Review of 2014 & Outlook on 2015

First off: Happy New Year to everyone!

As the old year starts to slowly fade away in our rear view mirror, we want to look back on what 2014 had in store for Ogre3D and at the same time look ahead what 2015 might bring. So strap in for this ride back to the beginning of last year…

Review of 2014

It all started off with one key event early in 2014 when one well-known (at least in Ogre3D circles) Argentinian fellow joined the team: Matias Goldberg. In the last few months he was (and still is) the driving force behind the efforts to develop the revamped Ogre 2.0 version. Without him that would not have been possible in its current form…or more accurately: It would not have been possible…full stop.

The work on Ogre 2.0 was one of the cornerstones in last year’s efforts, but of course the rest of the team was not sitting around idly, but instead focused on Ogre 1.10. The DirectX11 and GL3+ render systems in particular received a lot of attention and will be among the highlights of this upcoming release. More on that later once we arrive back in the present time on our journey through the last 365 days.

Two other notable technical points are the addition of WebGL support to Ogre3D as well as AZDO work:

WebGL / Javascript (Emscripten): From Ogre version 1.10 on, we officially support WebGL. The respective code has already been pushed to the repository. An online demo can be viewed at http://coderabbit.at/webgl/viewer (with an downloadable offline copy being available on our Sourceforge site) and build instruction can be found under the following link: http://coderabbit.at/webgl/viewer/OgreEmscripten.txt.

AZDO: As part of his Ogre 2.0 efforts Matias has been working on optimizing Ogre3D from an AZDO (Almost Zero Driver Overhead) point of view. For now this only covers the GL3+ render system, but will be extended in the future. A dedicated post from Matias will follow, outlining the changes and improvements in more detail.

Of course all that work on the engine itself only makes sense if there is an active community and eco-system actually making use of it. Some projects to showcase are listed below:

So all in all it was another pretty good year for Ogre3D, but we got quite a few things to optimize and change for 2015…and that is where we are back in the present and “put the pedal to the metal” to jump-start into 2015 and all we have planned for it:

Outlook for 2015

One of the first things we want to finish is the go-live of the new Ogre3D website we have planned. This basically entails a face-lift and getting rid of the slightly annoying ad banners. So stay tuned for that.

Another major step will be the release of two new Ogre versions, namely Ogre 1.10 as well as the first Ogre 2.0 CTP (Community Technology Preview). Once we have set the final dates we will let you know via a blog post as well as where to find further details. This especially pertains to Ogre 2.0 for which we want to set up some dedicated sources of information to help with the upcoming transition once 2.x nears its first stable release.

At the same time, the regular development efforts will continue and as always we encourage everyone to chime in wherever possible, by providing feedback and input in the forums, reporting issues on our JIRA tracker and ideally also help solving those by submitting pull-requests for our official source code repository. Additionally, donations are always welcome as well to help managing the infrastructure costs.

This last point nicely leads to another thing we want to tackle this 2015. Go-live of our CI server (Continuous Integration) for automated testing of Ogre3D. Once this is ready to use, we will announce it here as well in a dedicated post.

We of course also hope to participate again in this year’s GSoC after we did not make the cut last year. The preparation for it will begin soon by opening up the discussion in our GSoC forum section regarding interesting potential projects ideas. If you have one, note it down and join in the upcoming idea discussion.

Lastly, we also plan to do another Ogre User Survey to get some insights into the user base along with its priorities and wishes and some information about the usage of our engine in general. As you already guessed: This will also be covered in a dedicated announcement once we survey is open. Prior to it, we will trigger a public discussion in the forums regarding the questions we want to ask. Feel free to join in if you have questions that might be of interested and that you would like to see included in the survey.

That’s about it in terms of what we have planned right now, but as usual we will have to see how things pan out. As usual let us know what you think in the forums…and then let’s get cracking.

User Survey 2011 Report

It has been quite some time since end of August the Ogre3D User Survey 2011 was closed, so we are happy to finally be able to release the survey report. The report itself does not comment or interpret the results, but is just a mere aggregated representation of the information. The discussion itself will take place at the forums.

OgreUserSurvey2011.pdf

Thanks to everyone who participated and made with survey such a success!

Your Ogre3D Team

Ogre News #12

It has been over a month since the last update, so it is definitely time for a new one. We got quite some requests, so the list is rather long this time:

  • OGS Majong got a new update, adding new features as well as fixing some bugs
  • First version of the capture-the-flag-type-game Nina Flag was released
  • A nice little puzzle game called Magick Brick, which was created at the Shanghai game-jam, was showcased
  • The WIP visual shader editor as part of the Alimer Game Engine was demonstrated in a video
  • Ogre Meshy v.13 was released
  • The upcoming Particle Universe v1.5 was previewed
  • New iteration of the space simulation project Void Destroyer was showcased
  • The promising Victory: The Age of Racing team announced the close beta phase and showcased their last E3 trailer
  • Lumen Digital released a video showing one of their Ogre and Kinect based simulations
  • Ogre Procedural got extended by great new features such as SVG support
  • A first version of an adaption of the multi modeling format converter Assimp named OgreAssimpConverter was released by jacmoe
  • metaldev released a series of great video tutorials, explaining how to create models in Maya for the LFA Scene Manager
  • The VDrift and Ogre based  game Stund Rally reached version v1.2 and released some new in-game videos
  • Two great new wiki articles covering two different phong shader (one with cube and one with sphere mapping) were created by toglia
  • A first preview of the virtual fitting room project called FitNect was released

Aditionally: Still a lot is going on in our four Google Summer of Code projects. If you are interested, check this dedicated subforum area.

Also, please participate in our Ogre User Survey 2011, if you haven’t already. The survey is still running until the 31th of August. Afterwards, we will then publish the results.

Ogre User Survey 2011

Those of you who have been around Ogre for some time might remember that back in 2008, we conducted a survey about our user base. The results of which can be found here.

We now decided that after three years it might be a good idea to re-assess our current situation by another, more extensive survey. It is similar to the original one (since we included the old questions to be able to compare the results), but the survey also contains a bunch of new ones to take new developments such as Ogre usage on mobile devices into account.

So for the next four weeks until the 31th of August, you have the chance to participate and help us to get an impression about our user base, how Ogre is used and share some wishes for the future. Simply follow the link, answer the math question correctly (but only if you are not a bot ;)) and make your way through the 20 questions. It should not take up much time since most of the questions are simple checkbox or radio button questions.

Link to survey

We want to thank you all upfront for helping us to develop Ogre further and getting some valuable insight information about the people using the engine!

Best wishes,
Your Ogre team

PS: We would be glad if you could spread the word about the survey via all available channels to all potential Ogre users, because: The more participants, the more accurate are the results of course…