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Leadwerks Game Player enters beta

Josh

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Leadwerks Game Player is now in beta. If you recently posted a game on our site or entered one of the recent game tournaments, you were sent a pre-release Steam key to access the application.

 

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Leadwerks Game Player provides you with a route to self-publish your games to Steam Workshop. Because it is a free application, the entire Steam userbase of 125 million people can access your game. Your Lua game is run in sandboxed mode using an interpreter application we provide, so that Steam users can freely download and play games without fear of computer viruses. Your game is playable on Windows and Linux (including SteamOS), even if you didn't develop it in Linux.

 

Sharing Your Game

Share your game with your friends and fans with a simple link that installs the game player (about 4 MB) and downloads and plays your game automatically:

steam://run/355500//405800821

 

Or the more hyperlink-friendly variation:

http://www.leadwerks.com/run?405800821

 

When running, your game appears as a normal Steam application, shown here with the overlay enabled:

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This allows you to get your game in front of players and start building a community of fans.

 

Publishing

The next update to Leadwerks Game Engine (beta branch only) adds the ability to self-publish games to Steam Workshop. These will appear in the Leadwerks Game Player Workshop, as it is a separate application.

 

To publish your game, first publish a standalone game from the project manager. After that, open the Workshop > Publish File menu item and select the game data zip file as the uploaded file. Be sure to select "Game" as the type of file you are publishing. This process will be streamlined as we near launch.

 

After publishing, I must manually add your game to the interface, as the Steam web API cannot be used while the application is still unreleased. Please contact me to add your game after publishing.

 

You may need to opt into the Steam client beta (not the Leadwerks beta branch) to successfully publish games, as cross-app Workshop publish is a relatively new feature.



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This is very cool. I think a more interesting GUI would make this top notch though. If you think about this you are really building a marketplace here. Look at mobile/console marketplaces and see how they have things structured to get ideas. Categories, searches, more fluid/interesting scrolls. Developer Recommendations etc. You can really turn this into little sub-steam honestly.

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I have a question about the resolution settings. Will that automatically set the games to run at those settings or are they passed onto the game and then it's up to the game to handle the passed on settings?

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Can you use the game player for WIP games or is it only for completed products?

This is tricky. I wonder how the quality control will work. Josh can't spend hours testing games each week. Can users vote on games to bring the best to the top and maybe remove really poor entries?

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It's definitely meant for WIP games. The Workshop has controls for voting, and the ability to flag an incompatible item already built in.

 

It's like IndieDB, but will get your game in front of a wider audience, people who wouldn't normally go looking for games to download.

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  • Blog Entries

    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 0
      Documentation in Leadwerks 5 will start in the header files, where functions descriptions are being added directly like this:
      /// <summary> /// Sets the height of one terrain point. /// </summary> /// <param name="x">Horizontal position of the point to modify.</param> /// <param name="y">Vertical position of the point to modify.</param> /// <param name="height">Height to set, in the range -1.0 to +1.0.</param> virtual void SetHeight(const int x, const int y, const float height); This will make function descriptions appear automatically in Visual Studio, to help you write code faster and more easily:

      Visual Studio can also generate an XML file containing all of the project's function descriptions as part of the build process. The generated XML file will serve as the basis for the online documentation and Visual Studio Code extension for Lua. This is how I see it working:

      I am also moving all things private to private members. I found a cool trick that allows me to create read-only members. In the example below, you can access the "position" member to get an entity's local position, but you cannot modify it without using the SetPosition() method. This is important because modifying values often involves updating lots of things in the engine under the hood and syncing data with other threads. This also means that any method Visual Studio displays as you are typing is okay to use, and there won't be any undocumented / use-at-your-own risk types of commands like we had in Leadwerks 4.
      class Entity { private: Vec3 m_position; public: const Vec3& position; }; Entity::Entity() : position(m_position) {} It is even possible to make constructors private so that the programmer has to use the correct CreateTerrain() or whatever command, instead of trying to construct a new instance of the class, with unpredictable results. Interestingly, the constructor itself has to be added as a friend function for this to work.
      class Terrein { private: Terrain(); public: friend shared_ptr<World> CreateTerrain(shared_ptr<World>, int, int, int) }; The only difference is that inside the CreateTerrain function I have to do this:
      auto terrain = shared_ptr<Terrain>(new Terrain); instead of this, because make_shared() doesn't have access to the Terrain constructor. (If it did, you would be able to create a shared pointer to a new terrain, so we don't want that!)
      auto terrain = make_shared<Terrain>(); I have big expectations for Leadwerks 5, so it makes sense to pay a lot of attention to the coding experience you will have while using this. I hope you like it!
    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 0
      A new update is available for beta testers.
      Terrain
      The terrain building API is now available and you can begin working with it, This allows you to construct and modify terrains in pure code. Terrain supports up to 256 materials, each with its own albedo, normal, and displacement maps. Collision and raycasting are currently not supported.
      Fast C++ Builds
      Precompiled headers have been integrated into the example project. The Debug build will compile in about 20 seconds the first run, and compile in just 2-3 seconds thereafter. An example class is included which shows how to add files to your game project for optimum compile times. Even if you edit one of your header files, your game will still compile in just a few seconds in debug mode! Integrating precompiled headers into the engine actually brought the size of the static libraries down significantly, so the download is only about 350 MB now.
      Enums Everywhere
      Integer arguments have been replaced with enum values for window styles, entity bounds, and load flags. This is nice because the C++ compiler has some error checking so you don't do something like this:
      LoadTexture("grass.dds", WINDOW_FULLSCREEN); Operators have been added to allow combining enum values as bitwise flags.
      A new LOAD_DUMP_INFO LoadFlags value has been added which will print out information about loaded files (I need this to debug the GLTF loader!).
      Early Spring Cleaning
      Almost all the pre-processor macros have been removed from the Visual Studio project, with just a couple ones left. Overall the headers and project structure have been massively cleaned up.
    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 6
      An often-requested feature for terrain building commands in Leadwerks 5 is being implemented. Here is my script to create a terrain. This creates a 256 x 256 terrain with one terrain point every meter, and a maximum height of +/- 50 meters:
      --Create terrain local terrain = CreateTerrain(world,256,256) terrain:SetScale(256,100,256) Here is what it looks like:

      A single material layer is then added to the terrain.
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      --Update normals of modified and neighboring points terrain:UpdateNormals(127 - 6, 127 - 6, 13, 13) Now we have a small hill.

      Next let's add another layer and apply it to terrain points that are on the side of the hill we just created:
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      This gives you an idea of the basic terrain building API in Leadwerks 5, and it will serve as the foundation for more advanced terrain features. This will be included in the next beta.
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