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  • PGD News Round-up for May 2011

    Sadly it's been a pretty cruddy month for PGD for the month of May. With the down-time of the site it really cut into the news posting so there isn't too much to say for this month on the greater community side, but there are some cool things that you will want to know about so I wanted to get this done and out before the "end of May" got away with me. Hopefully your May was more fortunate than our host service was.

    It wasn't all bad, there was some good things that happened near the end such as the PlayStation Network coming back online and of course PGD getting fixed too. Then there is the exciting news of the...

    1st PGD Challenge Mini Competition

    I've threatened to start doing smaller mini competitions in between the huge and amazingly fun PGD Annual Game Developer's Competition events and here we finally go. The first mini competition, dubbed a "challenge", will give everyone a fun and easier way to get into the excitement and creative aspect of competitions without having to commit quite as much time and energy and stress as is involved in the bigger PGD Annual events. Typically there won't be any prizes to speak of for these, it's just a shorter for-fun and relaxed version of the PGD Annuals.

    This first event will last just 3 weeks plus a weekend starting on the 17th of June until the 10th of July. Theme and other important information will become available on the start day of the event. This information will also be mirrored and translated for our Russian friends over at IGDC so that all Russian language Pascal programmers can more easily participate as well. I have also invited Dr. Noman Morrison's high school students in the UK to participate as well so I hope that some of them will feel free to join in on the fun.

    Read more about the official details as posted here in this previous news announcement. More details to follow...

    DSP Emulator

    Here is a gem of emulation excellence and it's made using Object Pascal. DSP Emulator version 0.11 b2 is an open source, multi-system emulator written in Object Pascal and will compile under either Delphi or Lazarus. It makes use It emulates a bunch of consoles, arcade machines and computers of the following systems;

    • Arcade
    • Spectrum 48k, 128K and Plus+3
    • Amstrad CPC 464,664 y 6128
    • NES
    • ColecoVision
    • GameBoy/Gameboy Color
    • All kinds of arcade games!

    It uses SDL for graphics, sound and controls and is released under the GNU GPL v3 license.

    Check out this amazing mini-marvel written in the wonderful Object Pascal language at code.google.com.

    Screenshots of DSP Emulator


    Benjamin Rosseaux or BeRo as many forum users know him, has created the very first complete ECMAScript Fifth Edition Implemention and has done it in Object Pascal. What is ECMAScript you ask? Well it is best known by it's other name JavaScript. Is it open source and will compile for Delphi 7 and up or Free Pascal 2.5.1 and possibly Free Pascal 2.4.1 as well.

    BESEN is licensed under a OwnLicense and AGPLv3 dual-license and the name is short for "Bero's EcmaScript Engine."

    Read more about this very cool milestone at besen.sourceforge.net.

    Brief Insight into BESEN Video

    Gaming Industry Stuff

    This is a community about making games, right? Well what about the entire industry devoted towards our focus of passion then; gaming! I was happy the other day coming home to the PlayStation Store finally back up and working. Well sort of, I was having loading errors while I was trying it out myself the other night. This could have to do with either everyone finally jumping onto the store to see what's new after such a long absence or the fact that there are a few bugs that need to be worked out and Sony may have rushed the store to an online status before they got fixed. Hopefully it'll be working soon.

    You can learn about some of the cool Sony and PS3 happenings on the PlayStation Blog at blog.us.playstation.com.

    Also with E3 coming soon, it seems that a lot of the stuff coming out at this yearly event of import to the entire gaming industry including live coverage available through your favorite console maker. I know Sony is streaming parts of the conference on your PS3. Nintendo is also promising announcement of it's long anticipated next console system which is rumoured to support all your Wii games, have HD resolution and become the fastest hardware amoung all it's current console competition. Which is good news for Nintendo since it's currently getting it's butt kicked HD-wise by Sony and Microsoft on the consoles and threatened by Sony, Apple and Android in the mobile department. I like Nintendo so I hope it's something new and exciting to keep them in the game.

    Microsoft has been trying desperately to get BluRay capability into their XBox 360 and it is said that they have signed a contract with Sony to license the HD disc format for use in a future version of their existing console systems. We might see this come to light in their conference announcement this E3 as well.

    Check out details about this year's E3 expo event from June 7th - 9th at www.e3expo.com.

    Dragon Quest just had it's 25th Anniversary, which is also quite a big deal since it is probably the most important RPG series in history, having created many of the concepts behind the popular features in the classic RPG genre we've come know and to love.

    You can read more about this and my rants for more English translations and ports of the series from my own blog post.

    May News Recap

    PGD Down-Time & Update; To this day I don't actually know 100% what happened. That is to say that I don't care or that I haven't asked, but that I simply don't know at this time. I've asked Dom (savage) and inquired with him. I've been told it was an attack on their servers and that it had been taken care of, but that is all. As to our site side of things, we had experienced a throttled level of service for a time making the website practically unusable for a time. I chose to put the site into maintenance mode while I updated the site software as a security precaution. We got our update completed and during that time we were moved to a "less busy" server so help aid in performance issues.

    Things are back to normal once again thanks to the added efforts of both Dominique Louis (savage) and Christina Warne! (AthenaOfDelphi) Without their efforts the site might still be in limbo at this very moment. I was able to finish the software update due to the assistance of Christina and thanks to Dom contacting the host service we were able to sort out the throttling issues. Great work team!

    It seems that someone was more than happy to port Free Pascal not only to compile for, but also to compile on an Android device as an app available on the Android Market place. PascalGUI is an app that costs you $1.50 USD and includes a basic IDE and terminal mode to run your own programs right on the Android device it's self. A keyboard device might be recommended though to maximize on screen real estate.

    Have an Android device? Check out this cool app at market.android.com.

    In Closing

    That's it for this news round-up. Hope that there was something here that was of great interest to you. Keep an eye out for more Video Tutorials focusing on Object Pascal lessons using Lazarus that may help out in your future game projects for all your newcomers.

    All you other members, you know who you are, who have been working away on your latest and greatest games and game libraries keep posting away on your latest stuff and please feel free to take advantage of PGD's CMS system to post about any news and important announcements that you find out there. The Tutorials section could still use a few extra beginner tutorials if anyone has the time.

    ...Until next time happy coding!
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Traveler's Avatar
      Traveler -
      Pretty nice roundup again.
      Hopefully for next round there's going to be some great material from the mini compo.
    1. code_glitch's Avatar
      code_glitch -
      The mini compo will be taking cantre stage for the next one methinks... Expecting to finish those libs fast and getting some draft code in ASAP. Already running out of stuff to implement in my drafts which is a double edged sword: more complete, more bugs. Yay. Just raced through 700 lines today - hoorah!

      Funny how alive PGD has become since PGD mini compo (cant we call it PMC?) was announced?
    1. paul_nicholls's Avatar
      paul_nicholls -
      Nice roudup WILL

      I'm definitely going to have a look at that open-source emulator!