The state of the Game Engine (Sept 2017)

I want to give you a brief update on the current state of the engine. With my day job and other responsibilities, I had to scale down the amount of time I spent writing on this blog. However, not for a second, have I stopped working on the engine. If you haven't seen any updates, is because I decided to do something unorthodox.

Back in July 2017, I decided to take a detour. As you may recall, I was working on developing a 3D soccer game using my game engine. At that time, the engine was being powered by the OpenGL API. I have nothing but great things to say about OpenGL. I think it is an amazing API and if you are interested in learning computer graphics, I strongly suggest to start by using it. However, the time had come for me to port the engine to Metal.

Metal is the new Graphics API from Apple. In my opinion, Metal is a lot easier to work than OpenGL. It is less convoluted, and it leads to clean code. And more importantly, it is a lot easier to grasp. If you already know OpenGL, learning Metal is going to be a walk in the park.

So, why did I decided to port the engine to Metal? Part of the answer came down to future OpenGL support. I learned that Apple is very committed to Metal and there are no plans to keep updating OpenGL on mobile devices. I also found out about Apple Augmented Reality framework. Looking at some demos, it is apparent that Augmented Reality will play a huge part in the future of mobile gaming. And it so happens, that the Augmented Reality framework from apple only works with Metal. Of course, I plan to implement AR features in the engine.

I have to admit, porting the game engine from one graphics API to another is not something to look forward. However, it was easier than I thought. And I believe that Metal's clean paradigm had a lot to do with the ease of this task.

As of today, Sept 16, 2017, the engine has been completely ported to Metal.

So why haven't I given an update on the engine?

It has to do with the fact, that through the porting, I learned of many mistakes I had made using OpenGL. And I'm finding of these errors through the mobile soccer game. So, that is what I'm doing now. I'm going back and forth, tweaking issues in the engine and the game. Making sure everything is correct and working properly. Unfortunately, this is taking longer than I planned, but I think is important for the engine to be reliable before I release it to the public.

I plan to release version 1.0 of the soccer game by the end of 2017. Once released, I plan to complete the API documentation for the engine, User's Guide and tutorial by May 2018. The release of the engine will soon follow after this. I haven't decided to release the engine as open source or closed source yet. I'm still evaluating this decision.

Well, that is what is going on in my world. Thanks for reading.

Harold Serrano

Computer Graphics Enthusiast. Currently developing a 3D Game Engine.