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Turbo Game Engine (Leadwerks 5) beta updated



A new beta is available. In this build I cleaned up a lot of internal stuff. I removed some parts of the engine that I want to redesign in order to clean up the source.

JSON material files loaded from MDL files are now supported.

Added ActiveWindow() command. if the game window is not the foreground window this will return null.

The Steamworks and all dependent classes are temporarily removed. There's a lot of stuff in there I don't intend to use in the future like all the Workshop functions, and I want to reintegrate it one piece at a time in a neater fashion. The good features like P2P networking will definitely be included in the future.

File IO finished

The file read and write commands are now 100% using global functions and internally using Unicode strings. You can still call functions with a regular std::string but internally it will just convert it to a wide string. The zip file read support is removed temporarily so I can rethink its design.

Key and mouse event binding

Since I am consciously making the decision to design the new engine for intermediate and expert users instead of beginners, it occurred to me that the MouseHit and KeyHit functions are flawed, since they rely on a global state and will cause problems if two pieces of code check for the same key or button. So I removed them and came up with this system:


This works exactly as you would expect, by calling the entity script function when the key or mouse button is pressed. Naturally a key release event would also be useful. Perhaps a BindKeyRelease() function is the best way to do this? The KeyDown() / MouseDown() functions are still available, since they do not have the problems the Hit() commands do. The same technique will work with C++ actors though it is not yet implemented.

This is undoubtedly more complicated than a simple MouseHit() command but it is better for people as their code gets more complex. Instead of hurting the experience for advanced users, I am going to force beginners to adjust to the correct way of doing things.

This design is not final. I think there are other ways programmers might want to bind events. I would like to hear your ideas. I am willing to create a more complicated system if it means it is more useful. This is a big change in my idea of good design.

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The way you bind those events, in my opinion, is how the GUI events should work as well.

self.btnExit:BindEvent(ON_CLICK, self, self.btnExit_OnClick) or self.btnExit.onClick:Bind(self, self.btnExit)

Normally you have to pass the script itself as well so you can pass it as the first parameter tot he function so we can define it like

function Script:btnExit_OnClick()



and use self inside of the function to refer to the script itself as 'self' is hidden 1st parameter to the function

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@Rick Yeah, it seems like the next logical step is general event binding:

self:BindEvent(EVENT_MOUSE_DOWN, self.OnClick)

However, binding to an event is different from binding a key or button. The OnClick method would get called when any mouse button was clicked, so you would need to check the button ID in the OnClick function:

function Script:OnClick(event)
	if event.data == MOUSE_LEFT then

And then user-created events would probably be the next step:

function Script:Start()
	EVENT_DEATH = AllocateEventID()
	self:BindEvent(EVENT_DEATH, self.OnDeath)

function Script:TakeDamage(damage)
	self.health = self.health - damage
	if self.health <= 0 then

I can't really think of a way in which user events would be useful. It seems like it just complicates the code for no reason. I am curious to see what you think.

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7 hours ago, Josh said:

I can't really think of a way in which user events would be useful. It seems like it just complicates the code for no reason. I am curious to see what you think.

I hope that even if events were implemented, we were still left with at least the basic Down function we have now.  It's great to have options but often simpler is better.

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9 hours ago, Josh said:

I can't really think of a way in which user events would be useful. It seems like it just complicates the code for no reason. I am curious to see what you think.

I think user events are very useful in this kind of subscribe/publish style because it allows for other scripts to know about whatever gameplay event you want without the script needing a reference to another script or entity. Cross script communication via events in my view is the best way to communicate. Allow the EmitEvent() to take a second parameter which is the value that will be passed to the subscribed functions. Since it's lua you only need 1 parameter and it can be a table that the person emitting the event fills out and if you are catching an event you have to just know the structure of said event parameter (a reasonable request).

This would make using 3rd party scripts that emit events easier I think.

Let's think about when we create enemy instances on the fly (not via the editor) and we need them to know about certain things the player is doing. How do we do that today? The enemy script either needs to get a hold of an instance of the player or the player get a hold of instances of the enemies so they can communicate. How they do that isn't very efficient or wise because it either means you're storing a global variable of the player so the enemies can get it (globals bad and error prone) or the player script is looping over every enemy to get a reference of them but enemies could be loading all the time so this doesn't work well. With the event system you can screw all that noise and just have the enemy script bind to a certain event that the player will emit. This way neither need a reference to each other to talk. 

So in summary user events gives us a way to have cross script communication without needing references of scripts/entities.


2 hours ago, gamecreator said:

I hope that even if events were implemented, we were still left with at least the basic Down function we have now.  It's great to have options but often simpler is better.

I agree with this. Events work well for cross script communication and UI stuff, but gameplay stuff like picking objects work best with these inline procedural functions. Both are needed.

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  • Blog Entries

    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 0
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      Storing terrain data in an easy-to-open standard texture format will make development easier for you. I intend to eliminate all "black box" file formats so all your game data is always easily viewable in a variety of tools, right up until the final publish step.
    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 1
      I wanted to see if any of the terrain data can be compressed down, mostly to reduce GPU memory usage. I implemented some fast texture compression algorithms for BC1, BC3, BC4, BC5, and BC7 compression. BC6 and BC7 are not terribly useful in this situation because they involve a complex lookup table, so data from different textures can't be mixed and matched. I found two areas where texture compression could be used, in alpha layers and normal maps. I implemented BC3 compression for terrain alpha and could not see any artifacts. The compression is very fast, always less than one second even with the biggest textures I would care to use (4096 x 4096).
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      BC5 gives a better appearance on this bumpy area and closely matches the original uncompressed normals. BC5 takes 1 byte per pixel, one quarter the size of uncomompressed RGBA. However, it only supports two channels, so we need one texture for normals and another for tangents, leaving us with a total 50% reduced size.

      Here are the results:
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      Heightmap = 2048 * 2048 * 2 = 8388608 Normal map = 4194304 Tangents = 4194304 Secret sauce = 16777216 Secret sauce 2 = 16777216 Total = 48 MB Additionally, for editable terrain an extra 32 MB of data needs to be stored, but this can be dumped once the terrain is made static. There are other things you can do to reduce the file size but it would not change the memory usage, and processing time is very high for "super-compression" techniques. I investigated this thoroughly and found the best compression methods for this situation that are pretty much instantaneous with no noticeable loss of quality, so I am satisfied.
    • By jen in jen's Blog 0
      My small project will be called Foregate, it will be a dark medieval Diablo style single player action RPG.
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