The new editor is being designed to be flexible enough to work with any game, so it can be used for modding as well as game development with our new 3D engine. Each project has configurable settings that can be used to handle what the editor actually does when you run the game. In the case of a game like Quake, this will involve running a few executables to first compile the map you are working on into a BSP structure, then perform lightmaps and pre-calculate visibility.
You can also
Many games store 3D models, textures, and other game files in some type of compressed package format. These can be anything from a simple ZIP file to a custom multi-file archive system. This has the benefit of making the install size of the game smaller, and can prevent users from accessing the raw files. Often times undocumented proprietary file formats are used to optimize loading time, although with DDS and glTF this is not such a problem anymore.
Leadwerks uses built-in support for encr
At last I have been able to work the plugin system into the new editor and realize my dreams.
The editor automatically detects supported file formats and generates thumbnails for them. (Thumbnails are currently compatible with the Leadwerks system, so Leadwerks can read these thumbnail files and vice-versa.) If no support for a file format is found, the program just defaults to the whatever icon or thumbnail Windows shows.
The options dialog includes a tab where you can examine each pl
I've been wracking my brain trying to decide what I want to show at the upcoming conference, and decided I should get the new editor in a semi-workable state. I started laying out the interface two days ago. To my surprise, the whole process went very fast and I discovered some cool design features along the way.
With the freedom and control I have with the new user interface system, I was able to make the side panel extend all the way to the top and bottom of the window client area. This g
Ultra App Kit 1.2 is now available on our site and on Steam. This is a bug fix update that resolves numerous small issues reported in the bug reports forum.
To download the latest version, see My Purchases.
One of my goals in Ultra Engine is to avoid "black box" file formats and leave all game assets in common file formats that can be easily read in a variety of programs. For this reason, I put a lot of effort into the Pixmap class and the DDS load and save capabilities.
In Ultra Engine animated textures can be stored in a volume texture. To play the animation, the W component of the UVW texcoord is scrolled. The fragment shader will sample the volume texture between the nearest two slices on
When it comes to complex projects I like to focus on whatever area of technology causes me the most uncertainty or worry. Start with the big problems, solve those, and as you continue development the work gets easier and easier. I decided at this stage I really wanted to see how well Vulkan graphics work on Mac computers.
Vulkan doesn't run natively on Mac, but gets run through a translation library called MoltenVK. How well does MoltenVK actually work? There was only one way to find out...
I have procrastinated testing of our new 3D engine on AMD hardware for a while. I knew it was not working as-is, but I was not too concerned. One of the promises of Vulkan is better support across-the-board and fewer driver bugs, due to the more explicit nature of the API. So when I finally tried out the engine on an R9 200 series card, what would actually happen? Would the promise of Vulkan be realized, or would developers continue to be plagued by problems on different graphics cards? Read on
One month ago I began work to investigate what it would take to bring Ultra App Kit, the foundation for our new generation of game development tools, to Linux. Today I am happy to share my progress with you and discuss some of the things I have learned.
Developed by MIT in the year 1984, X11 is an interesting beast that is easy to start with, but can become quite difficult once you get into the details. (Wayland support is of course an obvious step in the not-too-distant future but I have t
I recently fired up an install of Ubuntu 20.04 to see what the state of development on Linux is now, and it looks like things have improved dramatically since I first started working with Linux in 2013. Visual Studio Code looks and works great on Linux, and I was able to load the Ultra Engine source code and start compiling, although there is still much work to do. The debugger is fantastic, especially after using the Code::Blocks debugger on Linux, which was absolutely sadistic. (They're both u
You know how I keep saying that focusing everything on one specific niche is much better than trying to be all things to all people, and that VR was going to be our primary technology focus going forward?
This is a battleground we can win in.
I want to streamline some of this website. We went through a lot of changes since the release on Steam in 2014 and learned what works and what does not.
The "Marketplace" is just called the default "Downloads" name now, and that literally is what it is for. It's a place to keep a permanent copy of your files. Paid files are still supported, and any purchased items are still available to download, but I do not have any aspirations of building this up unless it just happens spontaneously. Ins
Breaking the new engine up into sub-components and releasing them in several stages is something new. The reason for trying this was twofold:
Steam now incentives competition for digital shelf space, unlike when Leadwerks was first released on Steam in 2014, when I was trying to build up my quality of presence and promote one app ID on Steam.
I would like to get some new software out early before the full engine is finished.
The beautiful thing is that Ultra App Kit all con
A new update is available on Steam for Ultra App Kit.
A TEXTFIELD_PASSWORD style flag has been added and is used for the password entry form:
A WINDOW_CHILD style flag has been added. I found this was necessary while implementing a Vulkan 3D viewport in a GUI application. You can read more about that here.
Pressing the Tab key will now switch the focus between widgets.
The "Learn" tab in the project manager has been moved in front of the "Community" tab.
Before finalizing Ultra App Kit I want to make sure our 3D engine works correctly with the GUI system. This is going to be the basis of all our 3D tools in the future, so I want to get it right before releasing the GUI toolkit. This can prevent breaking changes from being made in the future after the software is released.
Below you can see our new 3D engine being rendered in a viewport created on a GUI application. The GUI is being rendered using Windows GDI+, the same system that draws the
An update for Ultra App Kit beta on Steam is now available. This finishes the user interface scaling to support HD, 4K, 8K, and other resolutions. My original plan was to force an application restart if the scale setting was changed, but I found a way to dynamically resize the interface in a manner that gives natural results, so it now supports dynamic rescaling. That is, if the user changes the Windows DPI setting, or if a window is dragged to a monitor with a different DPI setting, the applica
An update is available for the Ultra App Kit beta on Steam.
Menu open / close behavior is finished and is now working bug-free.
Fixed problem where list boxes were only showing the first item.
A submenu item is demonstrated in the example program.
A progress bar widget is added in the example program.
A label widget is added in the example program.
A second radio button is added in the example program.
Still to do:
Work out some scaling i
A new update is available for beta testers. This update focuses on the GUI capabilities, mostly for interfaces created directly on a window, rather than 3D interfaces. We are moving from a Lua-driven GUI system to one coded more explicitly in C++. This will provide us with better documented behavior, easier portability, and a more responsive interface.
GUI widgets no longer use Lua scripts. Each widget type has a C++ class, a creation command, and style constants.
An update is available for Leadwerks 5 beta on Steam that adds a World::SetSkyColor() command. This allows you to set a gradient for PBR reflections when no skybox is in use.
I learned with Leadwerks 4 that default settings are important. The vast majority of screenshots people show off are going to use whatever default rendering settings I program in. We need a good balance between quality and performance for the engine to use as defaults. Therefore, the engine will use SSAO and bloom effe