This release is mostly interesting for developers, as it contains both the user demo as well as the SDK, updating all developer tools to the latest versions.
This is the first Ca3DE release that ships with everything combined in a single package: The download file contains the latest binaries both for i386 Windows as well as for Linux, and both the demo for users as well as the SDK files for developers. This new single-package approach only adds little overhead for those who only want to run Ca3DE on a single platform, but significantly reduces the load for those who want to try Ca3DE on multiple platforms and also want to have a look into the developers files.
Moreover, Ca3DE now adopts the version-numbering scheme from Ubuntu-Linux, where the version number is based on the year and the month of the release: This is version 7.07 of Ca3DE, indicating that it was released in July 2007.
Here is an overview of the enhancements since the previous February 2007 ("7.02") demo release:
- The (DeathMatch example) game code has been greatly revised and expanded, with the most significant enhancement being the introduction of Map/Entity scripting support, based on the Lua programming language.
The scripting support code is not yet entirely finished; presenting a finished and full-featured version is planned for the subsequent August or September 2007 ("7.09") release, but programmers might already want to have a look at the new files in Games/DeathMatch/Code/.
Implementing the scripting system also involved (and still involves) many related enhancements and changes to the Ca3D-Engine core.
- The Ca3DE Virtual File System is now also employed not only in the Ca3D-Engine itself, but also in all other programs: The map compilers, CaWE, the material and model viewers, etc.
- Many smaller fixes and enhancements to CaWE, the Ca3DE World Editor:
- The window size can now be reduced to 960x720 pixels without corrupting the display of the VisGroups and status bar (important for creating CaWE Flash tutorials).
- The texture for the "CaWE/Overlay" material (used for rendering selected map primitives) is now properly loaded again.
- Terrain heightmaps are now loaded properly from image files again (the last two issues were a result of the improper introduction of the Ca3DE Virtual File System into CaWE, which has been revised).
- The Material Browser now excludes materials whose meta_editorImage property is set to "noEditor" from being displayed (this is very useful to not clutter the Material Browser with all the materials from sprites, models and other non-mapping materials).
- A new PointLightSource entity type has been added that allows to freely place dynamic point light sources.
- Support for many new model file formats has been added:
A native implementation adds support for .lwo (LightWave Object) model files.
With the help of the mesh loaders from the great Irrlicht graphics library, support for all these file formats has been added, too:
3D Studio meshes (.3ds), B3D files (.b3d), Alias Wavefront Maya (.obj), Cartography shop 4 (.csm), COLLADA (.xml, .dae), DeleD (.dmf), FSRad oct (.oct), Irrlicht scenes (.irr), Microsoft DirectX (.x) (binary & text), Milkshape (.ms3d), My3DTools 3 (.my3D), OGRE meshes (.mesh), Pulsar LMTools (.lmts), Quake 3 levels (.bsp) and Quake 2 models (.md2).