Back Online with New Servers
First I'd like to talk about the new servers and how they benefit you and the rest of the members. As you will probably not notice, after we finally got things running you should expect zero down-time from non-maintenance events. This is because PGD is now hosted on not one, but three servers at a time. Should one go down for whatever reason, the other three will still remain online to keep the site running. This also works towards the safety of the database and other bits of important data that the site features. Should one of the servers lose everything, the other three will still have their data safe and sound.
So the site will remain online 24/7 and the data is safe from loss, big whoop right?
Okay then... how about the fact that we now have unlimited space to expand the site or sights to help host other projects such as the AJAX real-time chat, Screenshot Showcase, JEDI-SDL showcase, PGD Annual Historical Showcase, PGD Challenge Showcase, hosting for community partners and other such projects. All very possible things that we couldn't do until this move.
Lastly I'd like to thank those that donated to PGD to help pay for the hosting. We are truly grateful for your contribution no matter how big or small. The money you sent helped pay for hosting from now until March 2016. A very special thanks to Cezar Wagenheimer, Ingemar Ragnemalm and Ilya Surnov!
The new 0.2.6 version of ZenGL has been released just recently. There have been some fixes for Windows, namely issues with Delphi 2009 and up, text rendering and keyboard input. Further information and details can be read on the ZenGL website at www.zengl.org.
The 0.3 version of ZenGL will have added support for decoding Theora video using the OGV container. A demo is available to try for Windows. Support for new mobile platforms is still coming.
You can read his post in the PGD forums right here.
Ñuño Martínez has announced that Allegro.pas 5 will be coming soon with OpenGL, Delphi, iOS and Linux support. Linux porting is almost complete. There remains a few small issues with Bitmap drawing on Windows while not using OpenGL, but a fix is being worked on. He is also looking for assistance on creating and updating documentation.
Contact him if you are interested in helping via his post in the PGD forums here.
Blaise Pascal Magazine
Blaise Pascal Magazine is tweeting all their old issues one by one. The magazine is still going strong and has just recently released issue 21 which features the GeNUI library which supports both Microsoft's Kinect for Windows and ASUS' Xtion hardware. The magazine is is both English and Dutch languages.
There is a deal going on now, which is the whole point of the tweets. Subscribe or renew now and get the complete Blaise Pascal Magazine Library as an ISO file, which can be burned onto disc for free.
Check out the Blaise Pascal Magazine website for more details and other offerings from this highly resourceful digital magazine at www.blaisepascal.eu.
Speaking of the GeNUI library, it's first official release under the new name will be coming soon. As posted before it was originally called TKinect, but considering the addition of the new ASUS Xtion Pro Live alternative to the Kinect a name change was in order. I don't want to beat a dead horse if you have been following all this time, so here is a couple of videos explaining what this technology can do for the desktop computer.
Introduction to Xtion PRO at CES 2011 Event Video
Kinect Windows SDK Setup & Requirments Video
The library will support all platforms that the hardware will support which currently include Windows for Kinect and Xtion and Linux with Mac OS X close behind for just the Xtion alone. Help from anyone interested in helping to adapt the provided API/SDK from Microsoft and ASUS to all possible platforms would be greatly accepted from it's author Simon J. Stuart.
Get more information about GeNUI at Simon's blog at www.simonjstuart.com.
Well the last time I tried to get the PGD News RSS Feed added to the list of syndicated feeds at DelphiFeeds.com, it didn't do so well. However thanks to the assistance of the Facebook group, Twitter followers, PGD Members and the few new Google+ users, we have managed to gather 49 votes total so far towards getting us added. Thank you to everyone that voted, we hope that this will help turn heads at DelphiFeeds.com and we will be able to extend our reach to new readers.
If you haven't voted yet or want to read why we should be added to DelphiFeeds.com go to delphifeeds.uservoice.com and vote to add us!
PGD Forums Reorganized
Due to the suggestions of our members, we have decided to perform a little clean-up of the forums and reorganize things a bit. We've reduced some of the categories that were not as popular to make the forums as a whole look far less convoluted. Those non-programming music, graphics and writing forums were reduced to single forums for each and put into a single Non-Programming category. This should make them look a little cleaner.
I am planning on going through the rest of the Compilers & IDEs and Libraries & Components categories and archiving obsolete and abandoned projects and removing them from these categories as well. Further tweaks will be made as they are required to make the forums a little nicer and easier to navigate for our members.
Keep in mind that should you not want be interested in a category, you can collapse it to make room for others you are interested in by clicking on the small grey button upwards pointing arrow to reduce it to a single blue bar. When you go and log back in later, it will remember your forum configuration choice. When you want to expand it again, just click on the now downwards pointing arrow and it will expand again.
A little birdy told me that famed Pascal game developers Bruto Memo is changing their name to Seven Sails. Bruto Memo is responsible for Windows and Mac OS X titles such as Abra Academy, The Sultan's Labyrinth, The Heritage and Rescue at Rajini Island.
We wish them luck with their new branding and await their next game under their new name.
To visit Seven Sails and follow their projects go to www.sevensails.com.br.
AppWave Buzz or Fizzle?
Almost a year ago Embarcadero Technologies, the company behind Delphi announced that they were creating an App Store concept for the Windows platform in order to bring the current App Store craze to the most popular PC operating system. That project is called AppWave. Here is a brief introduction video explaining how it will work.
Embarcadero Explains AppWave on Windows
How well has it been doing as far as adoption and availability of apps since it's launch last year? Well known people such as Marco Cantù, Nick Hodges and others have written about it after it's announcement and around it's launch, but has it really taken off or did the whole idea fizzle since then?
I guess only time will tell. It took time for Apple to generate the whole app community it has with iPhone and iPad apps. About ten or so years to be almost exact. Maybe this idea just needs more time to brew and more developers interested. It all depends on weither Embarcadero can convince enough of the majority of Windows users that this is the way to go. Then again with the new Windows 8 close around the corner, maybe Microsoft will do what they have done in the past and intercept the idea and create their own concept. It's sort of looking that way right now with the new OS's simpler, sleeker design.
They currently are waving the developer sign-up fee, obviously to attract new developers. Does this attract you? Would it be of benefit to host your games on such a platform instead of Steam or Indievania? So far there are a few free games, but no commercial ones. Out of the commercial developers both Microsoft is offering Project and Visio and Adobe has provided an almost complete suite of their popular media tools such as Photoshop, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Flash and others.
ZDNet has done a podcast interview with CEO of Embarcadero on the new AppWave app platform project and posted it on their website. The text-based article summarizes the talk, but you can listen to the audio interview right off the page it's self. Check it out at www.zdnet.com.
HTML5 Game Dev News
Smart Mobile Studio is now syndicated on the HTML5 Game Dev News website. This is good news for Object Pascal developers wanting more Smart developers to collaborate with as it will increase interest in Object Pascal for HTML5 based games. So far only Eric Grange has publicly expressed interest in making games in the new HTML5 standard. Hopefully more will become interested in the near future as browsers and mobile devices become more capable of supporting games in this format as there is many exciting possibilities.
You can read about HTML5 game development at www.html5gamedevs.com.
February Community Recap
Well sadly the site has been down for most of the first half of the month of February, however now that things have gotten back into our usual routine in the forums posting has picked up again. Here is what our members have been posting about.
Paul Nichols is on the hunt for S3M or MOD playback library that doesn't require a dynamic link library. There isn't a lot of those around so if anyone knows of one he sure would appreciate you letting him know about it in this thread.
New member pitfiend has posted his PNG library for all to use here in this new My Projects thread. He has also asked some advice about where to start making games with libraries and engines. You can read that thread right here.
Colin is looking for physics advice for his secret commercial MMORPG project here.
Darthman has released a video of his latest winning entry to the Russian IGDC, Blast-off. It looks pretty darn cool so read about it in his post here.
Blast-off IGDC Competition Entry Game-play Video
Eric Grange asks about what kind of in-game achievement/trophy networks there are like Game Center and OpenFeint. An interesting question that could do with further discussion. Read it in the forums here.
T-Bear has some issues installing GLScene for Lazarus and would appreciate your help right here.
virtual has created a small SoftSynth demo using only Free Pascal for fun. You can download it from his post here.
Colin is looking for some advice on 3D physics programming here.
pstudio strikes up an interesting conversation about screen resolutions and aspect ratios for 2D game worlds and user interfaces. It caught some good attention and could always use some more right here in the forums.
I posted an article about why you shouldn't start your first game programming project with something as large as a MMORPG which got some good and informative responses right here.
Last, but not least Carver413 posted this great game development video of a talk/presentation by Bret Victor called 'Inventing on Principle'. You can read what others had to say about this really cool idea in the forums right here. Eric Grange was inspired by this presentation so he created a demo of this concept using DWScript. You can read about that from his blog at www.delphitools.info.
Inventing on Priciple Presentation Video
Eric Grange's DWScript implimentation of ideas behind Inventing on Priciple Presentation Video
That's the highlights for February 2012. Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoyed getting up to speed on the community as a whole. Though this may not be all of whats happened out there. PGD has a small staff working to providing you as much of the great and wonderful Pascal game dev related stuff we can, but we can only do so much by ourselves. Should you find out about something cool and awesome happening where Pascal tools and language is used, please tell us and we will tell the world. It's that easy!
This is your community so help where you can to spread the information needed to help everyone.
That's it for this month's News Round-up, but there is more coming this month. Your feedback will help motivate and encourage us to post specific articles and keep interest in the alive. Keep coming back for more and we'll keep posting it. 'Till then happy coding!
Pascal Game Development
Co-Founder / Webmaster