Today I am excited to announce plans for the release of the first Leadwerks 5 beta version. Leadwerks 5 will roll out sooner rather than later, employing an extended beta period during which versions 4 and 5 will live side-by-side, using the same code base, with preprocessor definitions to compile each version. This allows me to fix small problems without forking the code, while I can implement new changes in version 5. The first features implemented will be the use of smart pointers for all
Leadwerks Game Engine 5 is being designed to make use of shared pointers. This eliminates manual reference counting, which has probably been the most difficult part of programming games with Leadwerks. Here are three concepts you must understand before you start using smart pointers in Leadwerks 5,
Don't Create Multiple Shared Pointers from One Object
When a shared pointer goes out of scope, it deletes the object it references. If another smart pointer was created separately that re
This shows the fundamental difference between shared pointers and manual reference counting.
void Material::SetTexture(Texture* texture, const int index)
if (this->texture[index] != texture)
if (this->texture[index]) this->texture[index]->Release();
this->texture[index] = texture;
if (this->texture[index]) this->texture[index]->AddRef();
void Material::SetTexture(shared_ptr<Texture> texture, const int index)
Previously, I talked a little bit about shared pointers in C++11. These use automatic reference counting to track how many variables are pointing to an object. When the object is no longer being used, it is automatically deleted. This is similar to garbage collection, but doesn't involve the massive overhead of garbage-collected systems. In fact, shared pointers simply automate something we were already doing with the Release() and AddRef() commands in Leadwerks 4.
A weak pointer is lik
I have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am very bad at shipping posters. The Winter Game Tournament was completed in January and I have yet to deliver your prizes. If you have a job opening for someone to ship prizes, or to ship anything at all, I am probably the worst candidate you could ever hope to find to fill said position. Seriously.
Part of the problem (although it's still not an excuse) has been that it is actually incredibly difficult to have custom USB keychains made.
Leadwerks 4.x will see a few more releases, each remaining backwards compatible with previous versions. Leadwerks 5.0 is the point where we will introduce changes that break compatibility with previous versions. The changes will support a faster design that relies more on multi-threading, updates to take advantage of C++11 features, and better support for non-English speaking users worldwide. Changes are limited to code; all asset files including models, maps, shaders, textures, and materials
C++11 introduces shared pointers, a powerful language feature that provides easy memory management without the overhead of garbage collection. The example below should look familiar to you:
using namespace Leadwerks;
int main(int argc, const char *argv)
shared_ptr<Leadwerks::Window> window = Leadwerks::Window::Create();
shared_ptr<Context> context = Context::Create(window);
shared_ptr<World> world = World::Create();
Leadwerks Software today announced the release of version 4.4 of their topselling game engine on Steam. This version adds a new GUI system, support for inverse kinematics, and enhanced visuals. The free update goes out today to over 20,000 paid users on Steam.
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4 sees the introduction of Leadwerks GUI, a system for creating resolution-independent in-game menus. Custom GUI elements can be created with Lua script, or an item can be selected from a number of pre-built
Distance fog is one of the most basic visual effects in 3D graphics, going back to the 1990s. Here is the effect in the Quake 3 Arena map "Fatal Instinct", which was shrouded in a dense orange fog:
Leadwerks Game Engine 2 had this available as a built-in effect, while the more flexible effects system of Leadwerks 3/4 had several Workshop shaders available to use, including one by Klepto and another one more recently added by myself. However, this has not been part of the official SDK
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4, scheduled for release soon, features some updated and enhanced visual effects. In this blog I will talk about some of the adjustments I made. Having "The Zone" scene that Aggror recreated actually helped a lot to see how shaders could be improved.
Bloom / Iris Adjustment / HDR
The bloom and iris adjustment shaders have been updated to give bloom a wider and softer blur. Iris adjustment is faster and more intense now, which will make the outdoors areas seem
This tutorial demonstrates how to create a high-quality skybox for Leadwerks Game Engine using Vue.
Cloudy Blue Skies.zip
Required Third-Party Programs
Loading the Example
Run Vue and select the File > Open menu item. Extract the zip file above and open the file "Cloudy Blue Skies.vue".
Atmosphere and Clouds
You can modify the appearance of the sky with the Atmosphere Edito
An update is up which saves all menu settings into your game's config file. When your program calls System:SetProperty() the inputted key-value pair is saved in a list of settings. Your game automatically saves these settings to a file when it closes, located in C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\local\<GAMENAME>\<GAMENAME>.cfg.
The contents of the config file will look something like this:
Along with Leadwerks GUI, Leadwerks 4.4 adds an in-game menu that is available with the default Lua scripted game. You can use this to allow your users to adjust settings in the game, or provide a more sophisticated way to quit the game than simply pressing the escape key.
The default window size has been changed to 1280x720 when run from the editor. Your game will now run in fullscreen mode by default when it is launched outside the editor.
All of these changes are contained i
In Leadwerks 4.3 we integrated GameAnalytics.com into our software, both in the editor and in the engine, as a tool developers can use to track their player statistics. A number of events were set up in the editor to fire when certain actions were performed, in order to gain better insight into how people were using Leadwerks. Here are the results.
The most popular primitives
Unsurprisingly, boxes are by far the most popular primitive created in Leadwerks Editor. The community has c
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4 features an upgrade to the latest version of Newton Dynamics, along with a bunch of new features to enhance physics.
The new kinematic controller is a joint that lets you specify a position, rotation (Euler or quaternion), or a 4x4 matrix to orient the body to. You can set the maximum linear and angular force the joint may use to orient the entity. This allows you to create a kinematic controller that only affects position, only affects rot
A new easy-to-use networking system is coming soon to Leadwerks Game Engine. Built on the Enet library, Leadwerks networking provides a fast and easy way to quickly set up multiplayer games. Each computer in the game is either a server or a client. The server hosts the game and clients can join and leave the game at will. On the other hand, when the server leaves the game, the game is over!
Creating a Client
You can soon create a client with one command in Leadwerks:
After a lot of research and development, Leadwerks GUI is almost ready to release. The goal with this system was to create an in-game GUI that was customizable, extendable, and could also serve as a windowed GUI for application development in the future.
The GUI system is based on the Widget class. Once a GUI is created on a rendering context you can add widgets to it. Each widget is a rectangular container with a padding area. The widgets can be arranged in a hierarchy and
Back around February I started working on a website update that included the following:
Responsive design everywhere.
Visual improvement of website.
Updated documentation system.
Tutorials for C++ programming basics.
Update forum software to new major version.
Forum moved to new URL.
All of that is now pretty much done. These changes improve the online Leadwerks experience and are independent from the software itself, so it
An update for version 4.4 beta is now available. The Newton Dynamics library has been updated to the current version. Vehicles are temporarily unavailable, but everything else should work. The Newton DLLs have been moved into external DLLs, which allows the author of Newton to debug his own physics code in Leadwerks from Visual Studio.
You can get the update by opting into the beta branch on Steam.
Visual Studio gives two options for creating C++ applications. Console applications use printed text to communicate with the user, harkening back to the pre-GUI days of DOS. The other option is a windowed application with a GUI interface, simply called "Win32 Project" in the Visual Studio project creation dialog.
A console application will use the regular old main function you know and love:
int main(int argc,const char *argv)
This is cross-platform compatible and runs on an
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4 beta is now available on the beta branch on Steam. This adds support for virtual reality with the OpenVR library. OpenVR supports both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift headsets.
To enable VR mode in your Leadwerks game, simply call the command below. If a VR headset is detected and initialized, this function will return true:
Any cameras not attached to a rendering target will render directly to the headset views. Both eyes will be rend
An update to version 4.3 is now available on the default branch. This fixes it so the editor is not DPI-aware and will be scaled correctly if scaling on Windows is used. Some small shadow update bugs were fixed, and the animation shaders were improved.
If you are having trouble running your game from the editor in debug mode, you need to install the latest VC++ redistributable from Microsoft found here:
The version distribut
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.3 is now available.
This release adds support for Ogg Vorbis audio files. Ogg Vorbis is a compressed audio format specially designed to shrink the size of large audio files. Using Ogg for large music files can significantly reduce your game's size.
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.3 features numerous performance updates, with performance improvements up to twice as fast as Leadwerks 4.2.
Finally, numerous small bugs have been squashed to make Leadwerks more
The Winter Games Tournament is complete, with a long list of fun mini-games made by the community. This tournament saw the release of many new and innovative types of games you want to be sure to try. To claim your prize, go to "My Profile" in the drop-down box that opens when you click your name in the upper-right part of this website:
On your profile page, click the button that says "Edit My Profile" and enter your name, shipping address, and shirt size.
Lone Water: Prologue
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.2 is now available on Steam. This update adds new features to make game development easier than ever. The free update goes out today to over 10,000 paid users on Steam.
Version 4.2 integrates analytics into Leadwerks games with a free gameanalytics.com account. This allows developers to view statistics on player behavior and identify any trouble spots their game might have as players progress through levels. By viewing a summary of all player behavior, developers