Castle Game Engine plans for 2017

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"Sad Sam" cat

It’s time to annouce some Castle Game Engine plans for 2017!

I have a LOT of things planned, with the main thing being that I will seek funding for the engine development more actively, and the community will be able to fund some larger features through Patreon. I would like to seriously make the engine popular and I would love to see more games being developed with it:)

THE ENGINE FEATURES PLANNED *REALLY SOON* ARE:

  1. 6.0 release SOON, of course! Lot’s of features, new website (preview), even new logo!:)

  2. Better iOS support (to be able to trivially recompile your project for iOS using our build tool castle-engine, like you can now for Android and desktops),

  3. Basic physics, for our upcoming “Sad Sam” apocalyptic highway shooter/racer.

LARGER FEATURES, WHICH I HOPE COULD GET FUNDED THROUGH PATREON ARE:

  1. Visual designing of the castle components inside a Lazarus form (like GLScene and FireMonkey 3d),

  2. Animations blending (to smoothly fade in/out animation, with cross-fade between animations, for things played by TCastleScene.PlayAnimation),

  3. Terrain engine,

  4. Blender X3D exporter improvements,

  5. Android Cardboard support, maybe also other VR devices — depending on demand, and my access to test devices,

  6. Ready components to replicate data over the Interner, allowing to trivially get multi-playter functionality in your games,

  7. Vulkan renderer, Metal renderer,

  8. Batching of shapes that have equal appearance for start, to optimize the rendering,

  9. JavaScript integration with X3D,

  10. view3dscene as an Android application,

  11. Delphi compatibility.

  12. And of course we wait for the possibility from FPC to recompile to web (that is, JS or WebAsembly, probably through LLVM). Then our engine will jump on to the web platform. (Unlike current web plugin, which is soon deprecated by all browsers, unfortunately.)

Lot’s of ideas, as you can see! What is YOUR most-wanted engine feature? Or do you have your favourite feature already mentioned above? Please do comment!:)

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Animated creature in Castle Game Engine with normalmaps baked from Blender Sculpt

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You can use Blender “Bake” feature to bake normalmaps from a high-poly model to be applied on a low-poly model. You can create the high-poly model e.g. using the “Sculpt Mode” in Blender.

Such normalmaps can be immediately used as the “normalMap” texture for Castle Game Engine.

The resulting model reacts nicely to lighting. It has a detailed shading, just like the high-poly version. But the geometry comes from the low-poly version, so it’s still very fast to render. This technique is 100% dynamic: both the creature, and the light, may be animated in any way, and the shading changes correctly.

The sample model is available in https://github.com/castle-engine/demo-models/tree/master/bump_mapping/lizardman . You can open it in view3dscene, and use the “Edit -> Lights Editor” to move the light’s location, and use the “Animation -> Named Animation -> …” to run a particular animation. For now, use the view3dscene version from snapshots or GitHub sources.

To use this technique in your own models, you need to use the “normalMap” field of the Appearance.

  • You can add it by manually editing an .x3d or .castle-anim-frames file, after exporting if from Blender.
  • You can specify normalMap in the material_properties.xml file.

See the “normalMap” documentation and the material_properties.xml documentation. And see the examples in demo-models/bump_mapping/ from demo models.

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