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AppGameKit Chat / How much effort are TGC putting into the App Game Kit nowdays?

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Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 13th Jun 2018 20:43
Apologies if the question may sound pretentious, that is not my intent.

I've seen a lot of updates in regards to the Game Guru and New Asset packs (Which may be new sources of income for TGC) but I haven't seen a whole lot of new game changing features on the App Game Kit side. A lot of more advanced but modern-day engine mandatory features (such as secular mapping feature for shaders ) was done on the community side. I see that there's a list of wanted features thread too with a hefty list of wanted features which would put AppGameKit in a much stronger light. (Outside of this forum, any time I mention AppGameKit as my prefered indie 3D game engine, I get a big old bow of bleh noodles and hateful remarks) Last thing I want is for AppGameKit to fade into obscurity and I honestly want it to become a MUCH more demanded engine to work with. Even Gadot engine is considered to be more thought out than AppGameKit by many who have had experience working in agk.

So how about TGC sets up a kick-starter for AGK3 (to add all those features in the wanted feature list) because I'd gladly drop a good $100 to aid in the development of AppGameKit over Game Guru (Even though I was a game guru backer).
Your thoughts?
Eisenstadt Studio: Eisenstadtstudio.com
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Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 13th Jun 2018 20:50
Features I'm more interested in are:
> Bump Mapping (Tessellation),
> Projection Lighting (Water Effects on walls, Flashlight light sprite, for example)
> Spot Lights, Object Lighting,
> Better ray-cast post processing for smoother real time lighting/shadow edges.
> Perhaps update DarkShader to be compatible with AppGameKit so that you get an Unreal Engine-esc material/shader creation toolset. I'm sure learning HLSL coding is very low on many of our priority lists, especially with just how many other things you need to work on as a small developer, so that's what the kickstarter for.
> Bone Animation Blending
Eisenstadt Studio: Eisenstadtstudio.com
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Santman
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Posted: 13th Jun 2018 21:00
Tobias, I'm not sure what you mean.

Bump mapping.....Normally called normal mapping, and is built in. Tesselation is a totally different thing and needs open gl 4 I think.

Spot lights, object lighting......that's been in for ages???

Better shadows......you can ramp the retro us up as high as your hardware can manage.....I've done a demo with perfect shadows using a 16k resolution.....but it would never run a complex scene at speed.

Dark shader......literally didn't get close to the modern unreal engine. The shader kit has some tremendous sharers in it, and some paid are playing with PBR shading which is really powerful. Unreal has a massive development budget and has been in full time development for years.

I understand that as a small developer it can be difficult to get a start, but I learned the basics of sharers myself in a few weeks, and can now do some really decent things. But if you want to code, there comes a point where you have to accept not everything can be done for you.
Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 13th Jun 2018 21:22 Edited at: 13th Jun 2018 21:36
Quote: "
Bump mapping.....Normally called normal mapping, and is built in. Tesselation is a totally different thing and needs open gl 4 I think.
"


There's normal mapping and there's bump mapping (It may be called something else) Normal uses the Blue-Red map for fine details, Bump map uses a Grey-scale for larger details. Alongside with tessellation (which would up the poly-count of a mesh to allow the engine to use the grey-scale map to determine major extrusions (bricks, stone, tiles, etc) via true geometry, not just lighting effects of a normal map) Normal + Bump mapping would yeld fantastic results , normal map alone won't handle Example 1, Example 2

Quote: "
Spot lights, object lighting......that's been in for ages???
"

Not sure about spot light, Point light, yes. I've never seen a spot light in AppGameKit, especially not one with a projection map feature. PS This is a spot light and this is a point light. Here are all 3 types (Point, spot and object lighting).

PS, I know there's Object illumination map (things like glowy elements) thta void lighting preferences - Emission Maps: in Unreal they can even be used as lighting sources, with ray tracing that interacts with the environment, in AppGameKit (So far what I've tried, it's just cosmetic)

Quote: "
Better shadows......you can ramp the retro us up as high as your hardware can manage.....I've done a demo with perfect shadows using a 16k resolution.....but it would never run a complex scene at speed.
"

I'd have to look into it, but I'm talking about something that can actually be used as opposed to (It technically can be done on a NASA server mainframe machine)

Quote: "
Dark shader......literally didn't get close to the modern unreal engine. The shader kit has some tremendous sharers in it, and some paid are playing with PBR shading which is really powerful. Unreal has a massive development budget and has been in full time development for years.
"

Just as a suggestion, if making a new tool would be easier then let it be so.

Quote: "
I understand that as a small developer it can be difficult to get a start, but I learned the basics of sharers myself in a few weeks, and can now do some really decent things. But if you want to code, there comes a point where you have to accept not everything can be done for you."

I understand the general premise of "You're gonna have to learn it at some point". In that case why don't UE, Unity or engines alike offer a material builder. Heck even Maya, Max and Blender offer this sort of a tool for shader building. At some point you gotta ask, what's your time worth. Some things that can be done by yourself, shouldn't mean that you have to do them yourself. Time would be better spend elsewhere. This is, again, why I'm not asking to do this for free.

My proposal is to push towards faster and easier development. Considering what Game Guru is at it's core, an easy to get into and develop with, game engine, I think TGC would agree. Plus I'm not saying that we should abolish code shader work. If you like it, then use that. But I can tell that a shader creation tool like the material editor in UE is a major reason why many people choose it over GMS and AppGameKit for 3D works (among other things)

Also don't forget all the other feature suggestions in the thread I mentioned. If the kick-starter is successful, it would show TGC, we'd like to see more progress done in AppGameKit and it would financially back them to push those features faster.
Eisenstadt Studio: Eisenstadtstudio.com
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Bengismo
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Posted: 13th Jun 2018 22:57
Quote: "There's normal mapping and there's bump mapping (It may be called something else) Alongside with tessellation (which would up the poly-count of a mesh to allow the engine to use the grey-scale map to determine major extrusions (bricks, stone, tiles, etc) via true geometry, not just lighting effects of a normal map) "


That's displacement mapping.... much much more complex then bump mapping and involves tesselation of the simple (flat) surface using a displacement map. We would need to be able to control the tesselation shader in AppGameKit to be able to do that which is not possible at present. Its an advanced technique really in open gl and wont work on mobile platforms.

Some features your asking for can only really be realised via real time ray tracing which is very computationally expensive and AppGameKit is aiming at mobile markets.

The bone animation blending is possible but you will have to do the interpolation in AppGameKit code as AppGameKit will currently just play animations but doesnt really mix or blend them together.

The rest of the features your requesting are pretty much possible via the use of shaders and additional code. The features are not simple to implement though and involve a great deal of knowledge to get working and to work in all scenarios.


Unity and Unreal Engine hide the implementation of very complex rendering techniques from the average user of it. The money being brought in by licensing these engines for large $$$$$$ games pushes the development of the engines. the royalties generated are HUGE! They are built around taking some more advanced techniques and letting artists/game designers then work with them without knowing how the implementation even works. It hides all the difficulty and complexity and the rendering techniques so people just see an end result and say" ohh - cool shader - cool looking game".

AGK is no where near that level though in terms of development resource or established community or in terms of budget.

Id love to see some of these features too....but I can also understand that bringing AppGameKit to the level where you can easily implement these features requires a very large amount of development time/resources and complexity for a small team working with a tiny fraction of the budget.
puzzler2018
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 00:23
Youtube admob and monitize your channel

Micrrosoft doing at late with XBox games.

Produce something fantastic in an XBOX style app then you iwill have interesting eyes.

Get out there with the blue chip companies




GarBenjamin
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 05:46
If the issue is one of money maybe they can set up a simple Donate button or a Patreon. I'd also be willing to contribute. But I must say from what I have seen is TGC have really been ramping up development across the board. It seems like they are continually and frequently releasing updates just that they are spread across a number of different initiatives from AppGameKit to GG to MW and then various asset packs.

I really like AppGameKit very much. It is my favorite development tool. I do think it would be cool for them to update the visual and non-visual side. Personally I am not big on the gee whiz visuals because if I want that I can watch a movie or play a AAA game but I do agree it is a big selling point in attracting more developers. A lot of Indies seem to believe they will create a AAA game. Of course they won't but that dream drives them to UE and Unity.

Anyway I will contribute $ to the cause if there is some way to do so. I don't think a KS is necessarily the best bet. Honestly crowd funding is becoming a way to lose credibility and tarnish image imo. Just set up a donate button or a patreon where we can all (whoever is willing) contribute. Probably better anyway. Maybe 100 people give $10 per month. Maybe 50 people give $25. Maybe 10 give $50 per month. Who knows but continual monthly revenue would be better for budgeting I would think.
TI/994a (BASIC) -> C64 (BASIC/PASCAL/ASM/Others) -> Amiga (AMOS/BLITZ/ASM/C/Gamesmith) -> DOS (C/C++/Allegro) -> Windows (C++/C#/Monkey X/GL Basic/Unity/Others)
Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 06:18 Edited at: 14th Jun 2018 06:30
I guess I was under the wrong impression that AppGameKit was made suitable for Large Scale Desktop Game development... the "App" in app game kit should have been a clue.... It's kind of sad in my opinion as I actually enjoy working in AppGameKit for desktop applications, it's current tool set is already much more advanced than making 3D games in Game Maker (out of the box) It's just that when I'm looking at TGC for an engine for making an indie 3D game, Game Guru just doesn't come to mind. In my opinion GG is a step down from AGK.
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GaborD
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 16:45 Edited at: 14th Jun 2018 17:56
Quote: "I guess I was under the wrong impression that AppGameKit was made suitable for Large Scale Desktop Game development..."


AppGameKit is suitable for it, but at the moment you'd have to implement some of the features yourself, which does ofcourse add some workload. But it is doable and good training for skills that you will need anyway.
Tesselation may be the exception, you'd most likely need engine side help or an addon for that. But you can add parallax mapping quite easily (be it single lookup, POM or Relief), and AppGameKit can also push a ton of polies if the media is set up well, so you can kinda work around the issue.
When making a game for the higher end 3D market, it's a good choice to implement these things yourself anyway, in order to finetune and optimize them for the specific game and the used media. That's how a game can rise above the ocean of mediocrity.
GarBenjamin
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 18:31
@Tobias_Ripper

I have no interest in mobile game development (nor playing them... just not something I get into) and yes when I first saw a mention of App Game Kit I completely skipped over it because I thought it was some kind of GUI-based (kit) mobile only game engine.

When I finally checked into it a year or two later I was blown away. It was the kind of thing I'd been looking for a long time. I'm interested in desktop and web game development and AGK2 seems fantastic for both in my experiences working with it.

I think it absolutely is great for desktop development. And as you pointed out with focus on just a few key things it would be even better. I mean heck if it was dead easy and quick to add visual FX even I would do it. And that I think is what you are getting at. A complete beginner using Unity can go to the Asset Store grab a free or paid shader asset and instantly give their "game" a more professional look. They probably won't complete the actual game but at least they can make something look kind of cool easily and share screenshots and videos of it.
TI/994a (BASIC) -> C64 (BASIC/PASCAL/ASM/Others) -> Amiga (AMOS/BLITZ/ASM/C/Gamesmith) -> DOS (C/C++/Allegro) -> Windows (C++/C#/Monkey X/GL Basic/Unity/Others)
Cybermind
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 20:23
I have to take GarBenjamin's side here, I would really like a donate/subscription button. I have been looking at UE and Unity but I always go back to AGK2, I can quickly do something in BASIC, and if need be, soup it up with some C++. And also, the Atari VCS seems to be off to a great start, it runs a version of Ubuntu, so it seems like the path from AGK2 to a console won't be that long ( =
13/0
GarBenjamin
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 21:31
@Cybermind I have my eye on that too thinking the same thing. Next year should be quite interesting.
TI/994a (BASIC) -> C64 (BASIC/PASCAL/ASM/Others) -> Amiga (AMOS/BLITZ/ASM/C/Gamesmith) -> DOS (C/C++/Allegro) -> Windows (C++/C#/Monkey X/GL Basic/Unity/Others)
basicFanatic
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 21:59

Yeah, the 3D portion of AppGameKit could really do with an upgrade!

Game Guru got loads of shaders and assets, and can export directly to AGK. So it would be really easy to include all Game Guru stuff in AGK. Wouldn't that be a logical first step?
PartTimeCoder
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Posted: 14th Jun 2018 22:28
AGK3 , really!?

TGC got slated when they reinvented Reloaded as GameGuru and its taken years to get it to where it is now, open-sourced to finish features that were part added way back when on a kick starter promise and your asking they now do it with AGK... really bad idea, they already have a reputation in some circles for creating abandonware!

If TGC abandon AGK2 I for one will abandon TGC, however that being said I would gladly subscribe to a monthly plan to improve AGK2 if and only if they started adding the things people have been asking for, personally I am not interested in shaders and AAA effects either I want features, an improved IDE, a visual editor that works, vehicle physics and directional lights are the top of my list.

Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 15th Jun 2018 03:46 Edited at: 15th Jun 2018 04:10
Quote: "AGK3 , really!?

TGC got slated when they reinvented Reloaded as GameGuru and its taken years to get it to where it is now, open-sourced to finish features that were part added way back when on a kick starter promise and your asking they now do it with AGK... really bad idea, they already have a reputation in some circles for creating abandonware!
"


I'm not asking to completely re-invent the wheel. I'm talking about adding the major features, enough to call it AGK3.
I guess I should say, AGK2.1 then to avoid confusion
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Rick Nasher
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Posted: 16th Jun 2018 00:03
@Tobias_Ripper:
Quote: "vehicle physics and directional lights are the top of my list."

That would be great actually.

I have no issues with the editor and isn't it possible to use Visual Studio? What are the downsides of the current editor for you?

Game Guru is very slow at my aging rig, opposed to AGK.
xCept
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Posted: 16th Jun 2018 02:39 Edited at: 16th Jun 2018 02:42
> vehicle physics

Much of the existing 3D command set, especially the 3D physics, is the work of Stab in the Dark who had been contracted to work on that for TGC. He was interested in doing a lot more including vehicle physics and really upping the game of what AppGameKit could support (as he also did a lot on this topic for DBP some years back). Unfortunately last I heard they couldn't come to an agreement so it was never implemented. These were a few comments from 2016 from SITD:

Quote: "Vehicles are not possible at the moment. The Game Creators would need to add more physics commands to AGK.

P.S. Unfortunately they have no intention of adding any more physics to AGK. "


And

Quote: "Officially as of today they declined my offer of vehicles physics code for AGK.
So it looks like AppGameKit Tier1 will have limited physics. It is possible in Tier 2 C++ for you to
develop your own vehicle physics but it will take extensive knowledge of Bullet physics and
AGK core."


After he noted this his helpful topic with 3D examples for AppGameKit was also unstickied and got lost in the mess of threads. I found it very helpful and wished it would've continued as there were no real good 3D examples beyond his thread.

Quote: "Since they unpinned this post I will no longer assist AppGameKit users with the 3D Physics.
Please direct your requests to TGC."
PartTimeCoder
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Posted: 16th Jun 2018 09:57
@Rick Nasher

The IDE is dated, there are a few simple tweaks that could greatly improve it as I have posted in the requests thread numerous times (rename project, code refactoring, save to templates, insert filepath, auto-complete for plugin commands, comment block shortcuts, save fold settings) ... just to mention a few.

And the Visual Editor becomes worse with each update, it's not exactly unusable but there are a number of bugs that need addressing and it still lacks many features, tile mapping is one that springs to mind.

Quote: "Game Guru is very slow at my aging rig, opposed to AGK."


Me to, I simply can not use it, its not GameGuru's fault I know, I could do with a new PC but I can not justify the cost just to use 1 program, AppGameKit runs great even with lots of 3D media and other than that I only use Office365 and browse the webby, when it dies I will upgrade.

Santman
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Posted: 16th Jun 2018 14:13
Way back when, DBPro shipped with a demo game that had a tank driving across a 3d terrain.....that never used any physics that I can recall. I may download it again and check the code, see how it worked. Basic vehicle movement shouldn't be too hard......in fact the only part I can imagine causing a problem is getting the angles of the body correct to conform to the terrain.

Hmmmm.....once I finish playing with trees I may do some testing.
xCept
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Posted: 16th Jun 2018 23:55 Edited at: 16th Jun 2018 23:58
Quote: "And the Visual Editor becomes worse with each update, it's not exactly unusable but there are a number of bugs that need addressing and it still lacks many features, tile mapping is one that springs to mind."


I tend to agree. I find it difficult to use Visual Editor for practical work since there is quite a large disconnect between assembling the scene in Visual Editor and being able to interact with and manipulate the elements easily within AGK. The included demo scenes look great in Visual Editor but actually using that arrangement from Visual Editor to make a usable game seems tricky (like the "Jewel Game" example). The $50 price point for Visual Editor really took me by surprise especially given its current limitations. I thought it would be a free companion for AppGameKit or at least a cheap upgrade, considering most other game engines have a visual editor component as well by default and usually it is much more integrated into the core programming framework.

Baxlash developed and released a free scene builder here a few years ago (as well as a companion particle editor) and it still includes many aspects that the commercial Visual Editor does not, including advanced particles and 2D lighting. I always felt that would've been a good starting point for a new editor versus one from scratch.
Tobias_Ripper
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Posted: 18th Jun 2018 06:28
I'm honestly more interested in the 3D capabilities of AGK. It's truly very compact.
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