Sunday, October 26, 2008

Its been a long time

I truly cannot believe that it has been 4 months since I've updated this blog. The summer months have sped past. There was a period of quiet time for Decade with me taking time out for holidays and then some personal time to relax and pursue other projects. A number of weeks ago I approached Decade again and have since given it a complete overhaul.

No longer is Decade contained within 1 project. Logically dividing the sections up into DecadeUtilities, DecadeScript, DecadePhysics, DecadeInput, DecadeOnline, DecadeGraphics and DecadeEngine, a DLL has been created for each resulting in a complete game engine. Another advantage of this is that each of the components resides behind an "Abstraction Layer" therefore allowing me to change individual components such as graphics API, physics engine without having to recompile and deliver the whole game.

The names of the components descript pretty well what functionality is contained however for clarity I will give a brief overview starting at the bottom.
DecadeUtilities contains random functionality which does not meet the criteria of the other DLL's as well as functionality which is common to many of the DLL's higher up the chain. e.g Math, I/O

DecadeScript contains methods for loading and executing scripts at run time. As well as Decade calling functions within the script, most of the objects in the Decade suite of DLL's have been bound to the script engine allowing powerful control of the game engine from the script level. In the long term this will allow allot of customisation and add on capability to games made with the Decade Engine. Supported script engines are Game Monkey with LUA support currently being added.

DecadePhysics as the name suggests contains a physics engine. In keeping with the other DLL's in the Decade Suite all the physics engine functionality is contained within an "Abstraction Layer" which will allow support for other physics engines to be added quickly and easily. ODE is the current 3rd party physics engine supported by Decade.

DecadeInput contains functionality for all input methods. Keyboard, Mouse and Joystick/Joypad support are easy to add to your game project and with simple bindings to the script engine it takes a matter of minutes to map your keypress's or mouse moves to your desired functionality.

DecadeOnline is the encapsulation of online communication methods for multi-player online games. Offering you the possibility to create a server or client with ease and communicate over TCP or UDP.

DecadeGraphics contains all the graphics API functionality required in a 2D or 3D game, from creating an index or vertex buffer, loading a texture to graphics memory, executing a vertex or fragment shader. DecadeEngine currently uses OpenGL however a DirectX version of this DLL should be available in the near future.

DecadeEngine is the main interface to the Decade suite. This layer contains all the 2D and 3D engine functionality such as loading a texture, loading a mesh, creating a terrain or planet, lights, shadows etc....