The superflat terrain flag now handles the cheap shadow system properly allowing this method to be used for levels where terrain is not needed. It remains to be seen if we promote this feature to a slider/tickbox or keep it hidden in the SETUP.INI. The aspect ratio is now respected no matter what resolution you are running when in edit mode, which means perfectly circular cursors and scopes on rifles :)  Fixed the issue of collectible weapons in standalone games not showing the guns when collected.  The download system can now determine if an entity has been updated by the artist, and trigger the update to download automatically. Just log in each day, click download and if your purchased items have an improvement, they will be downloaded automatically.  Added better interaction between water and entities so they bob about on the surface or sink to the bottom, no more jiggling about erratically. Added F10 reminder on the start-up prompt to show new users how to grab a screen shot from the Test Level session.  The engine can automatically detect if an X file is NEWER than the DBO that represents it, and if so, replace it with a new one. This ensures the best performance via DBO and no further need to keep deleting DBO files after each update.  Save standalone now remembers all settings in the root SETUP.INI allowing your executables to be exported just how you want them, no more manual editing each time.  Skies, terrain and vegetation grasses lists now update each time you run Test Level which means you can buy a sky or grass choice, download it and then run the level immediately to try out your new item without needing to reset the software.

I also did half an hour looking into why the old DBP Free Version suddenly stopped allowing activation, which turned out to be a decent PHP version upgrade which messed up the security at our end. Paul came to the rescue and solved it in short order.  New DBP users are happy once more!

Had a meeting today and refined the final list for the next version even further. We have isolated the most important features that the engine sorely needs and are working hard to get them working quickly. To give you a hint, it involves heavy coding of the AI, scripting, Windows 7/8 compatibility and a myriad of tiny yet essential tweaks to make the editing and playing of games enjoyable.  Now we have a good upload system and a Game Creator Store administrator in place, expect to see items appear on the store in the coming weeks so don't be afraid to click the FPSCREATOR button in the bottom left of the IDE and visit our digital shop front, and keep an eye out for the free stuff!


  1. Sounding good Lee! Well done lads - keep those tweaks coming :-)

  2. Everything is looking and working great. I hold back on a lot of my questions because most of the time the answer is right here in my face. It sounds like you have covered all my questions and more though. I am having a great time with this reloaded! Keep it coming.

  3. I am so happy about the flashlight working on low setting.

  4. "It remains to be seen if we promote this feature to a slider/tickbox or keep it hidden in the SETUP.INI."


    Neither! You are not seriously keeping the in-test-game settings menu as a permanent fixture, are you?! Why are the settings not settable from IN THE EDITOR? You know, like NORMAL. It's about time we got a global settings dialogue accessible from inside the editor, the same way as the Build Game dialogue in X9, but with more....sensibility. I mean, the Build Game settings dialogue came up when you clicked Build Game (?! When you click Build Game, you expect to Build a Game, not set settings), and included lots of settings that didn't affect the test game (so dumb!).

    It's silly to have to set things from inside the game. Setting stuff from in test game is really hacked and temporary-feeling.


  5. I am more amused by floating grass on my test games. Well random amount seems to not like ground. Also how is the optimisation of the trees coming along

  6. Some of the latest updates, fixes and tweaks there sound right on.

    I would presume that whatever final build interface methodology is introduced for developers when compiling game if one is needed - which may be a good idea.....

    From the point of view of the internal game level settings management via the sliders and so on that is also an essential in level interface which could be be extended and which is valuable to the game maker in making adjustments in real time in actual game level and seeing whats going on as the end game player will see everything and allowing the game maker to tweak until satisfied, quickly and efficiently. There is no other way to better that system.

    End game players too need a settings adjustment interface too and again instant visual feedback inside real game level is the best anyone can get.


    1. I disagree. The system is NOT the best it can be. Aside from slowing the framerate hugely (!!?), it's annoying to change things from inside the test game like that. Without starting the game I can't see what the settings are saved as, and if I inadvertently change something then there's no "cancel" button to click, like there would be if it were created using normal Windows GUI inside the editor, not the test game.