Helium Update - Cycle 17

Where we are at

Currently we are making a big push to get the new renderer integrated into the editor application and remove the current temporary renderer.  Naturally this is requiring some rework of the internals of the editor, as well as some new debug draw features in the renderer side, all of which is in progress now.  Additionally, more work is going in to the drawer UI, and related tasks so that it actually becomes viable for use in the editor.  We’ve also made some strides in reducing the complexity of our source control setup (no more git submodules, yay!), and made our premake scripts a little smarter.  The end result is that it’s a bit easier to get started with Helium, so what are you waiting for?  Give it a try.

What was completed this cycle

  • The asset vault has been wired up and should be in a “first-pass working state.”  This includes on disk asset tracking and indexing into a local database.  You’ll notice this data is kept in a folder named “.Helium” alongside your project file.
  • The Premake scripts got a lot smarter.  It should be more descriptive and obvious about when things fail and also detect when required tools are missing and inform you.
  • We’ve removed the submodules from our git repository.  The drawback is you’ll need to install the FBX SDK yourself to compile the code, but the rather huge benefit is that it is way less complicated to live day-to-day in the repository now.
  • Our very own Geoff Evans has written an article on C++ reflection which appears in the latest Game Developer magazine (February 2011).  Check out his article, titled “Behind the Mirror,” when you get a chance!

What’s next

Well the task at hand still isn’t complete, and that is merging the new renderer into the editors viewport and get it hooked up, get the manipulators working, make sure snapping is working right, all that good stuff.  Once we have those basics hammered out we will start working out our scene graph and how we are going to display actual objects and geometry.  From there we have to work out a few more details, like nested scenes, but basic environment construction is not far away.

Demo time

Nothing to show this cycle.  Stay tuned next cycle for a tour of the asset vault.

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