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About this blog

Learn about game development technology

Entries in this blog

Vulkan on AMD Graphics Cards

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

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The Year of the Linux Desktop is Here

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

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Linux, You Changed Man

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

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Focus

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.

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Website Changes

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

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Final Thoughts on Ultra App Kit

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

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Ultra App Kit beta updated

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. The Visual

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Vulkan Viewport in a GUI Application

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

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Ultra App Kit beta updated with DPI scaling support

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

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Ultra App Kit Beta Updated

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

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Leadwerks 5 Beta Update

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. Changes: GUI widgets no longer use Lua scripts. Each widget type has a C++ class, a creation command, and style constants. A

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Reflection Colors

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

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