New team member: Pavel Rojtberg

The new year has just started and already we have good news for the Ogre community: Pavel Rojtberg officially joined the development team. Many of you will already be familiar with him and his work in his Ogre 1.10 fork. Many / most / all of his changes will step-by-step make their way into the official 1.10 branch for which Pavel took over the maintenance. Some of you might already have noticed that based on him having commit/merge privileges now in the repository and him already making use of those since a few days.

Since most of the team resources are currently locked up in Ogre 2.x development, Pavel’s support is most welcome to make sure that the current Ogre 1.x versions don’t get left behind.

So, welcome on board Pavel!

Game highlight: “Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms”

Once again, we want to highlight one of the many games based on Ogre3D that have come out recently. This time: “Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms“.

Shadows Heretic Kingdoms PackageAs usual we asked the team behind the game if they could share some insights into the Ogre3D usage and how the game was built in general, and the guys from bitComposer were kind enough to provide those:

  1. The game was developed on an older Ogre version, but continually upgraded to the most recent versions (currently 1.10). We are thrilled to get the game to Ogre 2.0 though as there are some limits which we are not able to overcome with the 1.x versions (mostly related to hyper-threading and slow scene management).
  2. Apart of a few bugs fixes we have not made any modifications to Ogre core. However, we are using some extensions of shader rendering pipeline. To be more specific, we have modified deferred shading with cubemaps projected lights, added off-screen particles, outlines glow and color correction to name the biggest changes.
  3. We are supporting both DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 renderers. DX11 was included because of the improper detection of graphics cards on some computer with multiple graphics cards with DX9 version.
  4. For 3D modelling, animation and export we are using Maya. Some outsources create their models in 3D Studio and we import those into Maya environment and export into the games.
  5. We have developed our own editor which we are using for scene assembling which includes ragdoll editors, lightning.
  6. For particle effects we are using Particle Universe with in-game editor for seamless implementation of particles to the game environments.
  7. For physics simulation in Shadows we have used the Bullet library (mostly for collisions and ragdolls).
  8. Scripting is done using LUA language. A lot of external files are XML formatted.
  9. For text content handling (there is a lot of text content as you can imagine) we are using our own proprietary tool Locedit which is also available for 3rd parties if someone may be interested in. It features multiple languages, Unicode, subtitler for movies, XLS export/import, voice check and direction, etc.
  10. Game content is encrypted and packed to improve loading times.
  11. User generated content is planned to be distributed using Steamworks.
  12. The entire toolset will be released for the community together with the game sometimes in the near future. We believe that Ogre community may benefit from our tools even for their own projects… It certainly will lack the polish and proper documentation of Unreal but it likely may be the most complex tool for Ogre and available for all Shadows owners without any additional fee.
  13. We are currently starting porting of Shadows to Ogre 2.0 together with the Ogre team, so I hope our work will contribute to early availability of complete 2.0 version of Ogre.

You can see more videos and screenshots on Steam where you of course can also purchase the game: Shadows Heretic Kingdoms @ Steam

 

Below a first look at the editor that was used for the game and is planned to be released to the public in the near future:

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.

Happy New Year and a warm welcome to our newest team member!

First off: We as the Ogre3D team wish the the whole Ogre3D community a Happy New Year!

Looking back at 2013, we see a successful year for our beloved rendering engine, with two highlights being yet another great Google Summer of Code and the release of Ogre 1.9. And the new year 2014 is also having a great start, since we can happily announce that we have a new superb addition to our development team:

So here it is: Matias Goldberg joins the team!

Everyone following the development of Ogre3D will by now be familiar with Matias, since he is the driving force behind the whole Ogre 2.0 revamp. It all started off with his in-depth analysis of Ogre’s performance bottlenecks in November 2012, followed by his Ogre 2.0 GSoC project to start fixing those in the Summer of 2013. But as promised he did not stop there, but continues to work hard on the v2-0 branch. You can follow his work either directly via his commits to the repositories, his blog posts related to Ogre, the Ogre 2.0 wiki page or various forum threads covering a variety of topics in the Ogre 2.0+ forum section. We of course encourage everyone to get involved and provide feedback.

BTW: Merging in the first three GSoC projects that we selected for the next Ogre version 1.10, will take a bit longer than anticipated, so we cannot yet release the first release candidate as originally planned for right around now, but instead we will push that RC1 back a few weeks. The overall branch quality will also benefit from that since it gives us more time to have a look at some open JIRA tickets and helps to get the code base into a mature enough state.

As usual: All community support is welcome! So if you can, please jump on board, to ensure that 2014 becomes yet another successful year for all of us!
Your Ogre3D Team

Ogre 1.9 RC2 released & Ogre 1.10 announcement

Good news! We have just added the v1-9-0RC2 tag (commit) to our repository, indicating that we reached our RC2 milestone. Within the next four weeks we will fix any potential major bugs and will then release it on the the 10th November as “stable” to become the new de-jure Ogre version.

Note: As outlined in this version planning thread, we did not include any results of our GSoC 2013 projects in Ogre 1.9 yet, to not delay it any further. This merge will partially happen in the new version Ogre 1.10 and the rest of it in Ogre 2.0 (see the thread for more details and the reasoning behind it).

Since the Ogre 1.10 branch has now been created (commit), we can also officially share its name: Ogre 1.10 aka “Xalafu”. JIRA has been updated to reflect the new branches and versions as well.