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Dark GDK / Mistrel come back!

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Qqite
9
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Joined: 28th Feb 2010
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Posted: 14th Jan 2013 18:19
DarkGDK 2 is amazing but still isn't finished.

We need you Mistrel!
Come back!



Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Juggernaut
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Posted: 14th Jan 2013 18:58
I am sorry to state that I tried to contact him lately and he did not reply back! I contacted TGC about this and they told that they can-not do anything because Dark GDK 2.0 is not developed by TGC.

So I guess if Mistrel does not come back on his own .... there is nothing left for us to do .... and Dark GDK 2.0 will eventually get lost in time.
s_i
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Posted: 17th Jan 2013 15:34
I paid the money for Mistrel's DarkGDK 2.0 (''Early adopter discount''), but in the end I did not get a real working product.
And what now? We like DarkGDK. We all need someone (TheGameCreators or someone else) to continue to develop and improve DarkGDK. Perhaps, for the money, I understand that -- but honestly giving us a real working product. Unfortunately, my knowledge is not enough to work on it...
Juggernaut
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Posted: 17th Jan 2013 18:05
Me too bought Dark GDK 2.0 license by availing 'Early adopter discount' but it seems to be a bad investment. I should have bought a Dark Basic Pro essential plugin or a commercial license for Dark GDK 1.0 with that money.
Rudolpho
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Posted: 19th Jan 2013 23:51
The last release candidate is actually completely workable as far as I've seen, at least after some tweaks you could do yourself (ie. some wrappers are referring to a mistyped dll function name which you'll have to change manually and the built-in D3DXVECTOR / MATRIX wrappers also don't work so you'll have to do that yourself as well. Apart from that its running quite well for me (so far).


Also, breaking down what DarkGDK 2 really is, I'm fairly certain anybody with enough spare time could reimplement it. In essence all it is is a set of (autogenerated, all you do is parse the DBP dll files for their functions and unmangle the parameter postfix) short wrapper functions to call those dll functions.
At the heart there is also some functionality that wraps up the window setup and message pump structure; there are probably details on how this works somewhere around this forum.
There are some more bells and whistles like automatic ID allocation (easy to do with a counter variable and a stack), but those aren't really necessary for the "DGDK2 concept".


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
Qqite
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 02:22 Edited at: 20th Jan 2013 02:22
The main problem is that DarkDynamix doesn't work well with DGDK2.

You can get it to work (with a nice manual fix by Andrew_Neal
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=198608&b=22

BUT anything that has to do with Vectors are not going to work.

My game is going to revolve around DarkDynamix, so I need that plugin to work more than anything else.

Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Morcilla
16
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 11:49 Edited at: 20th Jan 2013 11:53
Hello there,

I've just released a new version of my software, using TGC's DGDK / VS2008 and it runs flawlessly in Windows 8. It even has touch capabilities:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=511444235557066

I propose to push together, and to ask TGC for DGDK / VS2012 support.
After all, I guess that most of us just want DGDK to be up to date, and aligned with DBPro.

On my side, I'll refresh the status of my project to Lee Bamber to see if that helps to take a decision.

Hawkblood
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 16:07
@Morcilla
WOW!!!!! That's cool. What bloom effect are you using?

The fastest code is the code never written.
Morcilla
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 17:16
Thanks Hawkblood, the effect was made by bond1:

Adaptive Bloom by Bond1

It runs without problems in DGDK

Hawkblood
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 20:03
I don't see how I can get the .fx file......

The fastest code is the code never written.
Rudolpho
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 22:15
Quote: "BUT anything that has to do with Vectors are not going to work."


I haven't looked into DarkDynamix at all, but if it will only interface with DB's internal vector ID's you can add these wrappers:

dgdk-math.h


dgdk-math.cpp




Nice project by the way Morcilla


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
Matty H
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 22:33 Edited at: 20th Jan 2013 22:34
That is awesome Morcilla, if GDK can run on windows 8 and VC++ 2010 then it is already pretty up to date.

I'm also not sure what the vector issue is all about with GDK2, have you tested that code Rudolpho, hopefully it is that simple, just not sure why it was not put in officially? I get a bad feeling that Mistrel has changed something somewhere which means the math functions can't be used?


I always felt that a new GDK was not a good commercial venture for Mistrel or even for the GDK.NET developer, but it's hard to be sure and things like this are always a gamble. I would guess Mistrel has given up, I just hope he is OK and nothing has happened to him.

It's possible some forum members could advance GDK, just like Morcilla has been doing

Rudolpho
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Posted: 20th Jan 2013 22:45
Those functions work yes. I vaguely recall there being some issues with other functions like dbAddVector4 etc. I personally just use D3DCVECTOR etc. and then those dbSetInternalXXX-functions I posted up there when I need to set those values to some DB-specific thing (shaders, pick vectors etc), works swell


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
Qqite
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Posted: 21st Jan 2013 06:15
@Rudolpho
I'll try that out.

I really hope Mistrel comes back

Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Juggernaut
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2013 12:49
Quote: "The last release candidate is actually completely workable as far as I've seen, at least after some tweaks you could do yourself (ie. some wrappers are referring to a mistyped dll function name which you'll have to change manually and the built-in D3DXVECTOR / MATRIX wrappers also don't work so you'll have to do that yourself as well. Apart from that its running quite well for me (so far).


Also, breaking down what DarkGDK 2 really is, I'm fairly certain anybody with enough spare time could reimplement it. In essence all it is is a set of (autogenerated, all you do is parse the DBP dll files for their functions and unmangle the parameter postfix) short wrapper functions to call those dll functions.
At the heart there is also some functionality that wraps up the window setup and message pump structure; there are probably details on how this works somewhere around this forum.
There are some more bells and whistles like automatic ID allocation (easy to do with a counter variable and a stack), but those aren't really necessary for the "DGDK2 concept"."


I paid for Dark GDK 2.0 because it was supposed to be a completely finished product that should work without further tweaking and mending.

Can we please have a manual that states all the steps required to get the Dark GDK 2.0 RC4 to a finished state - I mean all the commands and functions working ?
Morcilla
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Posted: 26th Jan 2013 10:44
Quote: "I don't see how I can get the .fx file......"

Let's see, it is published all around the forum, but it is true that it doesn't appear anymore at the original post
This one should make it:

Bond1 Shader Pack complete [v1.0]

Regarding the topic, I'm sticking to DGDK and I'm going to ask TGC for suppport.
After all, they are the ones that have kept alive this thing during the last 10 years.

Rudolpho
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Posted: 27th Jan 2013 10:56
Quote: "I paid for Dark GDK 2.0 because it was supposed to be a completely finished product that should work without further tweaking and mending. "

Isn't it always a risk paying for a non-finished product?
I agree that it is enervating however.

Quote: "Can we please have a manual that states all the steps required to get the Dark GDK 2.0 RC4 to a finished state - I mean all the commands and functions working ? "

I don't remember the all, I fixed the problems I found around summer and it has been running fine for me so far. Obviously there are likely lots of functions I don't use and thus haven't noticed anyyhing wrong with. For example, just the other day I realised that dbCreateObjectPlain() seems to create a plain with the pivot point in the corner if you give it an ID and in the center if you let it autogenerate one. Very weird behavior...
Unfortunately, since the DGDK wrapper functions are set to return prematurely / return 0 instead of actually failing, debugging it is very tedious. I mostly noticed that something wasn't working the way it should and had to break apart my code a great many times to identify the issues. To do this at all efficiently you have to write your code and then test it in relatively small steps or it will be too overwhelming to locate the errors.

I suppose I could upload my slightly edited header and wrapper definition files for you, but I'm not entirely sure if that's allowed. It should be as long as the gdkengine.dll file is omitted though I believe?


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
Hawkblood
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Posted: 27th Jan 2013 14:48 Edited at: 27th Jan 2013 15:49
Thanks Morcilla. I can't figure out how to make this "adaptive". It does the "bloom" part but it doesn't seem to "adapt". Here is the exact .fx I'm using:

What am I doing wrong? What needs to be changed?

The fastest code is the code never written.
s_i
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Posted: 27th Jan 2013 19:50 Edited at: 27th Jan 2013 19:52
1) As far as I know DarkGDK 2.0 has a problem with the choice of object ID manually (sometimes DarkGDK 2.0 refuses to give the object a particular number (especially early in the numbering: 1,2,3,4...)). But I use this a lot for a dbPickObject().
2) @Rudolpho -- far not everyone of us can easily program as you do it.
Rudolpho
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Posted: 28th Jan 2013 02:30
Quote: "1) As far as I know DarkGDK 2.0 has a problem with the choice of object ID manually (sometimes DarkGDK 2.0 refuses to give the object a particular number (especially early in the numbering: 1,2,3,4...))."

Oh, is that so? I just noticed that I get really weird results when I wrote my own ID manager for keeping track of ID's (need it so that I can synchronise DarkPhysics with objects that are unloaded when far enough from the camera). For example, a plain gets alpha-faded along its middle when it has a certain object ID and my skybox' sides shrunk to like 10% of their intended size when another ID was used to create the side mesh. I thought that must be my own fault somewhere in my code though, going to have to look it through :o


Quote: "2) @Rudolpho -- far not everyone of us can easily program as you do it."

Its really not that hard to fix the erronous DGDK wrapper functions. You can essentially just copy one of the definitions already in there and just replace the parameters and the called dll function's name. Take a look at the dgdk-xxx include files and you'll soon see how simple it is
If you need to find a function name within a dll you can open the dll file with notepad and search for the DB name of the function without spaces; usually this is what they are called as the first part of their mangled name too. There are exceptions however, but once you find one such name in a dll all the rest lie in the same section so you can just read through that part until you find the one that seems to be the correct one. If you can extract and read the dll's stringtable that makes it easier still, but that might be abit more complicated.


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
s_i
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Posted: 28th Jan 2013 20:17 Edited at: 28th Jan 2013 20:19
Rudolpho, do you remember this?
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=198610&b=22
And this?
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=198865&b=22
So I'm afraid to use dbPickObject(,,iObjectStart!!!,iObjectEnd!!!) in DarkGDK 2.0 on random PC in the world. (how to return ID allocation and manual selection of ID from DarkGDK 1.0 ???)

Let's write a collective letter from forum users to Lee Bamber: "Please, continue updating DarkGDK 1.0" ...
Qqite
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Posted: 28th Jan 2013 23:10
Quote: "Let's write a collective letter from forum users to Lee Bamber: "Please, continue updating DarkGDK 1.0" ..."


This sounds like a good idea!

Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 29th Jan 2013 09:56 Edited at: 29th Jan 2013 09:58
Quote: "That is awesome Morcilla, if GDK can run on windows 8 and VC++ 2010 then it is already pretty up to date.

"


DarkGDK.NET works great in VC# 2012 too and on Win8, not tried DGK in C++ 2012 yet though, but either way the GDK's aren't suffering from compatability issues, however, I was looking forward to being able to use DBPro plugins, still, the product is still useable and there's nothing stopping anybody from making great games. If DGK 2.0 were completed I am sure it'd be easier to lure more people over.

[edit]stupid predictive text.

Morcilla
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Posted: 30th Jan 2013 19:29
Quote: "Quote: "Let's write a collective letter from forum users to Lee Bamber: "Please, continue updating DarkGDK 1.0" ..."

This sounds like a good idea!
"

I agree, we should try to get things rolling. DGDK 1.0 is a good baseline.

@Seppuku Arts, hello
Don't know about the other forum members, but I would need some support to get DGDK into VS2012. I tried to port a DGDK VS2008 project and it was not even loading into VS2012...
And ideally this could be some official support, having TGC involved is always a plus.
Can you help us?

Qqite
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Posted: 30th Jan 2013 22:35 Edited at: 30th Jan 2013 22:35
Also, is there any way that we could get DarkGDK to be somewhat OOP?

I know we don't want to turn DarkGDK into Ogre3D, but the thing that puts DarkGDK ahead of the game is it's community and its plugins. If DarkGDK could be redone in a manner that is at least a TINY bit OOP, AND supported all GDK plugins, we would have something truly awesome.

DarkGDK uses the 2007 version of DirectX. That is my biggest turn off. If TGC could keep DarkGDK up to date, this engine could go places.

Here is my quick-thought list of things I want out of a proper DarkGDK rewrite:
1. Somewhat OOP. I understand that DarkGDK is procedural pleasing but at least throw the commands into a few namespaces :\
2. Get DirectX up to date into the latest release. June2010 was it?
3. Make commands thread-safe with access to the parsed list/data of objects. I want to be able to load objects behind the scenes easily without too much workaround.
4. Make object/image/ect. IDs automatic (DarkGDK2).
5. Get rid of the SyncOff option, no one uses that (DarkGDK2).

That's all I can think of for now. My opinion of course :\

Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 30th Jan 2013 23:33 Edited at: 30th Jan 2013 23:34
Quote: "@Seppuku Arts, hello
Don't know about the other forum members, but I would need some support to get DGDK into VS2012. I tried to port a DGDK VS2008 project and it was not even loading into VS2012...
And ideally this could be some official support, having TGC involved is always a plus.
Can you help us?"


I might try setting up Dark GDK in VC++ 2012 when I've got time to see if I can figure it out, though my C++ knowledge is pretty minimal, I have tried using Dark GDK in C++ before, but managed to keep screwing up my code.

As for any kind of official support, I would definitely like to see it. Unfortunately it seems TGC have given their love and attention to AppGameKit and FPSC: Reloaded and with FPSC: Reloaded we'll see some love for DBPro, but it does beg the question, is there a future for Dark GDK or Dark GDK.NET? Of course, Mistrel was supposed to be the knight in shining armour. I think TGC's resources are rather limited and naturally they are best spent in what profits them the most, they're a business in an industry with much greater competition than 5 years ago and they've got to be sensible in that regard. So I don't fault them for that.

What I think Dark GDK could do with is a community or some kind of community project. At least something to get some kind of community feel. What this site used to really thrive on was its sense of community and that has dulled over the years. I think what Dark GDK and Dark GDK.NET needs is attention.

Perhaps as a group we could knock heads together and come up with some ideas. Perhaps a Dark GDK community website to start with? *shrugs* Competitions, tutorials, samples, a code base and so on? I feel the strengths of DGDK and DGDK.NET is power, simplicity and flexibility. I was planning to work on a Dark GDK.NET tutorial series myself, the kind of tutorials I was thinking of would create something modular - so something more useful than say bog-standard "this is how you do this" tutorials, for example include things like XML scripting (or alternative scripting).

*Shrugs* Just a few thoughts. Might see what I come up with at the weekend when I've got more time (awkward shifts this week).

Qqite
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Posted: 30th Jan 2013 23:49
Yea I'm going to look at the DarkSDK and see whats cooking down there.

If DarkGDK2 is just a "wrapper" around DarkSDK then maybe I'll take a look and see what can be cooked up. I'd like a OOP approach to DarkSDK so maybe I'll just do it myself xD

Ventures of the worlds around us are limited only by our imagination.
Have Fun!
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Posted: 16th Apr 2013 00:51
Has anyone had any success getting DarkGDK to work with C++ in Visual Studio 2012?

Live your dreams.
Juggernaut
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Posted: 5th Aug 2013 09:01
Quote: "Quote: "I paid for Dark GDK 2.0 because it was supposed to be a completely finished product that should work without further tweaking and mending. "
Isn't it always a risk paying for a non-finished product?
I agree that it is enervating however."


Mistrel and TGC should have pointed out the risk factors and that the
project might not get finished while advertising for a pre-order or early adapter price of an upcoming product.

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