The Drag[en]gine is an free software project with a highly modular structure based on the GLEM System. Its design is similar to an operating system. The entire functionality is provided by Modules comparable to device drivers. The engine itself acts like a system kernel managing modules, resources and abstracting the underlying system. Due to the loose coupling of the modules with the system and other modules it is very easy to exchange or improve them without interfering with the rest of the engine. As a result the modularity extends from the developer to the end user who can now choose the optimal module combination for his personal computer even down to per game setups ( and even while running a game ) if required. Developers do not have to worry anymore about low level concerns keeping them concentrated on their game. In contrary to other engines (including high-end commercial ones) the Drag[en]gine provides true 0-Day portability of games with no extra costs and no troubles neither for the developer nor the end user.

Advantages of the Drag[en]gine

... for the Game Designer:

  • Use your Scripting Language of choice.
  • Hardware is fully abstracted. You only have to know how your chosen Scripting Language works
  • Updating the engine and modules is handled by the respective teams. You only have to worry about updating your game
  • No need to write specific content for specific systems. The users choice of modules takes care of this for you

... for the Module Coder:

  • Play around with individual parts of the engine without disturbing any other part. Test easy and fast new algorithms or features
  • Various debugging features help to debug fast and easy modules even during run-time
  • Loose coupling and high encapsulation yields in a more stable game engine
  • Platform specific code is only handled in modules increasing portability

... for the Customer:

  • Choose the optimal combination of modules for your system. The Drag[en]gine adapts to match your system not the other way 'round!
  • Open standards and free file formats ensure unrestricted and easy modding using free software applications
  • Various Launchers allow you to use the Drag[en]gine for more than just gaming
  • The Crash Recovery System prevents a game from crashing to desktop. While CRS is running change parameters or entire modules and continue your game from where it went out for lunch.

For more information check out the Drag[en]gine Wiki.

Features

Due to the modular nature a fixed list of engine features as other engines provide is not possible since it all depends on the customer's choices. To avoid cluttering the summary find the features list in this article:

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: NPC Simulation and Engine Features

About Epsylon with 2 comments by Dragonlord on Dec 7th, 2014

NPC Simulation and AI

Lots of work has been done in the recent weeks so let's keep it short. Most of it are engine internal modifications required for the NPC simulation system to work as intended but this comes below (techincal, so you can skip it if you want).

The main focus is on a dynamic investigation and this requires the world to keep turning while you are busy snooping around. In particular NPCs (good and bad) are kept simulating while offline (out of player area or even a different game zone). This forces the player to re-think his investigation practices since bad things can go down while you are at the wrong end of the city. The video contains a little bit about this system.

Also included in the video a quick peek at the conversation mock-up system. You might know the typical way to mock-up conversations in a text editor. It goes similar like "A: i'm saying this" and "B: i'm saying that". Using this simple system you can now quickly mock up conversations.

So where is this heading?
What will support if you press that little green button below?

You will be not following a pre-written script as in other detective games,
you are going to take on a criminal mind AI.
That's right.
You are on the trail of an ongoing case and the AI is trying to foil with your investigation while you try to foil with it's plans.

Do you have what it takes to beat the AI?


Indie of the Year Awards

Engine Features

The technical side of the show. Lots of work went into optimizing engine speed especially in physics and collision detection (like down from 300ms to 1ms or below). This took a lot of time including wrestling with Bullet Physics not playing nicely with the kids. What's new in the engine (and shown in the video):

  • Tesselation support using 'height' texture property
  • NavMesh debug display (grid/mesh, face normals, non-matching faces, path-debugging and so forth)
  • Added support to load/save navigation test cases in world editor
  • Improving blender nav-space export scripts
  • Improving navigation path calculation especially over longer distances and across multiple spaces
  • Added configurable navigation space snapping for easier and more robust workflow
  • Paste conversation snippet in text form into conversation editor to quickly mock up conversations (see above)
  • Module versioning (work with multiple module versions on the same installation, for example to safely test module updates/betas or dealing with bugs/incompatibilities)
  • Explosion push type for rig editor
  • Collider constraint breaking
  • Adding support to load/save navigation test files (world editor)
  • Massively improving physics calculation speed in bullet physics module
  • Slowmotion support in the rig editor
  • Optimize animator module animation calculation speed
  • Added bone mass from volume action to rig editor
  • Added select all bones with shapes action to rig editor
  • Adding bone import dialog and improving bone importing
  • Added breaking threshold support to constraints
  • Added navigation blocker support

This has been all a large step forward towards the first release. Still a few things to tackle but this one here had been a larger task to finish. So here the technical video and up until next time.


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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 88)
DonBre
DonBre Jun 11 2014, 6:44pm says:

Really love the video and how the dragon was modeled

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lord_Baal
Lord_Baal Jun 11 2014, 3:42pm says:

Hi, could this be used for example, to make a game that's a combination between Civ and Total War?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Jun 12 2014, 1:40pm replied:

In general you can use it for any kind of game. The engine is build on prodiving a generic approach with common game building elements without limiting you on a certain game type.

+2 votes   reply to comment
SinKing
SinKing Apr 17 2014, 1:55pm says:

One question - is there any kind of lightmap baking involved for static meshes, such as in Unreal Engine? I recently used Unity, CrySDK and Unreal 4 and U4 needs different assets (convex/closed meshes are best), while Cry and Unity don't and light everything in realtime; or so it seems.

If the first is the case, would it be possible to bake lightmaps for the levels in Maya and use them in your editor? I've always found it annoying how you are forced to bake these lightmaps with UDK's crappy baking. I would always prefer to bake it in my 3D program, because then I can have some control.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Apr 18 2014, 7:56pm replied:

The graphic modules are free to choose dynamic or static lighting as they see fit. The default is fully dynamic lighting. If a graphic module chooses to use static lighting it is responsible to build those on the fly itself.

The graphic module used here does fully dynamic lighting. I could add a pre-lighting texture property if the demand exists. In this case the light map could be done with any application able to export them to an image file.

I don't know about CE but as far as I know Unity works a lot with light maps while it though also supports dynamic lighting.

+2 votes   reply to comment
HeadClot
HeadClot Jan 3 2014, 2:54pm says:

When is this going to be released?

Just curious :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Jan 3 2014, 3:09pm replied:

When all the tickets for the first release are implemented. But the ticket tracker is not yet visible to the public so I can just say WID. I'm trying to steam it ahead to get it out this year (hopefully earlier than later).

+3 votes   reply to comment
HeadClot
HeadClot Jan 3 2014, 3:51pm replied:

So here goes a question - Should I start developing my game with Drag[en]gine in mind (Making assets, etc.) now or wait?

I really want to use this engine for my game. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Jan 3 2014, 4:20pm replied:

In general there is no need to develop with the Drag[en]gine in mind. The concept is rather generic so if you use for example Blender you can easily export model, rig and animation resources with little problem. If required other file formats can be supported by creating additional resource loading modules. In general the Drag[en]gine separates resources into clearly defined sub-units you can easily export and combine.

The only part where you need to pay attention are the skins. The Drag[en]gine uses physically based rendering and a texture property oriented system. In contrary to other game engines you work there with a physically oriented system where the used texture maps differ quite a bit from those used by other engines.

Hence if you want to make already assets to be used later on in the Drag[en]gine avoid making texture maps apart from color, normal and transparency unless you use the artists chart provided on the Wiki. Otherwise you have to redo the textures. Color, normal and transparency though can be easily reused without problems.

+3 votes   reply to comment
HeadClot
HeadClot Jan 3 2014, 4:26pm replied:

Alright sounds good and Thanks for your detailed response. :)

I guess I should start getting my project together.

As for the asset pipeline what does dragon engine support in terms of 3D File formats?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Jan 3 2014, 7:07pm replied:

Right now my own 3D file format but this is going to change in the future. The Drag[en]gine model format though is feature complete (supports all model features of the engine) and can be exported from Blender using the scripts coming with the engine. Other file formats like OBJ for example are not feature-complete and would prevent the use of certain features like multiple LOD meshes or fine tuned normals and tangents.

+2 votes   reply to comment
HeadClot
HeadClot Feb 18 2014, 3:08am replied:

Hey Dragonlord - What about support for 3D Studio Max or Maya with DragonEngine?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Feb 18 2014, 12:33pm replied:

3DS is a proprietary format so as free software I have no legal right to load that file format. With Maya I don't know but I think it's proprietary too so the same should apply. In general I'm open to support new file formats if the file format definition is free to access and if there is no legal limitation preventing the use in a free software project.

+2 votes   reply to comment
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