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Introducing… Darwena

Posted: September 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Projects | 2 Comments »
Darwena was named after a friend's succubus in WoW. It's pleasing to the ear and all the good names were taken.

Darwena was named after a friend's succubus in WoW. It's pleasing to the ear and all the other good names were taken.

New pet project! Given that I’ve been most mercenary and haven’t really had many projects of my own, that’s a big deal! So what is Darwena? Darwena is going to be a new game engine. “Blasphemy!”, I hear you mutter under your breath. Indeed, we put indie developers who want to develop their own engine in the same class as those who want to make an MMO. Stupid stupid waste of time when there are excellent free engines like Ogre3D, HGE and many others.

And you would be right. But nevertheless, I’m pursuing this for a few reasons. First, for education. Think of the kids! This will be my new platform on which to teach OpenGL. Modern engines are either too complicated to dissect easily, or miss the boat when it comes to practical game development. Secondly, this will be a lightweight platform for development of Casual downloadable games for the desktop and iPhone platforms. Ogre is great for 3D, but it’s pretty heavyweight, especially for the smaller apps. Last but not least, it gives me a playground to experiment with procedural techniques designed to make artists redundant in a totally malleable framework.

So, what’s the plan for the engine? These will be the guiding philosophies:

  • It will be based on OpenGL soley, with provisions made to extend to DirectX at a much later date.
  • It will run on Windows, OSX, and IOS. It might run on Linux too, if I have the time.
  • It will be lightweight. Specialised utility libraries like libpng, zzip and freetype may be employed, but we will strive to avoid the bloat of bigger, more congested APIs.

Phase I will be a pure 2D framework where we take advantage of GLSL shaders and scripting to provide a fluid 2D gaming experience. Heaps of attention will be poured onto the material and GUI.

Phase II will be the shift to 3D, with mesh imports, terrain and animation. High hopes of having procedurally generated meshes, but we will have to see.

Phase III incorporates networking for multiplayer play as well as social networking aspects like Facebook postage, high scores, achievements, etc.

So will this take to the sky and make me as rich as the folks over at Epic? Or will it crash and burn like the thousands of hopeful projects we politely snicker about? Only time will tell.

It breathes! It breathes! http://www.darwena.com


2 Comments on “Introducing… Darwena”

  1. 1 Alex said at 12:19 pm on October 6th, 2010:

    Yay! Will you make it open source? 🙂

  2. 2 Eugene said at 2:12 pm on October 6th, 2010:

    Hmm, not sure yet. It would have to get a lot more structured and built up than it currently is, so we’ll see how it evolves.


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