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Work in Progress / Road to PlayBasicFX

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 25th Oct 2007 10:33 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:10
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 26th Oct 2007 21:11 Edited at: 27th Jul 2010 07:11
PBFX V1.70p _BETA_ (Retail Compiler Only / Registered Users ONLY)

PBFX V1.70p is the 6th stability test of the new PB graphics engine and is considered a working (95%->100%) replacement of PB1.63n retail. While there have been some commands removed, all of the existing functionally is supported. That is not to say that everything is working %100, it isn't, so you'll no doubt encounter some broken commands and functionality changes. Hence beta testing !

This patch focuses on correcting sprite collision bugs & missing collision mode combination's.


Download

Old download removed. Visit http://www.playBasic.com

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 26th Oct 2007 21:25
PB1.70 Final Release Date

We'll be releasing the first Direct 3D accelerated retail update (PB1.70) at the end of this month. Post release, it's unlikely i'll investing much time in bug corrections however, since all my effort will be going into the next major step . Bugs will of course be corrected, but it might be a while before the next retail patch is issued. Therefore, i'll be posting daily updates of until the end of this month. So it's imperative that users really test these final betas with their own projects now!

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 30th Oct 2007 19:08
New Beta

Revision V1.70q is available from the PB maintenance area at Underware design.



Full Retail Update on track ?

While there's still a few known bugs left to correct, we'll still be making a release update at the end of this month, regardless.

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 31st Oct 2007 14:52
Play Basic V1.70r _BETA_ (Retail Compiler Only / Registered Users ONLY)

PB V1.70r is the 8th stability test of the new PB graphics engine and is considered a working (97%->100%) replacement of PB1.63n retail. While there have been some commands removed, all of the existing functionally is supported. That is not to say that everything is working %100, it isn't, so you'll no doubt encounter some broken commands and functionality changes. Hence beta testing !

This patch corrects the problem with MirrorImage simply by replacing it completely, it's now a lot quicker, but more memory hungry. Ya get that.



Here's it run the above loop at 200 odd fps.

Another handy fix is that the problem capture sprite depths has been sorted also. So scene depth will work again. You have to careful with Depths though, while in PB1.63 you could position a sprite at a depth of 0, this is not supported in V1.70. In fact sprites at this depth will be culled from view, as to the engine they'd be behind the viewer.

There's only a few tidbits left to clean up later on tonight. So we should be able to release 1.70 as Retail update on time.




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Download PB1.70r Retail Beta

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 1st Nov 2007 15:01
Play Basic V1.70r2 _BETA_ (Retail Compiler Only / Registered Users ONLY)

PB V1.70r2 is the 9th and last stability test of the new PB graphics engine and is considered a working (98%->100%) replacement of PB1.63n retail. While there have been some commands removed, all of the existing functionally is supported.
That is not to say that everything is working %100, it isn't, so you'll no doubt encounter some broken commands and functionality changes. Hence beta testing !

This version feels pretty stable, a lot of old 1.63 code runs as is, mind you to get the best performance out it PB1.70 and above, you'll have to tweak your code accordingly. Anyway, this will no doubt become the PB1.70 release, unless any new bugs are found today..




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Download PB1.70r2 Retail Beta

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2007 13:26 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 14:58
PlayBasic V1.70s _Retail Patch_ is Now Available

This release patches releases PB1.63m to PB1.63q retail revisions to the current retail release version of PBV1.70s. Therefore you'll need to install patch PB1.63m (at least) prior to this one ! (if you haven't already)

The PB1.70s package includes updates of PB Compiler, Release / Debug Runtimes.

Release 1.70 represents PB's transformation from a DirectDraw based application to a DirectDraw / Direct3D based application. News features include 3D hardware acceleration, entity sprites, Particle Engine, Perspective 3D rendering modes and much more. Obviously this is no small shift, virtually everything has been rebuilt from the ground up. While every effort has been made to retain backward compatibility with PB1.63, but only where it makes sense to do so. So you'll find some commands have been removed (since they no longer make sense), and some commands have been modified.

Performance wise, even though it's largely un-optimized state 1.70 is able to outperform 1.63. This is not a by product of Direct3D, rather just the cleaner way modules tie together. Obviously to gain the best performance and take advantage of Direct 3D you'll have to modify your existing code. Which is normally as simple as creating/loading any images as 3D images rather than stand video or FX images. If you choose to use 3D sprites, you can of course still use Pixel perfect collision (rotated, scaled) on them !


Have fun !


Screen Shots

There are too many new features packed into PB1.70 to bother going over it all (just re-read this blog) or check out the screen shot WIP ( with code examples) on the www.UnderwareDesign.com forums.

Screen Shots of PB1.64 to PB1.70



For more information about PlayBasic, please visit the PlayBASIC home page and download the free trial version (V1.64L) and dive in.

Url: www.PlayBasic.com

Deathead
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2007 20:48
OMG! That is some fine work there.

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 5th Nov 2007 13:07 Edited at: 27th Jul 2010 07:12
PBFX V1.71 _Retail Patch_ is Now Available

This release patches releases PB1.63m to PB1.63q retail release to the current retail release version of PBV1.71. Therefore you'll need to install patch PB1.63m (at least) prior to this one ! (if you haven't already)

The PBFX 1.71 package includes updates of the PB Compiler, Release / Debug Runtimes. This release corrects a few last minute bugs found in the V1.70s release. Moreover, the runtime sizes have been reduce again also, which is handy.

Have fun !


For more information about PlayBasic, please visit the PlayBasic home page.
Url: www.PlayBasic.com

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 7th Nov 2007 03:41 Edited at: 27th Jul 2010 07:15
PBFX 1.71a - Alpha Channel Support for 3D surfaces

This example is a quick rehash of older example that used the AFX image format to load images with Alpha channel. In this version you can load the image directly to a 3D surface (ie. Hardware Accel) and render it. While currently this is only hooked up through the DrawImage method (ie. DrawAlphaImage/DrawRotatedImage namely), the main difference is that you can now tell the renderer what type of transparency to use.

The transparent flag contains packed 3 bit settings, which you can combine will tell it how to render the surface.

1 (bit 0) = Use colour mask
2 (Bit 1) = use alpha channel
4 = not in use.
8 (bit 3) = Apply filtering




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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 7th Nov 2007 19:10 Edited at: 7th Nov 2007 19:11
PB 1.71a - Anti Aliased Shape Rendering (line mode)

This demo draws a bunch of ring shaped shapes perspectively, a bit like the old dot tunnel effect (back in the day). The main difference is that PB1.71a has anti aliased line rendering support for batched tasks like drawing the shape edges.



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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 8th Nov 2007 15:55 Edited at: 8th Nov 2007 15:57
PB 1.71a - Shape Ball/Tunnel Thing

This is slight variation of the previous demo, this it's rendering 100K anti aliased lines.




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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 8th Nov 2007 16:23
Play Basic V1.71a _BETA_ (Retail Compiler Only / Registered Users ONLY)

PB V1.71a is first post migration beta. This version introduces some more direct 3d acceleration (bonuses really) under the label as new features. Those being Alpha Channel Support for 3D surfaces (limited to Drawrotateimage / DrawalphaImage) for the time being) and Line cache support. The latter is used to pass batches of the line segments to the 3d device for rendering. The main benefit is that you can draw Anti Aliased lines. However, this will most likely be optional in the future.



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Download PB1.71a Retail Beta

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 9th Nov 2007 18:52 Edited at: 27th Jul 2010 07:15
PBFX 1.71B Sprite Filtering

In this update users can now control if a sprite has filtering or not. To do so use the SpriteFilter & GetSpriteFilter commands.




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Deathead
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Posted: 10th Nov 2007 02:24
Kev: Nice work ye got there.

[href]http://www.freewebs.com/deatheadstudios/]

[/href]
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 11th Nov 2007 01:50 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 10:54
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 13th Nov 2007 05:44 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 10:55
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 15th Nov 2007 02:01 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 10:56
Kevin Picone
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PlatFormer Demo Using Perspective Sprites

This is the standard platform demo from way back, converted to use PB1.71c's perspective sprite rendering. Which is a feature of PB1.7x editions of PlayBasic. Perspective rendering has various rotation modes. In this one (perspective 2D), it will renders the sprite scene down the z axis. So the camera can zoom in/out and spin on the Z axis but not on the X/Y axis. There's other rotation modes (ie full 3D) but this one is a lot simpler for 2D game scenes (no axis flipping). and therefore a lot more plug and play friendly!

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Posted: 15th Nov 2007 14:05
Perspective 2D platformer With Particles Patched In

This pic is the previous demo with the 2D particles example cut together into it. Rough as guts code wise, but shows the potential !

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 16th Nov 2007 13:33 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:12
Perspective 2D Platformer Video

This is a little 30second video capture (3.4 meg - DivX5.1) of the perspective platformer demo running in PB1.71. The demo includes 7 backdrop layers, particles, pixel perfect collision, alpha overlays etc All drawn from a top down perspective.


(pic attached)

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 19th Nov 2007 04:31 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:14
Perspective Platformer Demo (Using Perspective Sprites)

This is the standard platform demo from way back converted to use PB1.71c's perspective sprite rendering. Which is a feature of PB1.7x editions of PlayBasic. Perspective rendering has various rotation modes. In this one (perspective 2D), it will render the sprite scene down the z axis. So the camera can zoom in/out and spin on the Z axis but not on the X/Y axis. There's other rotation modes (i.e. full 3D) but this one is a lot simpler for 2D game scenes (no axis flipping! ) and therefore a lot more plug and play friendly!



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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 19th Nov 2007 16:51 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:15
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 26th Nov 2007 16:10 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:16
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 29th Nov 2007 18:07 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:17
PlayBasic V1.71 Promo Movie

A few months back we had the idea of putting together a slide show of PB games/demos pictures and cutting them into a movie. Since, it's not possible to capture running video in PB1.63 and bellow. While the demo editions and home pages have a cluster of game demos available, we're relying upon users taking the initiative to shift through the material. Since unfortunately (due to the size limitations) many of the more visually appealing demos have to be left out of the demo package. Which means that the demo is often unable to raise awareness of the boarder possibilities of PB, like even the most simple movie could.

So over the past few days, I've been capturing a cross section of old and new demo and game examples (running in PlayBasic V1.71) and cutting them into a simple movie. All in all, there's something like 16/17 clips. They're not all 1.71 level demos, in fact only about a 1/2 of them are. In particular the games, which with the exception of one (form memory) are PB V1.62 level programs simply running in PB V1.71.

The newest effect is the last part, which is a thrown together city space sitting on the height map. While it's certainly not as pretty as it could be (since it's all generated in code), it shows that even though PB is 2D/3D language, you can happily throw a few thousand 3D objects into a scene and the world won't end. Ironically, I know a few 3D engines where that's a no no, but anyway.

Here's a low quality edition of the movie.
PlayBasic V1.71 Promo (12meg)




Where's New PB1.7x Demo

Been getting a few emails about where's the PlayBasic 1.71 demo ? Simple, there's isn't one, as yet. That's not to say, there won't be one, of course there will be! However, we really can't build a demo until the retail edition has matured. Then we need to update doc's, example pack and make the necessary IDE revisions. So it's not just a matter of slapping it up on the server.

I'm not even going to bother estimating when we'll be ready to release a 1.7x (revision) level demo, as it could be anywhere from a month to 6 months. It just depends on how long it takes to get from this point to near completed state (as per the design doc). Given the work load ahead that's probably 2->3 months off.

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2007 05:52 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:47
3D City Scape + Terrain

This example is of a 3D city scape that's generated in code. The example uses the Sprite Entity feature of PB1.7x combined and Draw Perspective Sprite command to render a 3D scene.

pic attached

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 9th Dec 2007 16:48 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:47
PB1.71f TexturedPolyHitSprite Pixels

This function is more an exposed helper function than a user function per say, but it's there if you want to detect impacts between a textured convex polygon and a sprites pixels.

In the example it's scaling the UW logo and comparing it against the 1500 sprites.

pic attached

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 9th Dec 2007 17:36 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:18
Kevin Picone
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PB 1.71f Level Hit Sprite (Pixels)

This example is demonstrating the current WIP of the new LevelHitSprite command. This command allows you to detect pixel level intersections between a sprite and a map (level). In the picture bellow the test version of the routine is running through and comparing the overlapping tiles + sprite. If a tile collides with the sprite, the routine internally renders a red coloured rect at this position, so the collision is visible. Obviously that's just for testing purposes atm. The routine supports animated and static levels, moreover the levels transparent tile is ignored during collision.

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 10th Dec 2007 16:38 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:48
PBFX 1.71f Level Hit Sprite Pixels (Xenon)

This is a quick follow up on previous update about LevelHitSprite. Here i'm simply beta testing the command in the standard scrolling demo, my multi camera Xenon 2000 remake. The players bullets have pixel level collision against the foreground map level. If a hit is detected the bullet pops the standard explosion anim (see the code snippet bellow). The interesting thing is that it doesn't really add any overhead at all to the demo's performance. Which is interesting since the bullet sprites and maps are standard video images. But anyway, here's another piccy for good measure.




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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 11th Dec 2007 17:47 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:20
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 14th Dec 2007 18:08 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:21
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 15th Dec 2007 14:51 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:25
n008
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Posted: 15th Dec 2007 16:27
Holy crap! 18 posts in a row!

May I ask what you created this with?

ASM I presume?

Kevin Picone
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Simple Xfile (ASCII) Loader - Dragon (textured)

The Xfile loader has been updated to support textured objects. It's still not pretty, but they load pretty fast and you can get some 3D happening in your PB1.7x games. The following pictures are of a simple textured dragon model thrown into the city space scene example (above).

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 19th Dec 2007 15:41 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:24
Simple XFile Loader V0.01

This demo contains a simple DirectX loader for PBFX V1.70 or higher. The loader will attempt to load .X (ASC only) file in as entity sprite for use in 3D perspective rendering, such as DrawPerspectiveSprites.


(pic attached )

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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 20th Dec 2007 04:38 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:26
PlayBasic Machine Code Test

This example demonstrates a very early (ie Hacked together) version of JIT (Just In Time) engine for PlayBasic. What this engine does is takes PB's internal byte code representation of your code and further translates that to native machine code. Although calling it a translator at this point is overstating it, as at the moment the translation code can only handle very routines. Once a segment of code is natively translated, PB can execute the machine code fragment rather than passing the byte code through the VM. So execution is faster.

The actual example we're testing here is a full screen pixel fill. The demo contains three versions of the pixel fill (some of code is bellow) the first and second methods are the same, expect the translator has replaced (well hacked) the Byte code of the inner loop with the native machine code version. The VM is still used to process the outter loops down the Y axis, but the inner loop it passes control to the native version. The second test is the equivalent routine running on the VM.

Speed wise, there's a obviously going to be a world of difference. The native machine code version can fill the 800*600*4 screen (1.9meg of data) in about 3 milliseconds. The runtime equivalent struggles at 150/155ms for the same task. This is a little misleading as the VM#1 runtime sees the above inner loop code as low priority opcodes. So execution of that particular loop is slower than just using dot fill of the screen (Which is the 3rd test). Which can be done 2->3 times faster than the poke solution above at 65/70ms.. Even so, the machine code test is approximately 20 times quicker than the fastest VM friendly loop in the VM#1 runtime.


======================
Sample Fill Loop Code
======================



Kevin Picone
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VM1 meets the Wrecking Ball - PlayBasic V1.72 translating the runtime engine

OK so it's 2008 and it's time to get a little more serious with PlayBasic. Now it might have a been a few weeks since i posted some WIP, but you'd be crazy to assume nothing is going on. With the release of the first direct 3d accelerated editions of PB (1.70 and higher) some months ago, the need to migrate from the old runtime technology to the newer tech (which is now also obsolete) was becoming very apparent. Current editions of the PB execute code using a hybrid of the original VM1 and VM2 runtimes. The goal was to transparently move from one environment to the other, without a huge gap between updates. While migration is certainly possible, but as time goes on it's just problematic to build and manage the overall project. Therefore i've been focusing upon ripping the guts out of Vm1 in preparation for moving to complete VM2 or above) based runtime.

Current work revolves around exporting embedded VM1 functions and externalizing them for VM2 environment, which is tedious job when there's 1200 plus commands. This is necessary as everything under the VM2 runtime is now external. Which will allow engines to be attached/detached with ease. Ironically some entire command sets are now written in PlayBasic under this environment , which makes life a much easier. The exporting stuff is one aspect and the other is dividing up the runtime is clear self contained modules. So part and can updated/ replaced or removed without having to include virtually everything. I can't really do all that until VM2 is fired up again.

I've been picking through this work for a week or so, and was going release a new beta today but have decided not to. The reason for this, is the parameter matching on external function functions at the moment is explicit. So while the commands look the same, the compiler will often pop a compile time parameter mismatch on code that 'seems' correct. This occurs as internal function calls have auto type conversion and externals don't at the moment. One interesting byproduct of the current beta is that a lot of commonly used functions are actually faster. This was a nice surprise as I'd been expecting them to be about the same or slower. Although not everything is quicker, a few calls are slower for the time being. Which after a little detective work comes down to running calls through a generic caller. This won't be a issue in VM2.

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 21st Jan 2008 16:18 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:28
Kevin Picone
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Demo Games Needed for PlayBasic Free Edition

I'm in the process of building a new unlimited day demo version of PlayBasic V1.63. While the product is no different from what it was, i'm keen to update the projects pack, in particular the demo games section. Most of which were written years ago. So if you have anything you'd like to contribute (doesn't have to be complete ! ), then post it bellow.

Cash Curtis II
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One day I'd absolutely love to make a game with PB. Its 2D capabilities are phenomenal. I have a particular interest in physics, is it possible to use the Box 2D physics that Diggsey wrapped for DBP in PB?


Come see the WIP!
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 26th Jan 2008 20:25
Quote: "I have a particular interest in physics, is it possible to use the Box 2D physics that Diggsey wrapped for DBP in PB"


Only if it doesn't hook back in DBpro. If not, then yeah.

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 6th Feb 2008 20:11 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:23
Obsolete Post #54 Removed.
==========================

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 9th Feb 2008 01:41 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:29
Play Mapper Classic V1.09 Updated

This update fixes some issues with adding/renaming layers in loaded maps.


Play Mapper Classic V1.09

Kevin Picone
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Posted: 15th Feb 2008 19:05 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:30
Kevin Picone
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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 1st Mar 2008 06:42 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:34
PlayBasic Round Up News Letter TGC #62

Quote: "

PlayBasic - Round Up

I've been unseasonably quiet the past few months, not because I've been lazy (I wish) but I've swamped with work. So much for summer holidays! Anyway, rather than even try and recap the past three months of development, it might just be easier if you hopped over to my running WIP / BLOG thread on TGC and sifted through that.

See. Road To PlayBasic FX


Free PlayBasic V1.63 Learning Edition Coming Soon!

In the past we've generally issued time limited demos of PlayBasic. While this approach works well for some users, but not all. Why ? - Well, we're effectively throwing some 1400 odd commands at a new users in one big hit. That's pretty confronting, even for an experienced programmer to handle, let alone somebody new to the programming field. To help counter this, we're building a learning edition of PlayBasic. This version isn't necessarily a demo of the full product, rather it's a cut down version to help improve your programming skills with, without the dreaded time limit hanging over your head. This way you can tinker all you want, then upgrade when you've got the next big thing in development.

We expect to issue the first learning edition sometime in March 2008.


Play Mapper Mini

Just when you thought it safe open your eyes again, another 2D Mapping tool surfaces for PlayBasic. This one, is an old project that was initially started as a stop gap solution (hence the name) to replace the original (and now abandoned) PlayMapper tool. But things happen and time gets away from all, as such I've only just found time to update it again. Which you can read all about the WIP thread bellow. (with downloads)

Play Mapper (Link updated July,2010)


2008 Competition On The Horizon

Yes campers it's that time of the year again, competition time. What's the of theme for this years competition ? - Well, we haven't decided yet. So if you've any bright ideas pop over to our forums and let us know !



From The Forums
Saturn Missile defender 2
Escape Pod
PathFinders Space game
Potato - Level Editor
Thesius XIII V0.16 - Bunker Objects
Star Captain
Lunar Caves (Lunar Lander Game)
Hodges

Over And Out

Until next month, I'm off to continue bashing bits in some other dimension. Other wise known as sitting at my dev pc

"


Kevin Picone
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Posted: 2nd Mar 2008 00:41
Updating K-Net Wrapper To Version 402 (Direct Play 9)

I've spent all day working on refreshing the K-NetLIb wrapper for PlayBasic. Now since making wrappers is pretty tedious and error prone. I figured I'd write a little PB program to convert the K-Net c/c++ header files to a .PBA include file. It's a bit messy, but does the job well enough. The idea being that when new editions of the library are released, we can just refresh our wrapper by converting the latest header files. Gets rid of the human errors stuff.

As for how to use the library, well don't ask me! - I didn't write it So rather than waste time and stumble through slapping some crappy examples together, I just ported an example from the original K-net package PlayBasic. The result is pictured bellow. So it does work !

Still got a few tidbits to do, but I'll wrap this later today and post in the Libraries forum. (@ www.UnderwareDesign.com)

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Kevin Picone
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Years of Service
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Joined: 27th Aug 2002
Location: Australia
Posted: 2nd Mar 2008 15:11
K-NetLib 402 (Networking / Multi player) support library (for PlayBasic) updated

This support library is a wrapper of ChromaTick ( formally KrylarKreations) K-NetLib (DirectPlay 9) networking dll. This library gives PlayBasic programmers free net working support.

Have fun!


Download

Download K-NetLib Wrapper For PlayBasic (See Members Area)

Kevin Picone
20
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 27th Aug 2002
Location: Australia
Posted: 4th Mar 2008 18:59 Edited at: 26th Jul 2010 15:36
Documentation Proof Readers Required

As you may (or may not) know, I'm currently working on building the a Learning Edition of the PlayBasic. This edition is stop gap release designed to not only replace the existing demo, but clean up the state of the public face of PlayBasic. By effectively dumbing it down a little more for newbie's.. How so? mainly by removing many of the more advance command sets. Even so there's still some 900 odd commands sitting at the users finger tips.

The new users front line of defense against command overload, is the documentation. The better the doc's the easier the transition from bright eyed bushy tailed young coder to the pixel bashing Jedi master. However maintaining the doc's is virtually a full time job! This is where you guys come in. Rather than me sitting here and randomly looking for things to fix. I think we'd find more tidbits if everybody got off their back side and contributed.

All you have to do is pick through the doc's and make a list of the commands/example that have typo's, outdated information or need clarification. Moreover, make sure the associated examples and code box snippets are update to date (work)!


Interested ? - Head Over to PlayBASIC.com to get involved.

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