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  • PGD News Round-up for January 2012

    Hello all and welcome to another year of PGD News Round-ups!

    I've been away for a short time in the last few months of 2011, but I'm back now and ready to keep bringing you all the cool happenings of what's happening in the Pascal game development world. I can't always do it all alone though. Should you be interested in seeking out and reporting back here what you find that is Pascal, game dev and awesome please feel free to contact me via email at contact@pascalgamer.com or PM me directly here at PGD. (Requires a PGD Account!)


    Helping to feed us with cool information such as this allows us to help better inform everyone else and show just how active and exciting this community really is. So keep in touch and keep the flow of information ...well flowing.


    Free Pascal 2.6.0

    At the turn of the new year, the good folks in the FPC Core Team have brought us a brand new version of Free Pascal. The New 2.6.0 version adds a whole lot of features that help development across platforms, especially support for Mac OS X and iOS. Also added are several new language features and support as well as added ARM code generation and floating point support. Thumb-2 usage anyone?

    Objective-Pascal and Delphi dialects have both been improved. OpenGL headers were updated to OpenGL 4.0 and RTL packages have also been improved. Objective-Pascal interfaces to Foundation, AppKit, CoreData and WebCore have also been improved.

    Lazarus has yet to include 2.6.0, but we're sure it will make an appearance in the next stable version making it all that much better an open source IDE suite.

    The new version is available on their FTP and on SourceForge. Read the forum thread posted on PGD here.

    For more information on Free Pascal check it out at www.freepascal.org.


    SOPA

    Well it seems that the internet community has beaten SOPA and PIPA, at least for now. The bills that would practically generate gigantic craters in the internet where a potentially friendly fan-site or just about any user content site could be taken down at an accuser's whim on any SOPA/PIPA ruled server host. Not a great foundation to build the future of the internet upon and goes directly against the country's own constitutional rights.

    The bill had to be voted down or it would simply create chaos all over the world. So many major sites and businesses generated a blackout protest to show just how much SOPA and PIPA was not wanted and give an idea of what the effect would be like if it were implemented.

    To recap and better explain what has happened here is a couple of videos to get you up to speed. My apologies for the crummy YouTube commercial in the 2nd video.



    US Attorney Talks about the Legal Details of SOPA/PIPA & Why It Happened At All



    Another Video More about the Blackout Strike It's Self


    Smart Mobile Studio

    Jon Lennart Aasenden has just published the first version of the site that will host details, tutorials, media and other documentation about the all new Smart Mobile Studio otherwise known as OP4JS or Object Pascal for JavaScript in long-form.

    Smart Mobile Studio is a new IDE suite that will allow you to create HTML5 based web applications that turns your Object Pascal source into JavaScript. The main idea is to level the field when it comes to mobile devices by having a single web hosted application that any mobile device can access and run.

    There has been a lot of development over the past year and it seems that it will soon see the light of day this year as it now enters the beta version.

    If you are interested in more information go visit the Smart Mobile Studio website at or request more information or possibly access to the beta at op4js.optimalesystemer.no. The old www.ob4js.com still works as well.



    Working with Components in Smart Mobile Studio


    Eric Grange's Missile Command Clone

    Speaking of Smart Mobile Studio and OP4JS, Eric Grange has been playing with the new tool and has made the first game with the impressive technology. It's a fairly simple Missile Command clone controlled by the mouse cursor.

    Plans are to expand on this existing version and to add more features. You can check it out in his PGD forum thread right here.



    Missile Commander clone by Eric Grange


    Knights & Merchants Remake

    Fans of the classic game Knights & Merchants have much to be excited about as one of their beloved titles is getting a brand new remake thanks to a small group of talented people who not only have been working for the past while to make it, but have also made it open source for everyone to use themselves.

    The game features many of the core features of the original game, with more work still left to keep improving upon it.

    You can try it or contribute on the fan site located at www.kamremake.com.



    Knights & Merchants Remake Trailer


    New TKinect Library Coming

    Simon J Stuart will be adding new hardware to his existing Kinect-based library and thanks to this Linux users will be pretty happy about it. ASUS has licensed the same technology that Microsoft has to release their own hardware that does almost the exact same thing. Add up the Kinect for Windows and the ASUS Xtion Pro Live together and you'll have what Simon is trying to make as support for his new library.

    Because of this addition of new non-Kinect hardware, it's only fitting that the library get a new name. What is it? He's not telling so you'll have to keep an eye out to see what he will call it. Any ideas what it should be yourself?

    The Kinect for Windows bundle will be released by Microsoft on February 1st. The ASUS Xtion Pro Live can be purchased right now.

    Read more about Simon's TKinect library at www.simonjstuart.com.



    Gesture Recognition using Depth Sensors


    Evolution of Pascal by RemObjects

    Here is a really neat graph from RemObject Software depicting of the evolutions and branches of the Pascal language from origins to current dialects we have today. What's interesting is the shown influences back and forth between other languages along the evolutionary path. Pascal has come a long way from it's humble beginnings in the 1970s, but it's proving to be more alive and well these days with so many compiler and even dialect and branch-language options to choose from. Here is what Pascal's history looks like...





    ZenGL for iOS

    Kemka Andrey, aka Andru has updated his wiki notes on iOS support in the ZenGL game library. Noting the release of Free Pascal 2.6.0, he states that it has become even easier to compile your ZenGL based project under Xcode as FPC support has become much better. Documentation on the ZenGL wiki are available both in English and Russian languages with easy to understand screenshots and code snippets.

    You can get more information about this on the iOS support page at www.zengl.org.

    You can also discuss this and other ZenGL related topics in the ZenGL forum here on PGD!


    2nd PGD Challenge

    It's still coming boys and girls! There has been a minor delay with the intended start time of the second mini competition, but it will still happen. It's looking more like sometime starting in February and ending in March. Keep an eye out sometime after the website migration.

    Be prepared for a four week development for this competition.


    PGD Registration Streamlined / New Members More Informed!

    There have been many complaints and mass confusion over the years when it came to account registration here at PGD. Increased spam and new procedures being put into place to help prevent tons of spam from being posted all over the site were getting in the way of potential new members signing up and joinning the community because the process was not up to par.

    Thankfully we've addressed this and now the right information is getting to newly registered members of the site via registration email. Now when you sign up for an accout, you'll get an email with all of the important information about how to become a full member of the site with access to all the forums without having to wait on manual posting moderation.

    All new members can now sign up and head to the New Members forum and say hello to get themselves un-moderated. It only takes a single post and then they can post anywhere on the site without restriction.

    As a side note; Spam was getting amazingly ridiculous to maintain. We would be getting literally thousands of new spam posts and threads each month that would spread like an infection into old threads in all the forums. We had to do something to keep this from dirtying up the site for it's moderators and admins. So restricting all (new) moderated members the New Members forum helps prevent such a mess for the staff as unseen by the regular member as it is. Something that is going on behind the scenes that will ultimately make PGD better for the community.

    I have also updated information in the FAQ pages so that it is up to date and better represents the current state of the community and the PGD website.


    The Big Move

    The website migration from servers has begun. The destination host account has been setup and work is underway to get it setup to host PGD on it. The total cost of the hosting ended up costing a total of $320 CAD for 3 years. With the help of community member donations this can easily be covered. Thanks to some of the members who have already offered their donations, they have been put to good use and helped cover this initial cost.

    Originally I would have liked to prevent site interruption during the move to the new server, but it seems as if that is somewhat inevitable. So brace for a slight interruption in service from the site in the near future as we make the big move. We should be safe for the most part this week.

    More information to come down the pipes as I am able to provide it.


    January Community Recap

    Want to quickly catch up on what's been going on in the PGD community it's self over the past month? Awesome! Let us help you with that. Here is what's been going on.


    FAR Colony progress has really boomed lately as farcodev has posted in his game project thread. "Just a small post to say that after 2 years and 6 months, the playable alpha is on the way and will be released in april/may 2012." Here is the YouTube video showing of it's current state. Excited about being able to try out the alpha version of this game? Read about it's development at farcolony.blogspot.com.



    FAR Colony 0.5.1 Alpha Demo Video Part 1


    User137 has posted his own video showing off some new stuff in his latest space shooter game used to help develop his game engine called nxPascal, originally called Next3D. A neat looking game demo that should give you quite a headstart on using this new game engine. Read about it in his forum thread right here.



    nxPascal Scrolling Game Demo Video


    Paul continues to work on his The Probe game and has posted about it in the forums here. He also released a new version and published it on his game website. You can get it at www.theprobegame.com.



    The Probe Menu Screenshot


    Kotai remakes another new game called Pengiun Adventure Online and has released updates to Castlevania Online. The Pengiun Adventure Online intro is sooo cute!



    Pengiun Adventure Online Intro


    Have a look as some of the new stages released for Castlevania Online as posted in the project thread here.



    More Castlevania Online Multiplayer Action


    You can checkout all of Kotai's remake games at www.remakesonline.com.


    Markus Mangold, aka Cybermonkey, is starting to make a Pac Man clone to see how well the EGSL Interpreter will work across the five different supported platforms. Read about it in his forum thread here. You can read more about the Easy Game Scripting with Lua interpreter engine or EGSL for short at egsl.retrogamecoding.org.

    Creator of the MMO RPG Project Mundo 3D, Rodrigo Robles is steadily getting things done in his huge project. There is a new release that you can get at www.sourceforge.net. Read more about the new version in the project thread here.

    New member Mayley has been working on his text-based RPG adventure game Mayley's Story: Nots of a Champion before moving on to other game projects that take advantage of modern day graphics. New to game programming he is anxious to learn new things. He is looking for feedback on it, so please drop him a line in his project thread located right here.


    That's it for the first month of news in 2012 here at PGD. Hope I gave you enough to read for the weekend. Want more? Come to the forums this weekend and strike up a conversation or even talk about what projects you are currently working on.

    Also give us a bit of help spreading the word around the internet would you? Have a Twitter account, Google+ or Facebook? Write a post about us, we could always use the added exposure. Until next time, happy coding!


    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
    Co-Founder / Webmaster
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Ñuño Martínez's Avatar
      Ñuño Martínez -
      Thank you Will.

      Where's Modula and Oberon at the RemObject's grpahic? AFAIK both languages are in the Pascal family, aren't they? And I read somewhere they influenced C# a bit (but they where influenced by Java and Delphi though).
    1. code_glitch's Avatar
      code_glitch -
      Woo! 2nd PGD challenge coming soon...
    1. paul_nicholls's Avatar
      paul_nicholls -
      Nice writeup WILL, and thanks for the mention!
    1. Relfos's Avatar
      Relfos -
      Let's see if I can enter PGD challenge this time!
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