Torque 3D 3.8 Released

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JeffR
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by JeffR » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:55 am
Hey everyone!

Today we'd like to announce that 3.8 is now out in the wild! It's been pretty fast paced all in all, with us burning through it in just over 3 months. As mentioned before, this release was largely focused on trying to shore up on the stability front. While it's obviously impossible to ensure any software is 100% stable on every machine, we've noted a definite improvement with the work that went into 3.8.

We managed to pull in well over 70 PRs, some of them being fairly hefty. SDL got a lot of TLC to get it shored up for when we switch over to that as the main of our platform layer down the line, and Linux got a good bit of additional attention to get it in a much more solid state. Of course, there's always more work to do, but a lot of headway was made.

I'd like to put a shout out to the people that PR'd changes that helped us get here:
  • Az
  • blackwc
  • Duion
  • buckmaster
  • raistlin
  • Mango
  • rlranft
  • John3
  • MusicMonkey
  • JeffH
  • Lopuska
  • pacomont
  • Timmy
  • signmotion
  • and the guys at both Winterleaf and BeamNG

Your contributions all went into this update to help improve things for everyone, so thanks a ton!

So, where can I get this lovely release?
A fine question that a smarter man would have addressed sooner!

You can get the release with binaries for either Windows or Linux from our downloads page on the wiki, here.

Remaining issues
One remaining issue that I tried to get wrapped up, but was unable to because, well, I suck at Linux'ing, was the issue of file dialogs. It was something we'd missed with 3.7, and so for 3.8 I tried to find some cross-platform library we could utilize to get us native file dialogs for linux, and eventually OSX.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get Codeblocks to let me actually debug things, so there's a few niggling issuse causing a crash somewhere with my implementation. I've got a branch concerning it here and if anyone can either tell me how to get codeblocks to properly debug, or can figure out the crash themselves, I can PR it right away and get a hotfix out to re-enable file dialogs for the Linux build.

Alright, so what's next?
Now, we take some time and properly draft the minutia of what we're planning for 3.9. That said, we've already got a pretty solid idea of the major hits we're shooting to implement.

Here are the major features we're looking to get in for 3.9:
  • New Project Manager that works on all the platforms that T3D does, and uses CMake as it's generation back-end, but a sleeker, easier to use front-end.
  • Deferred Shading
  • Initial integration of the Entity/Component stuff, alongside existing game classes
  • Taml/Asset/Module systems
  • Beginning of Shadergen 3.0
  • Shadow Caching
  • Initial DX11 implementation
  • Hardware Skinning
  • Numerous tool improvements
  • More work to make SDL the primary platform system.
  • OSX Support

Wow, that's quite a bit of stuff
Indeed it is. Of course, quite a lot of it is a good ways along already, and some stuff is just waiting to be PR'd or is ALREADY PR'd and just needs to be merged in.

That said, we are looking at 3.9 taking a bit longer than the rather quick 2 month timeline we'd set for 3.8(+1 month testing the RC). Nothing absurd like "See all of you in a year!", but it taking more like 5 or 6 months wouldn't be mindblowing.

Of course, if we can get it done faster, I don't think anyone will complain ;)

As always, if you note any issues, please make an issue on the github page, and if you have anything you'd like to contribute or suggestions of things you'd like to see, by all means hit us up on the forums, we'd love to hear feedback!

And here are the release notes.

Have a good one, and happy developing!
Hutch
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by Hutch » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:35 am
>osx support

awe man, i gotta kick it up a couple of notches now so you plebs get this in time ;3

Congrats and thanks everyone for contributing!!
buckmaster
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by buckmaster » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:35 am
*Applause*

@
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JeffR
you deserve tons of kudos for being the only active SC member for a large part of this release. Cheers and great work! Looking forward to 3.9 :)
JeffR
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by JeffR » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:22 am
Also, double-checked with him as I didn't want people to try and pressure/nag him about it, but Timmy was cool with getting a mention.

Timmy's been working to get his work on Anis' DX11 branch put up so we can all collaberate on getting it in, hence why DX11 is mentioned as being a target for 3.9.

I think everyone is in agreement that getting DX11 in is gunna be required, going forward, and Timmy's put in some starting work to get Anis' original DX11 and D3D9 refactor stuff updated so we can all jam on it.

With a bit of luck, he'll have the rest of his changes all put up into a branch so we can get it shored up and rolled in :)

--

Also wanna mention that JeffH and glenn and Az have been crunching rather hard trying to get OSX working. They've made startling headway the past week, and with luck the remaining issuse will get stamped out and we can get mac support back in the engine proper as well.
saindd
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by saindd » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:29 am
What's shadergen? A built-in tool to create materials for T3D?

Thanks a lot for the hard work guys!
Azaezel
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by Azaezel » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:34 am
saindd wrote:What's shadergen? A built-in tool to create materials for T3D?

Thanks a lot for the hard work guys!

It's what translates those material entries like https://github.com/GarageGames/Torque3D ... cs#L23-L39 into shader file snippets (think a node system, but a bit more hardcoded in terms of what order the logic is inserted, and the like) and combines them into procedural shaders that directx or opengl can actually understand.
JeffR
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by JeffR » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:36 am
@
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saindd

Shadergen is what creates the shaders for you when you use the built-in material editor.

When you make and use a material, it still requires shaders to render all the effects you add via the material settings, such as normal mapping, specularity, animation, etc.

Shadergen is the voodoo in the background that reads the material settings, and generates a shader file for you. It's a solid system, but it's kinda rigid and not easy to expand.

Shadergen 3 would allow a lot more flexibility when setting up materials and let them do fancier, custom effects if they need them.

(Ahh, ninja'd by Az ;) )
Timmy
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by Timmy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:35 am
With the DX11 stuff i'll start a new thread soonish and explain the whole situation and what's going on with it.
Dwarf King
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by Dwarf King » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:25 pm
Timmy wrote:With the DX11 stuff i'll start a new thread soonish and explain the whole situation and what's going on with it.


Then I shall lurk around to keep an eye on it :mrgreen:
Steve_Yorkshire
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by Steve_Yorkshire » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:06 pm
Excellent work, chaps! 8-)

Stares at github ... clicks zip download :oops:
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