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Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #60 on: September 18, 2018, 12:02:08 pm »
Hi everyone !, hope you are doing greet  ;D. Today let's talk about Animation.

Animation Tools

In order to simplify Animations management the Nero Engine relies on other tools. Texture Packer and ShoeBox.

Texture packer

I've already talked about this one. It's a tool that let you pack several images in one Spritesheet.
When you use Texture Packer to pack your animation, you obtain two files. A image file (.png, .jpeg, etc) and a Json file. The Nero Engine relies on this two files to generate animations.

ShoeBox

What is ShoeBox ? ShoeBox also allows to pack image files. But the great thing is that it also allows to Unpack Spritesheets. When you search for animations over the internet, most of the time you will find some animation SpriteSheets. And there come a question : The animation is already packed, how am I going to use it in Texture packer ?. Well,  ShoeBox can unpack SpriteSeets, it can also unpack GIF images. Yep, If you have an animation in GiF format, you can unpack it using an online service or with ShoeBox.

ShoeBox is free, you can find it here.

Load Animation

When you obtain the two files generated by Texture Packer, you simply have to copy and paste them in the "/Resource/Animation" directory. The rest is automatic, the Engine read your files and build the Animations.

In the picture bellow, you can see that each animation is made of one PNG file and one JSON file. Both files must have the same name.


Animation Object

On the left of the Engine Interface, There is now an Animation Tab. All loaded animations can be founded there. Animations work like Sprites. If you put the mouse over an Animation_Button you can see a Preview.
If you click on a Animation_Button you add a Animation_Object onto the Canvas.

Animations are like any other Object, you can move them arround, Rotate them, Scale them, Duplication them etc.

Like Sprite, you can change the Color of your Animation, simply select the Animation Object and process like if it was a Sprite Object.

A Layer of Animations appears with a Yellow color, this is temporary I will review all the Colors for Layer's types

Animations and Physics

Again the process is the same as for Sprite_Object. Hold CRTL and Click on a Animation_Button to add a Animation_Meshed_Object onto the Canvas. When a Animation_Meshed_Object is selected you can go to the Mesh Tab and change the properties of its Mesh Object. When you build your Scene by clicking on the "Return key" or the "Play Button" the Animation_Meshed_Object becomes a Animation_Solid_Object.

A Layer of Animation_Meshed_Object appears with a Light Blue color, this is a temporary color;

Animation Sequences

An Animation is made of Sequences. Each animation has at least one sequence. If the Animation concerns a character we usally have something like ("idle", "walk", "run", "jump"). If the Animation concerns a simple background object like flowers or animals you simply have one sequence.

When you add an Animation Object onto the canvas, the Animation has it's default sequence selected.  In order to do that, the Engine need to know the name of the default sequence.  For a character the default sequence is the "idle" sequence. But for a none character animation is it called "idle" ? I had three choices : "idle", "default", "The name of the animation". I took the last one.

If you have an Animation called "player" and the following seqences ("idle", "walk", "run", "jump"), the Engine will expect you to name your sequences as followed
("player", "walk", "run", "jump").

If you have a Animation called "flower" whith one sequence, the engine will expect that sequence to be called "flower".

The Sequence Tab

Alongside with the Sprite, Animation and other Tabs, you now have the Sequence Tab. By default this Tab is empty, but when you select an Animation Object, the Sequence Tab shows all the Sequences available for the selected Animation Object.

From this tab you can configure the frame rate of each sequence. the value is in hertz (inverse of second). If you choose of frame rate of "10", it means "1/10 second";

(click to show/hide)


Animation is not Just Animation

You can see a nero::AnimationObject like a nero::SpriteObject that have the power to change is internal Sprite whenever it want. Imagine you have a breakable object in your game. That object will have several state ("healthy", "half break", "break"). This is not a animation, but it can be represented whith a Animation Object.

In order to say to a Animation to stop being a animation, you simply have to tell him to never update itself
animation_object->setUpdateable(false);

After that you have the power to controle the animation manually.
animation_object->setFrame(0) // by default the object is healthy
animation_object->setFrame(1) //the object has been half broken, let go to the second frame
animation_object->setFrame(2) //the object has been complety broken let go to the last frame

that's all for Animation, I will make a post later today in order to present other new features.
Here is a video that shows how Animation looks like



« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 12:18:38 pm by Sk Landry »

Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #61 on: September 18, 2018, 03:37:55 pm »
Hi again ! Now the Engine have Animations (see the post above), but that's not all. In this post I will show all the new features I've been working on

Merge Layer

It is now possible to merge two layers. The only condition is that, they have to be of the same type (the same color).
On the Right of the Engine there are two new buttons: "Merge UP" and "Merge Down".
When you merge up by example, the content of the currently selected layer is taken and added to the layer above.



The Axis icon

On the bottom left of the Canvas there is now a Icon that shows the direction of the X and Y axis. I saw this in Blender so I thought it would be cool to have one in the Engine  8). The Icon rotate when the Camera rotate. You can hide it if you want, just uncheck the "Axis" check box on the Right of the Engine Interface.



Scale preview with Mouse Wheel

When the mouse is over a Sprite_Button or a Animation_Button, you can now scale the preview with the Mouse Wheel. Previously the Divide_Key and Multiply_Key were used, but using the Mouse Wheel is more fun  :).

Mesh Edition, Axe aligned movement

Mesh edition can be tough sometimes. In certain cases you want to move a vertex, only vertically or only horizontally but your mouse just doesn't want to let you do that. Now you don't have to be an expert at moving the mouse to do what you want. I made a little change in the algorithm. When moving a vertex, a line or an entire mesh, if your movement is more vertical than horizontal the Engine will assume that your movement is only vertical.

Example : we have a vertex at (1, 1). we apply a movement of (2, 4). the result should be (1+2, 1+4) = (2, 5).
but now the engine say, abs(4) > abs(2) so lets apply a movement of (0, 4) instead, the movement is nullify on the x Axis.

The Canvas Grid

This feature is still in development. By default the Grid is Hidden, you can make it visible by checking the "Grid" check box on the Right of the Engine.

What I am trying to do here is a "Infinite" Grid. When the Grid is Axe aligned there is no problem to simulate an "Infinite" Grid, you can move the Camera vertically or horizontally as you want, the Grid will adapt itself. But When the Grid is rotated, it becomes difficult to simulate "Infinity".

For now I am just playing with this feature I don't know exactly what it will be.



Lua Script

The integration of Lua in the Engine is beginning slowly. Each nero::Scene now have a instance of a  "Lua State" called "L". All the Lua standard libraries are loaded by default. If you have some experience with Lua and C++ you can already begin to call your scripts in your nero::Scene Class.

Github updated

The Github repository have been updated. we are now at the version 0.8.0 . The code is not stable, I will have to review the code to make sure every is right. When it's done I will publish a new version of the SDK with all the new features. If you like the project don't forget to give a start to the project on Github


That's all for now. thank you for reading my posts and see you later.

Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2018, 08:57:13 am »
The Nero Adventure Scene

Hi everyone, how do you do.

In order to complet the Engine and reach the first version, I needed to work on a concrete Game Scene. So I took the code of my game prototype and begin to update it. I gave up on the name "Kero", it's now call the "Nero Adventure Scene". The artwork I'am using is from the Open Pixel Project and the Kenney Asset Store.

The Scene will be composed of 5 parts:
   1- A Startup Screen (display when the Render Engine start)
   2- A Game Menu Screen
   3- A Game Scene (the actual game)
   4- A Pause Screen
   5- A Credit Screen (display when you finish the game)

The idea is to cover most of the Engine features. The code develop in this game will be added in the "Nero Game Lib" library.

Here is a first look of the main character


Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2018, 11:41:42 am »
Hi everyone !. Hope your are doing great.  ;D
I made a lot of progress on the Engine development, I had not enough time to write a post, so there will be a lot to say.

Text Object

New object types have been added in the Engine. Let's begin by the Text Object.

On the left of the Engine Interface, along with the Sprite Tab, there is a new Tab named Text. From this Tab you can create some Text Objects and edit their properties.

Like other object types, a Text_Object can be moved, rotated, scaled, duplicated etc.

When a Text Object is selected you can change its font, its font size (character size), its outline thickness and its style (bold, italic, underline, linethrough).

From the Color_Tab you can change the text color but also the text outline color.

I'm currently using SFML 2.4.1, in the latest versions of SFML, there are two other text properties : Latter Spacing and Line Spacing. I will add those properties when I update SFML.

Write a New Line.

In order to return to the line when writting the text of your Text Object, you must insert a special character. By default it is  the pipe ( | ) character. You can choose the character you want my modifying the configuration file config/engine_config.json. The property is named carriage_return

It's more easy to explain with a video. So here is one.




Re-order Object

There are now two buttons allowing to move a Object Up or Down in the current Layer.




Default file/directory generation

In a previous post, I said the Engine need some directories and files to be available in order to work properly. For example we have the resource directory and all its sub directories, the log configuration file, the Sansation font, and some new config files I added recently.

From now on the Engine will generate those files and directories automatically on startup if they do not exist.

There are many configuration files in the config directory, If you made some changes on them and want to revert the changes, just delete them, the engine will bring them back.


The Log View

Bellow the Engine Canvas you got the Log View. It is now possible to log in this area from a nero::Scene. Each nero::Scene now provide a function void log(std::string message) that print its message in the Log view. This function internally call the nero_log(message) function, so the message will be also print in the console.

If you create a new class and want to log from this class to the Log View it's pretty easy. The log function is store in a std::function<void(string)>, you can retrieve it with the nero::Scene function getLog() and give it to your class;

myNewClass.setLog( getLog() );


FrameRate and FrameTime

From a nero::Scene it is now possible to retrieve the FrameRate and FrameTime with float getFrameRate() and float getFrameTime().
  • The frame rate is the number frame in one second.
  • The frame time is the duration of one frame in seconds.
The Engine Interface show its own frameRate and frameTime at the Canvas bottom right. The Engine Interface frameRate is not the actual Game frameRate. Since the Engine Interface manage more things, the Game frameRate will be higher.




All nero::Scene Attributes Private

All the attributes in a nero::Scene are now private. Attributes will be accessed by some getters and setters.

It's no longer possible to write :
m_ObjectManager->findObject(name)
Now you will have to write :
getObjectManager()->findObject(name)

The objective is to secure the nero::Scene class. If a variable can be modified there will a setter, if a variable can be accessed there will be getter. This offer a more clean interface.


Last active Scene.

If you are working on several Scenes at the same time, you may switch between Scenes many time. From now on, if you close the Engine and restart it, the Engine will remember the last Scene you were working on, and will select it on Startup.

If the Engine is close properly via the Window close button or the Quit button above the Canvas, the Engine will save all your scenes befor to shutdown.


That's all for this post. There are more changes in the Engine, but those will be for another post. Have a good day !  :)

« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 06:29:38 pm by Sk Landry »

Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #64 on: November 27, 2018, 02:15:11 pm »
Hi everyone, how are you doing ! Let's continous with the Engine Updates.

Fix Game loop

When playing with my Adventure Scene I notices that the game speed was not stable. Sometime the game accelerate, some time it slow down. The default loop speed is 60 FPS. This is a fixed time, so it surprised me to have that issue. But after inspecting the Engine game loop I saw that the rendering was done in the while loop.

while(timeSinceLastUpdate > TIME_PER_FRAME)
{
    //retrieve 1/60 second in the accumulated time
    timeSinceLastUpdate -= TIME_PER_FRAME;

    //1... handle user inputs
    handleEvent();
    //2... update the game
    update(TIME_PER_FRAME);
    //3... render the game
    render();
}

I put the rendering out of the game loop, now thing work smoothly.

while(timeSinceLastUpdate > TIME_PER_FRAME)
{
    //retrieve 1/60 second in the accumulated time
    timeSinceLastUpdate -= TIME_PER_FRAME;

    //1... handle user inputs
    handleEvent();
    //2... update the game
    update(TIME_PER_FRAME);
}

//3... render the game
render();


The Grid

I now completed the Grid feature. I give up on the idea to build an infinite Grid. Building a grid that update it self when the camera moves is pretty complex and I didn't have time to do it.

The new Grid use a more simple approach. The Grid is made of cells. You can configure the width and the height of cells and choose how many cells you want horizontally and vertically. Finally you can move the entire Grid.

The movement of the Grid is not pixel based. You don't realy move the Grid , it is more accurate to say that you apply an offset to the Grid . Move the Grid is equalent to offset the Grid of one cell. By example if you move the Grid up, the Grid will move of one cell up and the same goes for the other directions.

Also the color of the Grid can be changed from the Color Tab.

Next time I will present the most important new feature that as been added to the Engine : Screens and Screens Stack. The Grid plays an important role for Screens so I needed to present it before.



Sk Landry

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Re: Nero Game Engine
« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2018, 07:03:16 pm »
Hi everyone, how do you do, Hope your are doing great.  :)

Twitter account

I opened a Twitter account some days ago, you can follow me and stay update any time on the Engine development.
Twitter - NeroGameEngine.

Scene Screens

Today we are going to talk Screens. This is a new feature in the Engine, I did not plan it for the first version, but I finally thought it would be cool to have it.

What is a Screen ?

First, let's begin by what most people know : Game States. In a Game we generally have several states like : the game levels (each level being a state), the start menu, the pause menu, the options menu and many more. In order to manage all those states people generally develop a Sates and States_Stack system. In this system you can switch between States by pushing or poping them.

Instead of using a State/States_Stack System, the Nero Game Engine will use two differents systems. the Screen System and the World Chunk System. Those two systems combined will offer more power than a simple State System.

  • Screens :
Screens are displayed on top of the Game world. They can be used to build game menu but they can also be used as a UI Panel (window) in a menu.
  • World Chunk :
A World Chunk is a part of the Game World that can be load or destroy dynamically (during the game). Therefore One World chunk can represent a game level, but also, One game level can have any number of World chunks. The ability to load and destroy World Chunks dynamically will allows to build very large level. World Chuncks will be added in the second version of Engine.


Add, Delete and Rename Screens

On the top left of the Engine Interface, just after the Utility_Tab, we now have the Screen_Tab. From this tab, we can see all the available Screens, add new Screens, delete Screens or rename Screens.

Each Scene always has at least one Screen, you can delete any Screens but once it left only one Screen, the delete button will have no effect.




World View and Screen View

By default the Engine start in the World View. In order to access Screens we need to switch to the Screen View. On the right of the Engine Interface there is a button called Screen View. It's a toggle button, when the button is activated we goes in Screen View, when it's desactivated we come back to the World View.



The current View mode is also displayed on the bottom right of the canvas.



Just below the Screen View button there is a list that allows to select a Screen.




Build Screens

When a Screen is selected we can start building it. Each Screen has its own Canvas color, its own Grid, its own Camera, its own layers. Basically everything you do when a Screen is selected will affect only that Screen. Each Screen maintains its own Undos and Redos

Not all types of Objects can be added to a Screen. There is no Physics in a Screen, Therefore it's not possible to add Mesh_Objects, Meshed_Objects (Sprite with Mesh) and Animation_Meshed_Objects (Animation with Mesh) In Screens.

We can only add Sprite_Objects, Animation_Objects, Text_Objects and Button_Objects.

Button_Object is a new type of Object that can be add on Screens but not in the Game World, I will present it in my next post.

Screen and Grid

In my last post, I said that the Grid was important for Screens, it's time to know why. Screens are rendered on top of the Game World and they are not affected by the Camera movement. Therefore in order to be visible a Screen must be contained in a strict area. Since the Canvas is infinite it's become easy to be lost. This is were the Grid comes, if you plan to render your game in a 800 x 600 resolution or a 1024 x 800 resolution, you will have to configure a Grid of the same resolution with an offset of (0, 0). The Grid will represent the Screen area and everything in the Grid will be displayed.

That's all for this post, there is more on Screens but that will be for the next post. The video shows the different Screens I built for the Adventure Scene.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 07:31:47 pm by Sk Landry »

 

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