It has been quite some time since our last update. Most of the news is simply posted to the Game Pencil Subdomain. I will like to assure you all that development has been going steadily, but not smoothly. In the last 2 weeks my hard-drive failed. There was not much data loss(just 2 days of tiring work) due to the lack of commit made to our backup drive and repository. I was able to buy a new hard-drive from retail as well as a new cell phone earlier this week. This effected some work morale, but besides that everything is going fine just again.
The steps leading to the hard-drive fail created hours of wasted time for hard-drive scanning, failed repairs and re-installing windows on failed hard-drive as well as new(assumed to be new good hard-drive). As of writing this post I have gotten the IDE to compile and build again via CodeBlocks, SDL and Windows 10(64bit of course). The next step is to push out the final adjustments for Version 1.1.0 of the editor.
About Version 1.1.0 of Game Pencil
Besides the hundreds of line in the change-log, the biggest update from 1.0.4 to 1.1.0 besides skipping 1.0.5 is the Sprite Editor and Scene Editors. The Sprite Editor now allows for more dynamic sprite images instead of forcing the entire image to be used.
The Scene Editor now does layers for nearly everything(except settings). I will talk about that below. Other updates include the edition of the "Layer Matrix" to support this new system.
Agriduel Development to continue after 1.1.0 release
Due to me coding both engine, editor and games I have spent the vast majority of my time working on Version 1.1.0 of Game Pencil. The goal is to release Agriduel simultaneously on Windows, Mac, Linux, WiiU and Switch in 2017. I plan to release a gameplay video and trailer of Agriduel after New Years.
Windows and Linux support is current priority for 2016.
Due to time constraints and lack of an OSX/macOS computer within the PawByte team I will be focusing on the IDE working on Windows and Linux. I will be dual-booting Windows+Linux and using a Virtual Machine for a few non Debian Based Linux distributions. I do have a few friends who own mac computers, but due to their schedules and recent delays I have not collaborated a time to port on their computers.
New Layer System
The new layer system is very similar to the old one, with the exception that objects and textures are now part of the layer system. This means their depth in scenes are now determined from 0 to 32. Each project now has 32 layers.
Importing older projects in GPE 1.1.x
When importing older projects, projects with over 30 tile layers will remove the extra layers. This decision was made for the sake of optimization and to achieve a layer matrix of 1024 cells(32x32). When importing older projects a warning will be given as your project will be upgraded on import. Each new project will include 2 default layers(0 for Default Background Layer, 1 for Default Object Layer). Previously each scene was only able to have up to 8 background textures, now with the new system that number has been upgraded from 8 to how many your game can handle. Each layer is able to have "unlimited" backgrounds.
When importing an older project the Default background will load in all of the older backgrounds into the Default Background Layer. Also all old projects will import their objects to the "Default Object Layer", which appears above the backgrounds and below the tile layers. Please not you can manually change this in each scene. But this is based on the "perceived" render order of the older versions of Game Pencil.
Other Changes to the Scene Editor
The Scene editor can get pretty small on smaller screens so I'm now adding two-modes for the scene editor. Mode1 will be 1-pane+the scene view pane. Mode2 will be "Settings/Layer" Pane+Scene View Pane+"The Mini-Editor" Pane". If you have a 1080p screen I will recommend choosing Mode2. If your screen is lesser than 1080p I will suggest Mode1 which merges 2 Panes into 1(vertically).
You are also now able to drag resources into each scene(from the same project of course). Some people disliked the context menu to select objects, so this feature is here for you all!
Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Switch Support
As you already know, the Nintendo Wii U is supported by the Game Pencil Engine. In early 2017, we plan to release the Nintendo Switch to the export list(free of charge for approved developers). The exact version number will probably be 1.1.3. So stick around for that. We will keep the process as automatic as possible. We are unsure of what operating systems will work for Switch development, but we will keep you in the loop(as long as NDA allows us to).
So with that, look forward to Version 1.1 of the editor and experience our dream engine one step closer to the glory to be revealed to us.
Happy Game Developing!
PawByte Founder and Lead Developer