Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

News about the Cafu Engine. Subscribe to the related ImageCafu News feed to stay informed.
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-04, 15:32

Just at the peak of summer, we're happy and proud to present the new and hot August 2008 (8.08) release of the Ca3D-Engine Game Development Kit!

We've spent the time since the prior March 2008 release with incredibly intense and focused development work, and again we have been able to implement many great changes and improvements to the Ca3D-Engine:
While the user experience has much been enhanced, the true focus of this release is clearly on the interesting new features for game developers. Examples include the new powerful tools in the map editor CaWE, the new Sound System, and the much enhanced support for 2D and 3D GUI scripting - see the change log below for more details.

Beginning with this release, we ship separate packages for Windows and Linux platforms again. This way we can better take into account platform-specific features as well as gain more flexibility in testing and release cycles.

This release contains the C++ example source code of the DeathMatch MOD and all script source code. We're currently preparing Ca3DE source code licenses with low-cost options for students and indies.

We're very grateful to all the wonderful people who helped with testing and debugging the release candidates, and we're proud that this piece of work is finally available for public download!
The download is available at the Ca3DE Download section. Have fun! :kewl:


Change Log

World Editor (CaWE) related

EntityInspector.png
EntityInspector.png (6.4 KiB) Viewed 15649 times

TerrainEditorTool.png
For game developers, the Ca3DE World Editor is the central program for making new maps for Ca3DE.

  • Wrote a new (and much better!) Entity Inspector dialog that replaces and subsumes the old "Entity Report" and "Object Properties" dialogs.
    The Entity Inspector is a comfortable and powerful scene-graph view of a map that allows users to browse and edit the properties of entities (one or multiple at a time) easily. It is explained and documented in-depth in the CaWE documentation, chapter The Entity Inspector Dialog.

  • Added a new importer for loading VMF files (the Half-Life 2 map file format) directly into CaWE.

  • Added a new Terrain Editing tool for editing the shape of terrains directly in CaWE! The terrains can be shaped by an array of powerful subtools with real-time preview in the 2D and 3D views.
    • The terrain shaping tools include Raise, Lower, Flatten, Fill, Ablate, Blur, Sharpen, Noise, and Road.
    • Terrains are kept internally with very high 16 BPP (sub-millimeter) precision.
    • Terrains can be imported from and exported to high-precision Terragen and PGM (portable graymap) file formats or from/to 8 BPP precision image formats PNG, BMP and JPG.
    • High-quality implementation makes sure that you can continue edit operations in the 3D view even when getting "behind mountains".
    • The "Road" tool is incredibly clever and useful for making all kinds of paths with smooth slopes.
    • Real-time preview and direct working in CaWE's native 2D and 3D map views. The 2D views have multiple color schemes for encoding height values (grayscales, rainbow pattern, "gray stairs").
    • Documentation about the new Terrain Editing tool is at chapter The Edit Terrain Tool.

  • Introduced the "Command Pattern" (a very important internal enhancement) for all map operations in CaWE. This implied a complete rewrite of the Ca3DE Undo/Redo system. For the user, this results in a more flexible and reliable editor application, and is the prerequisite for future changes such as simultaneous multi-user online editing.

  • Enhanced Morph Tool. The usage of the indispensable Morph Tool has been refined and it has fully been integrated into the new Undo/Redo system.


New Ca3DE Sound System

Image

Image
The Ca3DE Sound System has been rewritten from scratch. Like the graphics system, it is now highly portable and can auto-detect and choose among several implementations. This guarantees that at runtime, the best available audio implementation is employed for the current platform and system.

  • We provide implementations both for OpenAL as well as FMOD. The OpenAL implementation is the default now, and is great for independent developers, as it doesn't imply additional licensing fees. The FMOD implementation is kept for reference and as an alternative and fall-back sound system.
  • The OpenAL implementation always employs the optimal solution for actual 2D and 3D sound output on all platforms, e.g. by software rendering, DirectSound on Windows, ALSA on Linux, native hardware drivers, etc. This also makes it the best choice for sound output under Windows Vista.
  • Supported file formats include MP3 (.mp3), Ogg Vorbis (.ogg), Wave (.wav) and raw audio.
  • Resource management makes sure that limited resources like samples and hardware channels are automatically shared and reused whenever possible and appropriate.
  • Optional Sound Shaders, the analogue to Material Shaders for graphics, are available for the convenient description of the properties of sounds.
  • The newly introduced Speaker Entity makes it easy to place spatial sound sources in maps, including the definition of special effects like the Doppler effect or cone-shaped sound volumes.


New Main Menu and GUI System

MainMenu_HostGameSv.jpg
In a first step, we significantly improved the Ca3DE GUI System: The GUI scripts are now truly native Lua scripts, the previous mix of Lua fragments and custom window definitions is finally gone. Even better, the GUI scripts now support Lua coroutines, that is, collaborative multi-threading, just like the map/entity scripts. Moreover, the new type system and Lua-to-C++ binding code makes it much easier for developers to make new window classes available to the scripts, who have full control now over the creation, use and deletion of all GUI windows.

Consequently, as a second step, we wrote the new Main Menu GUI on top of the new GUI System features. The Main Menu provides a much better user experience than before, with menu background music, map preview images and real-time player model previews.
The Main Menu also demonstrates clearly the most important features of the GUI System, e.g. its great extensibility and flexibility by scripting with script code that is lightweight and easy to read, and its applicability to 2D and 3D (in-game) GUIs.
The new Main Menu GUI entirely replaces the Ca3DE Options dialog from previous releases. Moreover, we've started work on a GUI editor that makes creating new GUIs even simpler and more intuitive.


Other important changes

  • Enhanced the Radiosity lighting computations for higher quality lighting results that are richer in contrast. See this news post for more details.
  • Enhanced the Type System. The Type System is an important component in scripting support, and is available now for both entities (map scripts) and windows (GUI scripts). Game developers can now easily extend the class hierarchies, inclusive automatic binding to the scripting language (including in turn script class inheritance) thanks to the TypeSys.
  • Moving light sources are interpolated now, which eliminates flickering shadows.
  • Improved the fault handling and tolerance in the Network subsystem.
  • Memory consumption reduction code that significantly reduces memory requirements and improves performance on systems with 1 GB RAM or less has been implemented.
  • New math class templates cf::math::PlueckerT<T> and cf::math::RotationT<T> were introduced for advanced computations especially wrt. collision detection and model placement.


Changes already begun for the next release

  • Support for vegetation (tree, bushes and similar plants), especially for the TechDemo island.
  • A GUI editor for making GUIs even easier.
  • Support for the COLLADA model file format.
  • Better support for models in general.
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Thrawn
Posts: 302
Joined: 2004-08-30, 10:38
Location: NRW, Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Thrawn » 2008-08-04, 18:38

Just one word: WOW!!!! :groupwave2: :thanks:
Image
scott
Posts: 173
Joined: 2004-08-23, 09:11

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby scott » 2008-08-05, 06:25

Wow thats an incredible list of new stuff Carsten, congratulations. :)
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-06, 13:42

And here is the related official news announcement:

Code: Select all

========================================================================
Ca3D-Engine: New release available!            http://www.Ca3D-Engine.de
August 2008                                     CarstenFuchs@T-Online.de
========================================================================

  Dear Sirs,

  a new version of the Ca3D-Engine has just been released at the project
  website at http://www.Ca3D-Engine.de. The Ca3D-Engine is a modern game
  engine and game development kit with 3D real-time graphics and multi-
  player network support for Windows and Linux.

  The latest enhancements are very interesting for both users and game
  developers, as they include many new features in the World Editor, a
  new Sound System (including OpenAL and FMOD implementations), many
  improvements to the GUI System, an entirely new Main Menu GUI, and
  many other enhancements.

  Full details about the new release are available at
  http://www.ca3d-engine.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=495


  Contents of this letter:

  1. What is the Ca3D-Engine?  (A brief introduction.)
  2. New features in this release
  3. Further information and contact



========================================================================
1. What is the Ca3D-Engine?
========================================================================

  Ca3DE is an all-purpose, modern 3D graphics engine and game
  development kit.

  It can be used to create a variety of 3D applications, including
  games, simulations, and training and architectural software. The
  development kit is freely available, and the DeathMatch MOD code is
  open-source.

  Its main features include

    + high-quality, real-time 3D graphics,
    + included Ca3DE world editor "CaWE",
    + a very powerful and flexible material system,
    + cross-platform and cross-compiler portability,
    + multi-player network support,
    + physically correct lighting (radiosity based),
    + dynamic per-pixel lighting and shadows,
    + 3D sound effects, skeleton based model rendering,
    + very large terrain rendering,
    + scripting language support,
    + freely available developer kit and MOD source code,
    + and easy extensibility by code and scripts.

  For a more detailed feature list please refer to
  http://www.ca3d-engine.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Itemid=55



========================================================================
2. New features in this release
========================================================================

  New features and tools for the Ca3DE World Editor "CaWE": The new
  "Entity Inspector" is a comfortable and powerful scene-graph view of a
  map that allows users to browse and edit the properties of entities
  (one or multiple at a time) easily. The new Terrain Editing tool
  allows mappers to edit the shape of terrains directly in CaWE. The
  terrains can be shaped by an array of powerful subtools with real-time
  preview in the 2D and 3D views.

  The Ca3DE Sound System has been rewritten from scratch. Like the
  graphics system, it is now highly portable and can auto-detect and
  choose among several implementations. This guarantees that at runtime,
  the best available audio implementation (based on OpenAL or FMOD) is
  employed for the current platform and system. Supported file formats
  include MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Wave and raw audio. The properties of sounds
  can be specified via Sound Shader scripts, and there are new Speaker
  Entities for spatial sound sources in maps, with Doppler effect and
  cone-shaped sound volumes.

  The Ca3DE GUI System has much been enhanced to support native Lua
  scripts for GUI definitions, including collaborative multi-threading.
  Game developers can easily extend the C++ class hierarchy and use the
  new classes in GUI scripts. Based on these improvements, an entirely
  new Main Menu GUI has been written that replaced the Options dialog
  from prior release and much enhances the user experience.

  Other improvements include better Radiosity lighting, improvements to
  the Type System for scripting, less memory consumption, more stable
  networking code, and many other enhancements.

  Full details about the new release (including screen-shots) are
  available at http://www.ca3d-engine.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=495



========================================================================
3. Further information and contact
========================================================================

  For further and more detailed information about the Ca3D-Engine,
  please visit the official website at

    http://www.ca3d-engine.de

  The website has a detailed feature list, many high-res screen-shots
  and of course a download page where the latest demo and game
  development kit are available.

  If you have questions, problems or comments, you're heartily invited
  to join the Ca3DE discussion forums or the IRC channel, see
  http://www.ca3d-engine.de/forum/ for the details.

  You can also contact the author of Ca3DE directly by sending email to
  Carsten Fuchs at

  CarstenFuchs@T-Online.de
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-06, 13:47

Image
Quick and reliable as ever: Barely half an hour passed since we sent out the announcement mails when the great folks at gamershell.com already got the new package mirrored - our sincere thanks!

Depending on your geographical location, you may prefer to pick up the Ca3DE-8.08.zip file from their mirrors at http://www.gamershell.com/news/57086.html instead of the usual Ca3DE Download site.
Best regards,
Carsten
scott
Posts: 173
Joined: 2004-08-23, 09:11

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby scott » 2008-08-06, 17:44

Just had a go of the terrain editing tools, very nice indeed and simple to use. I'm a big fan of the road tool, its so easy to make nice smooth slopes. Great work. :shock: I also love how you can work on the terrain height map directly in the top viewport.
Also I'm happy to report that the stuttering that I used to experience in the tech demo is gone, looks like the memory optimizations did the trick!
Loading time is very fast as well, what used to take about 40 seconds, loads in about 10 seconds. The new sound system runs perfectly as well.

Do you have a roadmap for the future of ca3de?


Just a quick issue. The maximum brush size of 1000 isn't large enough. I generated a terrain as large as possible and the brush was just too small to make large changes.
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-08, 08:42

Hi Scott,

scott wrote:Just had a go of the terrain editing tools, very nice indeed and simple to use. I'm a big fan of the road tool, its so easy to make nice smooth slopes. Great work. :shock: I also love how you can work on the terrain height map directly in the top viewport.

Hehe, thanks for the feed-back. Making this easy to use with direct editing in the "normal" 2D and 3D views was one of our main priorities when making the Terrain Editor.

Also I'm happy to report that the stuttering that I used to experience in the tech demo is gone, looks like the memory optimizations did the trick!
Loading time is very fast as well, what used to take about 40 seconds, loads in about 10 seconds. The new sound system runs perfectly as well.

Great to hear this!

Do you have a roadmap for the future of ca3de?

Yes, but it's difficult to provide a definitive list right now. First, there are the items that we've already begun to work on (Vegetation, improved models support / COLLADA, GUI Editor). Then, it's clear that we will need projective light sources and (especially for the outdoor areas) projective shadows. The GUI System needs more improvement, too (in 3D GUIs, use the left mouse button for left-clicks, not the 0 key). DirectX support.
In general, it must become much easier to get materials/textures and models into the engine - just copy them into a directory and use them, no material-defs by hand, no model-file tweaking by hand.
I have a complete list in my office, but as usual, it's not easy to say which features make it into the next release (which is currently planned as 8.10 or 8.11) or the release after that, but in any case, we're doing our best! :up:

EDIT: I'm bound to say that I like the idea of a roadmap :) I'm going to revise the website contents a bit during the next week, and will then add a Roadmap page, too.

Just a quick issue. The maximum brush size of 1000 isn't large enough. I generated a terrain as large as possible and the brush was just too small to make large changes.

Oh, I see. Give us a couple of days, and I'll post an updated CaWE.exe here. :)
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-11, 16:35

Dear Scott,

as promised above, the attached file contains a new version of CaWE.exe that comes with a maximum brush size of 10000 instead of 1000, and fixes a small memory issue.

Installation instructions:
  • Download the attached file,
  • unzip its contents,
  • rename your existing copy of CaWE.exe e.g. into CaWE-backup.exe,
  • then copy the CaWE.exe from the zip file into its place.

Please let me know if that helps (is the brush size sufficient now?), or if there are more/other problems - I'll be happy to fix them. :up:
Best regards,
Carsten
scott
Posts: 173
Joined: 2004-08-23, 09:11

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby scott » 2008-08-11, 16:55

Thanks Carsten it works like a charm 8)
User avatar
Stephen
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-05-01, 06:34
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Stephen » 2008-08-24, 13:16

Well, this version is working a lot better for me now. It actually loads the map now, and I can play it fine, instead of just hanging on the loading screen like it did last version.

It is still semi-transparent though... And trying to play a game when you can see the background faintly through everything is a little distracting, to say the least...
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-24, 23:44

Dear Stephen,

thank you very much for your feed-back!

Stephen wrote:It is still semi-transparent though... And trying to play a game when you can see the background faintly through everything is a little distracting, to say the least...

Can you please send me a screenshot (F5 key) of that issue (or post it in another thread here in the forum)? I'd be happy to look into it.
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Stephen
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-05-01, 06:34
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Stephen » 2008-08-25, 09:12

Carsten wrote:Can you please send me a screenshot (F5 key) of that issue (or post it in another thread here in the forum)? I'd be happy to look into it.


Sure. Although now I think about it, I do have some window types set to 90% opacity, although that should only be menus and such.

I'll try turning that off and see if it helps.
User avatar
Stephen
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-05-01, 06:34
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Stephen » 2008-08-25, 09:46

Well, that fixed it... I'm not sure why, because the only types of windows it should apply it to are tooltips, menus, popup menus and dropdown menus...

The only other problem I've had is getting stuck in the Deathmatch game - sometimes (mostly around doors and ladders) the player just stops being able to move. I can still shoot and look around...
User avatar
Carsten
Site Admin
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2004-08-19, 13:46
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Carsten » 2008-08-25, 15:42

Hi Stephen,

Stephen wrote:Well, that fixed it... I'm not sure why, because the only types of windows it should apply it to are tooltips, menus, popup menus and dropdown menus...

Ah, I see. Just out of curiosity, how do you achieve that transparency? Is it a OS feature or that of an external add-on program? What OS and/or what program are you using, in which version?

The only other problem I've had is getting stuck in the Deathmatch game - sometimes (mostly around doors and ladders) the player just stops being able to move. I can still shoot and look around...

Hmm. This should not happen in the latest release. Ca3DE has a very solid clip code and in all my tests, I never get stuck. Can you reproduce this, or send/post a screenshot of a place where it frequently happens?
Best regards,
Carsten
User avatar
Stephen
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-05-01, 06:34
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Ca3DE 8.08 (August 2008) released!

Postby Stephen » 2008-08-26, 12:00

Carsten wrote:Ah, I see. Just out of curiosity, how do you achieve that transparency? Is it a OS feature or that of an external add-on program? What OS and/or what program are you using, in which version?


I'm using Compiz Fusion on Ubuntu Linux. I'll grab a screenshot later.

As for the issues about getting stuck - I'll have another play and see if it happens again.

Return to “News and Announcements”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest