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Opera 12 with WebGL

So great, I'm really looking forward to Opera 12: It looks like that version will have WebGL support. Meaning I can develop this stuff finally also with my favorite browser. Also, this means there is only one major browser remaining without WebGL support: Internet Explorer. But also this is no problem anymore. You can make WebGL content run inside IE as well.



Eigen

I just came across eigen, a C++ library for Matrices, Vectors and similar. It supports SSE (and others for other platforms) and does this on the fly, with lots of template magic. I currently don't need anything like this, but it's quite interesting reading its documentation: Quite amazing what's going on beneath. It has the same problem as all heavily template based libraries, it's source is incredible complicated and difficult to comprehend if you are not willing to sacrifice a lot of time for this, but still very interesting. If you are looking for a math library, probably worth a look.



Ambiera Employee of the Month

I present you the Ambiera employee of the Month:


He isn't very productive, but definitely boosts the morale in the office. :)



My thoughts on Dart and JavaScript

Maybe you've heard about Google Dart, a programming language which Google would like to replace JavaScript with. It has been taken a bit under fire, since a user posted what a simple "hello world" program in Dart looks like when compiled down to JavaScript. It results in a horrible, incredible long piece of code, choked out by the Dart compiler.
So Dart appears not to be a nice replacement for JavaScript, but honestly: why a new programming language at all? This has been tried numerous times before. We all know, JavaScript has it's problems. But why don't we just provide a simple VM for scripting in the browser? In that way, you could write your website code in any language you would like. Why forcing web developers to use a specific language at all? Also, if we only provided bytecode to the browser instead of scripts, it would actually make websites faster. They would load faster, be able leave out the part where they would parse the code, and be able to optimize the execution of the bytecode much easier. Wouldn't that be an idea?



Unreal in the Flash Player, a game changer?

If you have missed it, Epic and Adobe announced this week that the Unreal Engine is coming to the Flash Player. On the Adobe MAX conference, they showed that their engine is already running in the just released Flash Player 11, and that you can even play a full game with it. This video shows a flight through an Unreal Tournament 3 level, running inside a browser.
The demo was quite impressive, but I was a bit disappointed when I found out how they did it: Apparently, they simply (where 'simply' isn't the right word) cross-compiled their C++ code using Adobe Alchemy. It doesn't seem that they wrote ActionScript code for this, so this isn't really an Actionscript 3D engine. But who cares, you can still write impressive games with it.

Besides Farmville in 3D with super realistic graphics, this basically could be a game changer. First, people and more important, developers see that you can do anything in the Flash Player now. Hell, I've heard that the Unreal Engine runs faster in the Flash Player than it does on the consoles. I guess we will start seeing more and more 3D games on the web now. Besides the Unreal Engine, there are a lot of 3D engines for Flash popping up now. But I guess with Epics nice pricing scheme for their engine, I think all the other engine developers will have a hard time being in competition with Unreal. Maybe this could also be a problem for Unity, who previously announced they will be targeting Flash soon as well. Let's see. Competition is always a good thing, at least for us, the developers. :)

Currently, with WebGL and Flash Stage 3D becoming more popular, I think the way people buy and use games will change soon. Why should you buy, download and install a game on your system, when it could be possible to play it as well directly on a Website, from anywhere in the world? We'll see how this will turn out soon.

By the way, you did check out CopperCube already, did you? Shameless plug. It also supports Flash Player 11, already today. :)



CopperCube 3 released

I just released Coppercube 3. This is a major update, with tons of new features. For example, this release adds dynamic lights for all targets, plugins for the editor, JavaScript as language for Mac .app and Windows .exe, polygon editing tools in the editor, audio for the WebGL target, double sided materials, new actions, improved model viewer camera, better 3rd person camera for indoor scenes, improved file importers, better WebGL performance, and much, much more. I've posted a detailed list of all changes here.



With this release, CopperCube has become a lot more mature now. You can create realistic nice content with it, and with the new low poly editing tools in the editor, it is now also possible to create your 3D content alone with CopperCube, without any external modelling tool if you wish. Of course, the tools in there are very basic and not comparable to a sophisticated modelling package, but it is a start.

I also replaced the internal used scripting language Squirrel with JavaScript. Not that I didn't like Squirrel, but unfortunately, most people don't want to learn a new programming language just to do some scripting, so I've now switched it to JavaScript, a language which most people already know. All functions have been ported to JavaScript equivalents, and even better: There are about 50% more functions available, giving you access to even more stuff in CopperCube.

There are also a lot of new demos on the website, showing the new features in action:


Backyard Demo Start


Dynamic Light Demo Start


Model Viewer Demo Start


Building Demo Start


Third Person Camera Demo Start


First Person shooter Demo Start


Character Animation Demo Start


Configurator Demo Start



As always, although CopperCube is a commercial editor, all the Irrlicht releated functionality in that editor will still work even after the trial period is over, so basically that is free to be used. If you have a license for the editor anyway, you'll get a -60% discount when upgrading to this version (see the buy page for details).