• Recent Tutorials

  • PGD News Round-up for August 2011

    Hello once again PGD members and casual readers alike! It's been a fairly busy month this August. I wish I could have kept up with all the news a little better, but thankfully you get to hear about it now in the News Round-up for the month of August 2011. Read on and enjoy!





    Great Game Experiment Now Over!

    Well we had a few members from PGD join in on the Great Game Experiment ran by those folks from Garage Games, we even had our own group, however it would seem that they are now under new management and with that change, the experiment is over. It was a neat site that showed us what kind of things you can do with a website and how such a showcase site could be created.

    It's sad to see the GGE site gone now, but it's for the best as it was not maintained anymore. It would be great to have such a site to profile all those Pascal-made games out there, so something like this might crop up in the future via PGD or Pascal Gamer Magazine.

    Best of luck to PushButton Labs on their game engine, even though it's probably written in C.

    Nothing more remains of Great Game Experiment, but the Closed page at www.greatgamesexperiment.com.


    AJAX Chat Trial is Online

    Well we gauged to see what interest there was in a live chat system here on PGD. Well I've put on in place as a test-bed for a more fully integrated one in the future. Go ahead and give it a try. Should we like this software we will be customizing it and incorporating it into the PGD community site so that it better meshes with our theme and how we want to use it in the future.

    There are future ideas that we incorporate to the system we are currently testing now. Examples of these could be a mobile app which can connect directly to the database and combine functionality of PGD's existing PM system as well. We could add indication of what public forms are populated and publish this data live on the PGD site as well. Another idea could be to hold public talks monthly on specific topics or to hold mini-seminars among other Pascal game developers with live video/audio streaming and where questions can be send via a specific channel.

    There are lots of ideas should the community take interest. So go try out the test version of the chat software at www.PascalGameDevelopment.com/chat/.


    Would you License the Sushi Quest Game Engine?

    Sergio Flores, aka Relfos has announced an interest in licensing out his game engine used to great his Sushi Quest 3D Adventure game and other titles released for the iPhone and iPad. The original game title was released on June 29th and there have been a few updates since, but since further development of the engine will take time and to further their goals they wish to produce some further funding, Mr. Flores seems interested in offering the use of the engine for a low fee.



    Sushi Quest for iPhone Trailer Showing Some of What the Engine Can Do


    So far a price of $100 for a license was mentioned, but nothing was made official, nor has the developer himself committed to releasing the game engine as of yet, but there is some interest in purchasing a license as well as hope that the engine will be offered for free.

    The engine seems quite functional and boasts the ability to generate iOS games, but no list of features or specific requirements have been announced yet.

    Read more about or join in on Sergio Flores' game engine discussions go right here in the forums.





    Code Rage 6

    Another Code Rage is coming and Embarcadero is right on top of it by inviting you to submit proposed abstracts for consideration as a speaker for this annual online conference. This event usually consists of helpful topics discussed by volunteered developers who all use Delphi or other Object Pascal tools.

    Deadline for submitting was August 31st, but you might be able to squeeze one in if it's good. Code Rage 6 will take place on October 17-21st and be available online as before. You will be required to register before taking part, but registration is free, plus you'll get over 50 free technical sessions if you stay for the whole thing.

    Check out last year's Sessions & Replays here or learn more about 2011's Code Rage 6 at www.embarcadero.com/coderage.


    OpenGL 4.2 Headers

    There are new OpenGL 4.2 headers from the folks at DelphiGL.com as Sascha Willems announced earlier this month, however now Sashca is trying to propose that Embarcadero incorporate them into new editions of Delphi as well. Why would Embarcadero use the new OpenGL headers rather than continue to use their own? Well from the German community runner himself, he says that they are inaccurate translations of the original OpenGL headers, outdated by 2 major versions and overall not very good.

    What's so good about the DelphiGL 4.2 headers? Well for one they have become something of a "de facto" standard amoung most GL-based projects in the greater Object Pascal community, the one and the same that generated the original OpenGL headers for the 2.x based ones that Embarcadero uses to-date.

    So if you are in on the hope that Delphi will soon adopt the new 4.2 headers and remove some of the finer glitches that are sure to exist in their GL-work then please feel free to pitch in and ask Sascha what you can do to help. Or contact Embarcadero themselves in their Developer Network (EDN) forums and ask for the new OpenGL 4.2 headers.

    You can of course get the OpenGL 4.2 headers at wiki.delphigl.com.

    The Khronos Group has released their specs on the 8th of August for the 4.2 standard at www.khronos.org.


    New Content on PGD

    I am very happy to announce that we have some new great content on the site. As we promised, you will see more and more Tutorials, both video and written articles as we go along, but also new this month is the Interview content section where we will post interviews conducted with key people in both Object Pascal and Indie Game Development.

    Check out some of the new things we've added this month...


    Video Tutorials

    Game Design and Steambird Post-Mortem at Flash Gaming Summit 2011
    Programming Aesthetics Learned from Making Independent Games

    Interview Section

    Embarcadero Technologies 2011 (Part 1)


    Pascal Programming for Schools: New Materials

    Dr. Morrison has updated the Pascal Programming for Schools website once again. This update includes the following...

    Debugging

    Well after you test your projects to ensure they are working, some time they might now. This brings you to debugging; What if it doesn't work? Some problems are easier than others to resolve, but if it isn't then you'll have to know how to do some serious debugging. When it comes to games for example, this could be quite a process with many parts of your project interacting together, any one new chunk of code could be messing up another.

    Learn the basics of debugging techniques in a newly written tutorial here.

    Physics

    Near and dear to many game developer's hearts is the ability to add physics to their games for fun and realistic game environments. Student Charles contributes his own program simply called 'Physics' where he uses the crt unit to facilitate input for UVAXT (SUVAT) and kinetic energy calculations.

    Check out his project found here.

    James' Programs

    Student James seems to be a bit of a star this latest update on the PP4S site with a whopping 5 projects added. He has even earned his own section which include these new 5, plus the original 2 he previously submitted.

    James' Submitted Project Catalog includes...

    • Super Happy Fun Land (new) - experiments with 3D graphics procedures using polygons and movement
    • Crazy Paint (new) - a paint program with different features and save/load function
    • Game Of Life (new) - the classic clone of Conway's Game of Life with save/load capability
    • Koalas in Space (new) - You fly a Koala of all things that fires bullets at other flying creatures in space.
    • Alpha Server/Client (new) - Cool little network server/client system where you can setup a server and clients to chat and manipulate images on screen.




    Screenshots of Projects in No Particular Order


    Check out James' new section and projects right here. His other existing projects were Crazy Maze and Pixel Sort.



    Crazy Maze (left) & Pixel Sort(right)


    News Recap for August

    Benjamin Gregg-Smith, aka code_glitch, has decided to do a complete rewrite on his still new game library, Prometheus. They say that at first if you don't succeed, well Ben decided to try again with a rewrite. A lot of game projects don't get completed and a lot of game libraries eventually get forgotten or abandoned, but it's nice to see that some keep coming back to keep their projects alive.

    The author has stated that there at points to improve upon such as documentation, ease of use and 3rd party dependencies and untidy code. He intends on going back to the drawing board and taking a step-by-step approach to develop the documentation and each portion of the rewritten library together from past lessons learned.

    What do you think of the new approach? Does the concept behind Prometheus's R2 Mission Statement interest you? Join in on the conversation here in the forums.


    There has also been a lot of talk about water and liquid simulation in the forums of late. Paul Nicholls has made a post explaining his own translation of a 'Simple Fluid Simulation with Cellular Automata' (read that blog post here), you can read what Paul has been working on and others have been trying themselves right here in the forums.

    This topic and technique has gone as far as to inspire PGD member User137 to include it into his existing Cave Flying project found here in the forums.



    Video of Cave Flying demo with Added Water Technique


    Standford Engineering has just begun taking registrations for their FREE online courses offered not too long ago. Those of you who have signed up for notification of when registration would begin might not have gotten your email you've been waiting for so be sure to go check again as 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' has already opened up to accept your official enrollment.

    Read more on their Registration FAQ page at www.ai-class.com.

    You can also read all about our previous post on all 3 available free online international classes offered by Stanford University's Engineering department right here for the full story.


    Sascha Willems has used his increased interest in OpenGL to create a brand new tool that will help developers looking for information about system capabilities and support of the OpenGL standards. This tool is called glCapsViewer and can be downloaded from his site at www.saschawillems.de.

    Best part is that it features an online database of hardware reports that you can contribute to and read yourself. Check out the Database for this great tool at www.delphigl.de.


    Last bit of great news from the month is that Indievania had just openned up a Beta site where you as an indie game developer can take part in promoting and selling your own games with complete control over how much and what you get to say about it. Each game gets a page that they can post video, screenshots, list price and full description and minimum requirements of your game.

    So far the site theme design seems to remain fairly plain, yet sleek to allow emphasis on your games and how you choose to promote them. A promising concept that many indie game developers would appreciate.

    Check out the Indievania beta site right here at beta.indievania.com.


    And that's your August News Round-up for 2011 here on PGD. I hope you enjoyed reading and keeping up to date with us. We kick-off a new month awaiting further news about the approaching Delphi XE2 release as their world tour continues. Best of luck to all those who are creating projects and best of inspiration to those that are looking to start one! Happy coding PGD-ers.

    - Jason McMillen, aka WILL
    Pascal Game Development
    Co-Founder / Community Website Manager

    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Stoney's Avatar
      Stoney -
      Awesome round-up as always
    1. WILL's Avatar
      WILL -
      Thanks! Be nice to get more than 4 comments of feedback for one of these new round-ups though.
    1. paul_nicholls's Avatar
      paul_nicholls -
      As usual, you are doing a bang-up job Jason! Kudos

      cheers,
      Paul
    1. Ingemar's Avatar
      Ingemar -
      The biggest problem I have had with PGD is that I don't always find the right place. There are many corners, too many sometimes. But then a round-up like this helps, I can find significant discussions that I havn't noticed.

      Pointing into interesting forum discussions is particularly important, which you do. Stuff from the news page feels a bit less important, but OTOH they disappear out of sight faster.
    1. Matthias's Avatar
      Matthias -
      Nice round up! I count five comments so far .
    1. code_glitch's Avatar
      code_glitch -
      Very nice indeed - feels weird reading about a discussion you took part in. Finaly year of school just got started and all has seemed to hunker down for the long haul at last so I should be getting more PGD time soon.
    1. Ingemar's Avatar
      Ingemar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Freepascal-meets-SDL View Post
      Nice round up! I count five comments so far .
      But Will's comment doesn't count. Right?
    1. Traveler's Avatar
      Traveler -
      Really, popularity should not be counted by the number of posts. As said in the past I like these rounds-ups. A lot. If I have something worthwhile to contribute I will, but I'm not going to spam 'I like' (or something else that fits that category) every time a round-up is written.
    1. Matthias's Avatar
      Matthias -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ingemar View Post
      But Will's comment doesn't count. Right?
      Who knows ?

      Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
      Really, popularity should not be counted by the number of posts. As said in the past I like these rounds-ups. A lot. If I have something worthwhile to contribute I will, but I'm not going to spam 'I like' (or something else that fits that category) every time a round-up is written.
      I totally agree. But then you could also understand it as encouragement which will lead to the author being more... encouraged to go on. This finally means more nice stuff for the Pascal community . This obviously isn't a specific thing for the round-ups but for all the news/project/idea contributions.
    1. Ingemar's Avatar
      Ingemar -
      The number of posts isn't really important, but the existence of them. No comments at all is rather discouraging.
Comodo SSL