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: Navigation Splicing and more

About Epsylon with 0 comments by Dragonlord on Dec 25th, 2014

Navigation splicing and more

After some days off this project is back on track. Here little something to get you across to the new year: Navigation Splicing. The last time I showed navigation blockers carving out form existing navigation meshes. Now the last piece is into place. Navigation spaces can now have integrated blockers. This way they do not only carve out other navigation spaces they also splice in their own into the resulting holes. While doing so edges are automatically split to allow proper snapping together. This allows to dynamically upgrade navigation meshes by not only blocking existing path but also opening up new path for the AI. It's all working automatically without extra work, especially no re-casting of nav-meshes for example.

So what will this be used for in Epsylon? Actually for two things. First it helps to speed up creation of maps. Locations can be quickly created by placing a generic nav-space like rooms in LEGO style and placing in them various other objects. Navigation is automatically calculated at run-time to produce believable AI. The second use is for dynamic story telling. For example if you have to snoop around a place (or rescue somebody) the "location" is dynamically modified before first use to give you a unique experience with every play-through. This applies also to other situations. With this the final word is spoken for the navigation system in connection with meshes.

Another little upgrade happened in the conversation system. The conversation window received some touch-ups and has been reworked. The conversation control stay now out of your view while a conversation part is running showing up only when you need them. Furthermore scripting has been modified to allow for more game mechanics to be implemented later on using the conversation system. The entity display has now colored icones so the player better finds what he's looking for. Filtering has been also experimented with but will not be finalized until later on with more content to test what is really needed.

So here is the video. It shows the navigation splicing in action in the editor (shows how the path adjusts itself) and in-game (how AI can use dynamically altered navigation spaces). Furthermore the reworked conversation window in action.


Besides this there had been some other changes here and there:

  • Added "Limit" animator rule. Allows to clamp dynamic animations to avoid strange positions.
  • Added OpenAL speaker management to deal with hardware limitations.
  • NPC activation/deactivation work in progress on distance and zone based switching (trying to get more performance out of it)

More to come in January.

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Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 88)
Bahl
Bahl Nov 21 2010, 12:43pm says:

I really like the entire approach of this project. I would like to use this technology for an anticipated project, but after reading the homepage and wiki, I understand that it is in a premature development phase. Do you have any sort of project communication like quakenet IRC? The epsilon forum seems to be down.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 22 2010, 5:35pm replied:

Currently this is done using the ModDB page. The forum is indeed down since the forum software fails to run with the new PostgreSQL server version for some unknown reason (only application on my server right now breaking down on this version). Fixing this forum did not have priority so far but I can try changing this if people want a forum already now.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Nov 26 2010, 12:15pm replied:

Not necessary. I am mostly interested in some technical information concerning how the game logic can be plugged in. there seem to be modules to support dragonscript and two others, but I will probably want to plugg unscripted. that probably means, I'll implement an own 'script' module that implements the game logic, and there I'd be interested in the API.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 26 2010, 5:04pm replied:

For the game logic you choose a Scripting Module. This choice defines which language you use for your game scripts as well as how the engine is abstracted (ranging from mostly wrapping engine classes all the way to point and click). If you can manage you should choose an existing Scripting Module and start from there. If you want to use a new language not supported yet you can create a new Scripting Module. The module itself has to be available online though so every user (using their launcher of choice) can obtain it to play the game. People are always welcome to add more Scripting Modules.

In general the Scripting Module sort of defines the API you access the engine with and the Scripting/Programming language to use it. So unless the language is not supported there is no need to write a new module since you get with the existing modules (all three languages) already full wrapper access (engine API mostly wrapped 1-to-1). Hence by writing a new Scripting Module one does not gain much more customization. I hope this explains it a bit already otherwise just keep asking.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Nov 27 2010, 12:11pm replied:

well, it confirms my expectations :-). It is good information though, that all engine classes are wrapped as an API by the three existing script modules.

What I would want to do, is implement more high level game logic facilities inside compiled code (unscripted) and then probably add a different script on top that makes use of these facilities. maybe you could call it a game logic tool box. As long as I don't know what is already part of the API, I can just guess, that I would want such a tool box.

Is there some sort of documentation available of the current API wrapped by the scripting modules?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 27 2010, 12:53pm replied:

Such a documentation does not yet exist. In general though one can look at the Wiki which contains a more descriptive description of some basic building blocks provided by the engine (and exposed more or less 1-1 by the Scripting Modules) as well as the Doxygen of the C++ Engine API (http://dragengine.rptd.ch/docs/dragengine/latest/index.html, that said, I should update it again). Since the Scripting Modules wrap the Engine API one can get an idea there. In the scripts it's simpler since C++ related problems like memory management or type safety is taken care of there already.

Concerning un-scripted. In general you should be able to do complex game logic using scripts only in a fast way (I'm doing this with the Epsylon project). The way the engine is designed all the number crunching stuff is done by the engine and made available to the scripts through the wrappers. Hence by combining the building blocks properly one should be able to delegate all time critical computations to the engine modules which in turn optimize them.

Otherwise Python has support for byte code generation in general (*.pyc). I did not check out yet how to incorporate this into an embedded Python session but this is similar to JIT like in Java. Hence if you plan to do number crunching not handled by the engine this language should provide you with a pure scripted solution which still runs fast without having to worry about compiling.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Nov 28 2010, 1:05pm replied:

Thanks for the information, I shall patiently wait for the doxygen update :-).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 28 2010, 3:54pm replied:

Updated the DoxyGen at the URL given above

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Nov 29 2010, 4:05pm replied:

Thanks for updating the doxygen :-). Let's see if I can summarize the API in a few handy words.

- under common the folders curve, math, shape for base geometry, color data classes and operations on them.

- the folder filesystem plus under common the folders string, xmlparser, file for base text persistence classes and operations on them.

- the folders logger, errortracing plus under common the folders exceptions for cross cutting error handling.

- the folder resources which seems to include mid and high level visual entities, artificial intelligence, physical and networking.

- the folder systems, containing the folder modules, containing interfaces for all modules, which then probably during runtime get their different implementations plugged at the will of the user.

All in all a neat setup :-). Maybe slightly unbalanced folder tree and a bit inconsistent sorting of the related structures, but oh well, systems grow and have a life ;-).

Now taking a look at the scripting:

- first impression is, it seems to be heavily relying on events and the implementation seems to be required to implement a lot of callbacks for AI, physics, rendering, network... . That sure covers the necessities for game logic, but seems quite cumbersome as a base layer.

- first idea is, I'd want to provide base game logic entities like avatar, tool, material, product, monster, machine, and some abstract game facilities to bind all the nuts and bolts together to something easily accessible. But maybe my short skim over the documentation made me overlook some gems that possibly already fulfill such desires?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 30 2010, 11:35am replied:

Moves this to an article.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Nov 30 2010, 2:02pm replied:

Aye sir ;-). Moddb.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Nov 30 2010, 5:47pm replied:

Sorry, you misunderstood me. I meant that "I" moved it to an article including the answer (see "Features" in this profile).

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bahl
Bahl Dec 2 2010, 2:59pm replied:

Oh right, thanks! I hope some other avid fan of your concept will soon replace this long wall of text in your engines comments first page soon :-).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Dec 4 2010, 11:15am replied:

Nah, sorry, I don't "use" brainless zombies or lemmings :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
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