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A random list of 3D engines with mobile support

Tim Preuß from Appcellent just mailed me a photo he took from the developer conference 'mobile Dev Con'. The image shows a slide with the title 'Choosing the right Cross Platform Strategy'. It shows various products supporting cross-platform development, like the widget library QT, the mobile C++ lib moSync, and other stuff I don't recognize. But included in that list are also four 3D game engines (or logos of their developers):


I like that selection ;)



3D Web Games ante portas: Dynamic Light in WebGL and Flash/Molehill

I added a new feature to the 3D editor CopperCube and its free JavaScript 3D engine CopperLicht which should be included in the next update: Dynamic light when publishing as WebGL or Flash application. I expected it to be slow and complicated to implement, but fortunately, everything went fine, see this WebGL demo for yourself:


The renderer now supports 4 dynamic lights at the same time per mesh, which should be enough for most 3D scenes. You will be able to place many more dynamic lights in the editor of course, but the renderer will take only the first 4 nearest lights for every object. If you distribute the lights in your 3D world a bit, you shouldn't even notice this and it should look like your world has many more lights. With this, I think it should be possible to start writing nice looking, half decent games already.

The dynamic light shader code takes about 50 AGAL instructions for a standard solid material shader, which is pretty ok, I think. In WebGL, it only needs 34 lines of code, thanks to the for-loop feature in GLSL. (Which gets unwrapped and extended in asm then anyway, I think).

When implementing this feature, I also worked around a bug in Firefox which leaks memory in its WebGL implementation. After the fix, now Firefox is very fast in this demo: It gets about 100 frames per second while Chrome only has about 40 frames. But still enough to do 3D games, I think. Firefox apparently really now has a pretty impressive JavaScript engine.

Note: What you see in this demo isn't yet available in CopperCube yet, but it will be in the next update. If you would like to get a mail once this new version of CopperCube is released, you can subscribe to the friendly Ambiera Newsletter:
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Smartphones are so useful

I just found out how my girlfriend uses her smartphone (it's an Android, btw) to store new phone numbers, and TODO list items: She takes Post-it's, writes the numbers onto them and sticks them onto the back of the smartphone. I was speechless for a few seconds when I noticed this. :)



Looking for a game dev job?

If you are interested in 3D graphics, WebGL (specifically CopperLicht), and you are a skilled programmer, maybe I've a job offer for you:

(Game-) Developer required:

A German company is currently searching for developers to implement a browser-based 3D-game environment. A skilled coder who can implement e.g. culling-methods or a LOD for general performance testings is what we need for the start. Later there will be following a lot of tasks and functions - just like for a MMO. If your work is indispensable for us we would be happy to have you working on specific milestones or to temporally employ you.
Working overseas is no problem. You can flexible work on your task(s) as long as you don´t miss the deadline.
Please send short inquiries to: nyce-design@gmx.net

A proof of your skills is needed. A basic Level-of-detail or some culling-methods created in Copperlicht would be preferred.

This is a real company and it's not a hobby project claiming to be something serious (I've worked with them already, so I can guarantee this is a serious offer) .They do not want to go public with their project yet.



2.5D audio for WebGL via HTML 5

Here is a (very) small demo of a new feature which should be in the next update of the 3D editor CopperCube and its free JavaScript 3D engine CopperLicht: Basically, it is some faked 3D audio for the WebGL target, but with the current limited features the HTML 5 audio element provides, it is more a 2.5D audio. But see for yourself:


The only thing it does is changing the audio volume depending on the distance to the listener. And in Firefox, even this doesn't work perfectly smoothly, only in chrome this sounds very nice. To have some real 3D audio, it would have been necessary to additionally adjust the pan, how much volume is set on the left and on the right audio speaker, but unfortunately, the HTML 5 audio API doesn't have such a feature (yet?).

But at least, it is audio at all. Until now, CopperCube/Copperlicht didn't support any audio when publishing your game or app to the WebGL target. With the next update, this will change.

If you would like to get a mail once this new version of CopperCube is released, subscribe to the Ambiera Newsletter:

Your email adress:

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Trapped in Bureaucratic Hell

About two months ago, the office of my company moved a few kilometers to the west, from the center of Vienna to the more rural area. Basically only the address of my company has changed, but technically, it also relocated from one federal state of Austria to another one. This wasn't a problem at all, and a short email to all official institutions let them know about this change, and everything was fine. Well, except for one institution: The commercial court of Vienna.

I've now written a total of 4 letters to them, where two of them had to be certified by a public notary (!), and I've talked on the telephone to about a dozen people working in that court. After all that, they were still not able to simply change my companies address in their database. Now, after two months, they've sent a letter that they've transfered the matter to another court, the one of my federal state, and according to another letter I also received a day later, it seems that all this is going to start again with that court.

All I can think of this is WTF. It's just a fucking address they have to type into their computer. It's not like this address change in their database is vital for me, but I just can't grasp how utterly lazy and stupid the people there seem to be. And how many money has been wasted already with this simple thing.

In Austria, they tell you that the Departments of Justice are constantly overloaded. But there is obviously another, much much bigger problem in that system.



Forum Revolutions!

Well, at least a try :)
There exists already a quite big German Irrlicht Engine community, but apparently some people feel the spam bots are winning in there. So a small group of people created this alternative german irrlicht forum: www.irrlicht-engine.co.de.
In other news, the official Irrlicht Forum has also been upgraded recently to a newer version (thanks to the new team member Yoran!). Nice :)



WTF, America

Dear U.S.A, are you now completely nuts? The US now claims that all .com and .net websites are in its jurisdiction. If you own a .com URL, then you have to follow US law? Seriously? They appear to now go after all so called copyright infringement and trademark violations on .com and .net domains, even if they are on your own servers, in non-US countries. They already want a british student to be handed over from Britain to the US for this, to face jail time there. For creating a link list on his own Webserver. WTF.
The US also recently has ceized numerous .com domains, without talking to the owners previously.

What has the world come to? I'm now seriously thinking about using .at instead of .com in the future.