sorry for the delay. This month we were are very busy with college, but there was still time for some great uEngine/GLBike development. Let's start with some reports from the coding team and finish with design progress.
First thing to say: We recoded the whole GLBike runtime. After implementing most big features we were looking forward to, we analyzed the problems with the code structure and recoded everything. This looks like a big deal, but most work was in-fact done in one week. Now our codebase is much cleaner, easier to understand and more stable. We also prepared some great features, like the ability to use power-ups, even more racing modes and a cool in-game scoreboard. The restructure was definitely worth it and will help us in our further development.
uEngine also got some great improvements and even a new module: a FontRenderer. To achieve our goal of providing an in-game scoreboard, that is rendered into the scene (onto a texture), we need a renderer for fonts. To provide maximum flexibility, we build the module around the freetype library, so we can now load scalable character images and perform some very clear looking font rendering. We are no more limited to bitmap fonts!
Another great feature is realtime mirror rendering. Yes, we've done it. We can specify a random shape and place it onto the xz plane, and the engine will render beautiful reflections of the whole scene onto the object. And yes, it is still compatible to OpenGL 1.1!
To prevent the text from filling a book, let's list other new features:
- skybox rendering
- animators (to easily animate scene entities)
- extended scene xml parsing
On the design-related side of the game, we did a lot of polishing and creation. We designed new vehicles which will drive around the game field. They will probably not be available for driving onto the grid, but instead drive along a street network to bring the city to life. We created new advertisings for the houses, finally did a proper texture for the train track and modified the scene to use the new mirror feature as a great improvement in the visual quality. Definitely a lot of work, and we are very pleased with the result.
We want to finish with a small hint. A very good friend of us, Oli, is working on a huge surprise for all of you. We already saw some work in progress pictures, and all of us (and our friends) freaked out. I don't want to say what it's all about yet, but it will reveal a lot more of the game and it's design. Stay tuned so you won't miss anything!
Until next month.