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About this blog

Learn about game development technology

Entries in this blog

ZombieTime

AI is always a fun programming topic, and it's even more fun when you're mixing a physics-based character controller with dynamic navmesh pathfinding.   We planned on using navmesh pathfinding from the very start of the design of the new engine. Because it was integrated from the very beginning our implementation works really nicely. Pathfinding is completely automatic and dynamic. There are no commands you need to call to make it work. When part of the scene changes, the navigation data f

Josh

Josh

Zip File Import

Leadwerks Engine 4.5 will add ZIP files to the list of file formats you can import into the editor.  This isn't really anything special except that it works in a very specific way.  Source art files will be extracted first, followed by final game-ready formats (mdl and tex), followed by .meta files, which contain thumbnails and conversion settings for each file.  The resulting behavior is that you can import a zip file of game assets, with source art files, and the files will be copied in a way

Josh

Josh

You Won't Believe what Analytics in Leadwerks Reveal

How do you like that clickbait title?   I implemented analytics into Leadwerks Editor using GameAnalytics.com last month, in order to answer questions I had about user activity. Here's what I have learned.   The number of active users is what I was hoping for. A LOT of people ran Leadwerks in the last month, but people don't usually use it every day, as the number of daily users is lower. The numbers we have are good though.   A lot of people use the Workshop to install models and othe

Josh

Josh

XML for Documentation Data

I've been getting good results storing documentation data in XML files. This allows me to make changes to the way documenation is displayed, without updating hundreds or thousands of pages. I can also write documentation without as much HTML markup. For example, bullets can automatically be inserted in line breaks for the syntax info. Javascript-based search engines usually require all page contents to be store in an array, so this gives us an easy way to collect that data.   Since XML is

Josh

Josh

XBox

Last week I was researching the XBox and PS3 platforms. An XBox version of Leadwerks is technically feasible, and though the cost is considerable, it's not a barrier we can't cross. However, obtaining the development license from Microsoft will be much harder. Basically, they are unlikely to sell a development license until this engine has gained more users and had a couple of commercial games released. So we'll just keep improving and building momentum, with the eventual goal of expanding to th

Josh

Josh

Writing the Treeview Widget

I've begun a Lua script for a Treeview widget. This is arguably one of the most complex widgets to implement, but after having done this in another language I have a design that I think is pretty simple. The script sorts all tree view nodes into a linear list-like table so that they can be drawn quickly. Like other widgets, the script will calculate where the starting point in the list is to display just the visible nodes. This is very important because it prevents the program from slowing d

Josh

Josh

Wrapping up at NASA

I'm in DC this week helping the folks at NASA wrap up some projects. I'm going to move back to a supportive role and focus on development of Leadwerks 4.6 and the new engine, and I am helping them to hire some programmers to replace me. We found some very talented people who I am confident will do a fantastic job, and I can't wait to see what they create using Leadwerks Game Engine. I helped a team using Leadwerks at NASA get through some big milestones and expand. I hope that someday soon

Josh

Josh

Workshop update

The Workshop interface is updated with new options to let you quickly find items to use in your games.     When you buy an item, you will now be directed to the Steam purchase page in the editor interface itself, without having to sign into an external web browser.  

Josh

Josh

Workshop Store Updates

The Workshop Store interface has been updated. These changes will go out to the in-editor store interface soon.     Clicking on the "Buy" button now opens the item directly in the Steam client, so you no longer have to log into the Steam website. No credit card is needed if you already have one on file in your Steam account.  

Josh

Josh

Workshop Store picking up steam

Over the recent months the Leadwerks Workshop Store has experienced a noticeable increase in sales, correlating to an increased number of products offered. Although Workshop Store sales are quite a bit lower than DLC sales, the Workshop Store is more scaleable because it allows third parties to submit a greater variety of products.   We're also able to send out payments to Russia and other regions that other stores and websites may have trouble sending payments to, because our transaction sys

Josh

Josh

Workshop Store checkout process improved

Valve has delivered on their plan to add a new Steam browser protocol for paid Workshop items. The Leadwerks Game Engine beta branch on Steam has been updated so that Workshop Store purchases go through the Steam client instead of requiring you to log into a web browser. You must also opt into the Steam client beta for this functionality to work. At the moment, this feature is only available on Windows.     This removes the biggest source of friction in the checkout process and makes the

Josh

Josh

Workshop Spam

It appears that items that were released within a certain time period, right when the Workshop was made public, received a lot of "spam" comments like below, from people who don't even own Leadwerks:     I have nothing against TJHeldna's cola can, but I don't believe it is the top-rated item in the Workshop through genuine votes: http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=251810&browsesort=toprated&section=readytouseitems&actualsort=toprated&p=1   It's very obvious

Josh

Josh

Workshop Remixes

Here's an example of something called "derivative works" which is something the Leadwerks Workshop on Steam allows us to do.   Shadmar uploaded a model from Leadwerks 2 and added some special effects to it in the Workshop here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=312811332   I subscribed to the item, and used the model and sound to make my own Workshop item here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=312846032   When you load my item up in the editor

Josh

Josh

Workshop page update

The Workshop in Leadwerks Editor has been updated to use the same web interface as the game launcher. Page numbers have also been added to both. In the future, the Leadwerks Workshop interface will probably start to resemble the Game Launcher interface more.  

Josh

Josh

Workshop is out!

After an extended period of testing, the Leadwerks Workshop on Steam is now available. I'm really happy about this because it fundamentally changes the way we work together. Content authors have more of a sense of "ownership" of their items, and it's easy for them to get feedback and update their subscribers. More features are always good, but for a long time I have had the feeling we needed to address other aspects of the game development process. I think the Leadwerks Workshop will harness

Josh

Josh

Workshop Expansion

You've probably noticed a lot of new content and changes in the Workshop this week. Monday I plan to launch "paid items" in the Workshop. This is something I've wanted to do for several years, and it benefits everyone: More content will be available for you, ready to use with Leadwerks. I think content authors will make a lot more sales through Steam than they would through their own websites and even other stores. The top items will even get prime real estate and be shown right on the L

Josh

Josh

Workshop Download Issue Solved

I figured out why some Workshop items weren't installing correctly. There's a series of steps I need to go through to make a paid item ready for sale, and I omitted one button press in the Steamworks interface.   If you experienced downloading problems with the nature model pack, zombies, or any of the scifi material packs, they should work now.   Let me know if you still have any problems.

Josh

Josh

Workshop Design

The Workshop system is a great way to share content, but I've come across some limitations. Most of these have to do with the use a "virtual" file system (using Workshop package IDs). Scripts and shaders can't be debugged because these systems expect a file path. With Workshop files, there is a file name and an ID number. This makes Shadmar's cool effects difficult to access, among other things. Interdependent files are very difficult to work with, because when you upload them to the Wor

Josh

Josh

Workshop Browser Preview

The implementation of the Leadwerks Workshop has always been planned in two steps: Initial implementation using the Steam interface. Implementation of built-in interface in editor.   I've been working on the second part for a couple days, and the results are pretty awesome so far. A built-in browser lets you view all items in the Workshop, search, and sort by rating or date uploaded.     When you click on an item, you can view its detail view. Pressing the "Install" button wil

Josh

Josh

Workshop Browser now on beta branch

You can now try out the new Workshop Browser by opting into the beta branch. This makes it simpler to install Workshop items, and allows you to browser, install, and uninstall items without having to switch to the Steam window.  

Josh

Josh

Winter Sale recap and biz plans

With the Winter Sale wrapping up, I now have enough information to decide how to go forward with the business of Leadwerks.   Sales on a day-to-day basis were remarkably consistent, and comparable to last year's data, within 5-10% either way. This is good because it indicates that Leadwerks will continue to sell well at a predictable level, which makes planning a lot easier.   We did not get featured this year on the front page of Steam. Very few products did. The whole sale basically jus

Josh

Josh

Windows 7

This is my opinion of Windows 7. When I tried Vista, I immediately disliked it, but used it for eight months. At the end of that period I still disliked it for all the same reasons.     Source

Josh

Josh

Widget Progress

I've added a textfield widget script to the beta branch, and a new build, for (Lua interpreter, Windows only, at this time). The textfield widget allows editing of a single line of text. It's actually one of the more difficult widgets to implement due to all the user interaction features. Text is entered from the keyboard and may be selected with arrow keys or by clicking the mouse. A range of text can be selected by clicking and dragging the mouse, or by pressing an arrow key while the shif

Josh

Josh

Why Small Companies Succeed

The development of Leadwerks3D seemed like an impossible task at first. Not only did I need to write a new 3D engine entirely in C++ mostly by myself, but I had to make it run on four platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac), with a scalability all the way from the fixed-function pipeline up to the very latest hardware tessellation features. All logical sense told me this was impossible. Even large companies with 100 programmers or more haven't yet been able to put out a 3D engine with the

Josh

Josh

Why Apple Fails

Their prices are more than 250% the price of a comparable PC. Even their "most expensive" laptop is using a budget GPU! So for less than half the price, you can actually get a laptop with a much better GPU!   $999: http://www.newegg.co...=laptop%209800m   $2499: http://store.apple.c...mco=MTM3NDcyOTc   Just for fun, I checked all the most expensive options. The grand total was $7305.35. Who spends $7000 on a laptop with a budget GPU???   I can't believe how dense their management is.

Josh

Josh

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