Monday, February 24, 2014

Latest - Game Engine Development

I'm hoping to get back into Android programming next week. These days I've been putting a lot of time into asmall experimental 2D engine. I've been focusing on PC development, but long term, I want it to also work on Android. I've been putting a lot of time into it because eventually it'll be the test bed for some of the other systems that I want to develop.

Currently the 3D engine, Squared'D, has too many parts to use it as a simple testing platform. I stripped out it's core 2D elements (these were mainly used for the GUI) and built it into a smaller game engine that doesn't require much set up. I'm using the 2D engine for experimenting with different programming concepts and paradigms as well. I've been trying to leverage more C++ features to make development easier.

One big design decision I made in the 2D engine was to limit the use of pointers and to use handles and C++ references as much as possible. I want to avoid using smart pointers and limit my code to only a few unique pointers when absolutely necessary. So far so good. I've gotten a component-based entity system working already. Entities only store handles to there components, and all components are stored in an std::vector inside their respective system classes. As I've been playing around with the system though, I think in the future, entities will not even need handles to their components. Entities will eventually just morph into position orientation with the components knowing which entity they belong to, but not the other way around. If it goes well, I'll incorporate these ideas into the next version of the 3D engine. Hopefully I'll be able to simplify things enough so that the next 3D engine will be simple enough for testing and able to run on the PC and Android. Major changes to the 3D engine will be long in the future. If you're curious about why I've chosen not to limit pointer use in newer versions of my engines, you can leave a comment.

I'm currently working on an article and video that will give details on how both the 2D engine and the 3D engine work.