Category Archives: Game Development

Unity 2.6 now free

Earlier this year I purchased Unity3D Indie after I evaluated it for a while, along with several assets to do some prototyping for these adventure game ideas I have in my head. I found Unity to be an incredible flexible, easy-to-use and serious toolkit and actually the first “game maker” that ever convinced me that I don’t have to build everything myself.

I don’t have any time to look into it further right now since I’m way too busy with plenty of other jobs and obligations I currently have. But I’ve heard some great news today (at least for those who did not yet purchase Unity): the Indie version is free now! Unity Technologies has released a new version 2.6 and decided to make the Indie version completely freely available. If you’ve ever considered creating a game or if you don’t emphasize on writing all code yourself, Unity may be for you. It’s the most mature game development toolkit I’ve ever seen and if you’ve played around with game makers earlier, you should give it a try, too. Unity is for Mac and Windows and builds web-player (browser plugin) and stand-alone applications.

Screenshot from a Unity scene I'm working on.

2D Graphics

I was searching for a nice 2D graphics library today, again, because I wanted to piece something together very quickly. My requirements were:

  • Should be available for the Mac so that I could code with my MacBook Pro on my lap. Currently I really prefer this way of coding. Screw dual monitors!
  • Crossplatform would be a plus so that I could continue coding on the PC if need-be.
  • Should have a somewhat modern C++ API, i.e. SDL was out of the question.
  • Should provide basic shape drawing functionality (e.g. circles, lines,…) and font support (TTF or at least bitmap fonts) innately. SDL disqualified again.
  • Either mature enough to be almost bug-free or still under active development.

I came up with something that was described as a “C++ version of SDL” somewhere. I must admit, this didn’t sound very promising to me at first, but when I digged a bit deeper, I became confident that this was what I was searching for.

http://www.sfml-dev.org/

SFML has everything I need plus lots of other cool features. And the best is, it even comes with pre-compiled OSX frameworks and XCode project templates to get you started directly.

The standard main.cpp looks somewhat like that. It’s pretty straightforward and you can jump right in and take care for the more important things:

#include <SFML/Graphics.hpp>

using namespace sf;

int main( int argc, char* argv[] ) {
    RenderWindow app( VideoMode( 640, 480 ), "SFML Graphics" );
    while( app.IsOpened() ) {
        Event event;
        while( app.GetEvent( event ) ) {
            if( event.Type == Event::Closed ) {
                app.Close();
            }
        }

        app.Clear();
        app.Draw( Shape::Circle( 200, 200, 100, Color::Yellow, 10, Color::Blue ) );
        app.Display();
    }

    return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

The only thing I don’t like so far is the PascalCasing for method names, but hell, you can’t have everything, can you? So I’ll be using SFML for some debug graphics for another project I’m working on, DVW-related.

ELFrun featured on YouTube channel

mattin found ELFrun featured on “Englishtwist’s” Christmas Countdown for December 3rd. If you want to see the whole ELFrun intro video (because you don’t have an iPod/iPhone, of course, otherwise you would indeed buy the game to watch it), have a look at his footage starting at about minute 4 :-)

There’s another video from “ipodtouchlab” who is featuring ELFrun over here with two (simple) levels of gameplay. I’m really wondering whether someone will ever make a movie of the harder ones.

ELFrun gameplay video #1

mattin created a new video which shows ELFrun from starting it up on the iPhone to finishing a level (and most of a bonus level). It’s one of the easier levels at the beginning (level 5), so there are not many obstacles and the speed is still pretty low. I guess playing a higher level through a camera is pretty much impossible.

ELFrun is also currently featured on TouchArcade.com, hooray!

I was a bit scared how fast ELFrun was pirated, though.

ELFrun submitted to the AppStore

I nearly shed a tear when mattin finally made it after 12 hours of struggling with code signing and stuff. Imagine that: a 3D artist builds, signs and deploys a whole C++ application using XCode and command line tools by himself. I couldn’t do something like that the other way round. I’m really proud to work with so amazingly talented people.

Now keep your fingers crossed that the AppStore people like it as much as we do.

Oh, and here’s just a little update to mattins posting: