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Ultimate 3D for Game Maker is discontinued; No major new versions
Topic Started: Jul 1 2008, 09:29 PM (27,252 Views)
Dr. Best
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Hi everybody,

most of you will probably consider the topic I am talking about in this post bad news. It will be the most important announcement in this community in a long time. Here is a summary of what this announcement is about:
I have decided to discontinue my work on Ultimate 3D for Game Maker. I will not release any major new versions of Ultimate 3D, which can be used with Game Maker. Minor new releases with bug fixes and few new features may be developed though. I have already started developing Ultimate 3D 3.0, but most likely I will never create interfaces to Game Maker for this version. Some day I may use it as base for a freely available game making solution, which is independent from Game Maker. I will continue being active on this forum.

For most of you this probably is a surprise. For this reason I want to point out the reasons for my decision very clear. Recently I have started working on a fun little action game. I am making it in C++ using Ultimate 3D. Working on this I was reminded of the fact that the internal structure of Ultimate 3D is not quite perfect. I always had to design it in a way that made it possible to create the interfaces to Game Maker efficiently. The internal structure suffered from this. It is fine, but it could be significantly more comfortable. Despite Ultimate 3D is still limited by the fact that it is using Direct3D 8.1. I always liked pushing Direct3D 8.1 to its limits (especially through shader model 1.x), but now I want to start making use of everything modern graphics devices are capable of (I do not go for Direct3D 10 since I want to keep compatibility to XP although I am a Vista user).

These are the two most important reasons why I have decided to start developing Ultimate 3D 3.0. This version will include many improvements in the internal structure and through Direct3D 9.0c it will have some basically new features. Probably most of you are wondering why I do not just make Ultimate 3D 3.0 for Game Maker, just like all the previous versions. There are several reasons for this. The first one is that Ultimate 3D 3.0 will have very many new features, while some old features (like the primitive management system) will not exist anymore. It will differ from Ultimate 3D 2.1 in many points. It would be almost impossible to make interfaces for it, which would keep downwards compatibility (so that Ultimate 3D 2.1 projects could be converted to Ultimate 3D 3.0 easily). And since the interfaces of Ultimate 3D 2.1 are partially quite dirty (e.g. there is the unintuitive coordinate system, functions and variables with inconsistent naming and this strange mix of variables and functions to change object properties), I would probably just redesign all the interfaces, since they would not be downwards compatible anyway. This would be a lot of work for sure.

The question is whether it is worth it. Four years ago I thought it would. This is the time at which I started developing Ultimate 3D at the age of fourteen years. At this time I have been a Game Maker enthusiast just like you. This has changed. If you want to know why you should definitely read my statement on Game Maker. Game Maker is simply not capable of the things you are trying to do with it. To me developing Ultimate 3D for Game Maker feels like building a 500 PS engine for a car with quadratic wheels now. With Ultimate 3D 2.1 you can do a lot. With an Ultimate 3D 3.0 version for Game Maker you could do more. Though there would be still Game Maker limiting your possibilities. To continue speaking in the simile the only reason why you are still driving this car is because it has a colorful steering wheel and an automatic gear. Another reason is that Game Maker makes it hard to maintain the interfaces. For this reason it is a very boring work, which I have been doing long enough now.

For these reasons I will not spend weeks and months on designing properly documented interfaces to Game Maker for Ultimate 3D 3.0. It is simply not worth the hard work. Ultimate 3D is available to all Game Maker users for three and a half years now. Check how many works have been finished with it and you will see that I have a point. Some of you are wasting potential by sticking to Game Maker. A minor purpose of this announcement is to provoke you to stop using Game Maker, if you want to make complex games.

A question, which has not been answered in detail so far, is why I am developing Ultimate 3D 3.0, if I do not plan to release it for Game Maker. First of all I am developing it for my personal use and for the game I am developing. I will probably create an announcement with more information about this game once it has reached a playable state. Making such a complex 3D engine without releasing it in some way would be unreasonable though. For this reason I am considering several ways in which I may release Ultimate 3D 3.0. The one, which seems most likely at the moment is that I will use it to make a game making solution myself someday. It would be based upon an existing scripting language. Probably either Lua or Python. It would not be meant to be as easy to use as Game Maker, but it would be still quite user-friendly. The other two ways in which I may release Ultimate 3D 3.0 are either as closed-source library or as open-source project. Currently I do not think that I will do this though.

This whole announcement does not mean that Ultimate 3D for Game Maker is dead. With Ultimate 3D 2.1 final you have got a very complete and functional tool set. You can do quite much with it. And as I already said I may still release new versions with bug fixes and minor new features. These new versions would be based upon the source of Ultimate 3D 2.1, so they would be independent from Ultimate 3D 3.0. I will keep being active at this community. The only thing this announcement means is that there will never be a big technological jump forward again.

I have told those of you who want to make complex games to stop using Game Maker several times now. Now I am taking this advice myself. To get to a new level with Ultimate 3D I have to break up with Game Maker. Ultimate 3D has been a 3D engine for Game Maker for four years. I have spent a lot of time on it. During the development of Ultimate 3D 2.0 I started to make Ultimate 3D become an engine, which can be used independent from Game Maker, but the result was mediocre. It is time for complete independence.

My decision is final. Right now it does not feel good to end something, which has been that important to me, but it is a necessary step and I simply do not want to continue working on something for Game Maker. I have already started developing Ultimate 3D 3.0. It is based upon the source of Ultimate 3D 2.1, but I have already changed so many things that it would be hard to create Game Maker interfaces for it at its current state. Hopefully you will understand my reasons. I will never regret that I made Ultimate 3D for Game Maker. It has been a great experience. During its development I learned very much. Not just how to program. I also learned how to document and explain things. I learned how to handle the administration of a big forum. And I learned how to organize a big team work during the work on the Tech Demo. It was a good time. Always trying to get further, to create new possibilities. But since I learned so many things I can not live with the limitations of Game Maker anymore. I need to go on towards new aims.

Everything ends someday. The development of Ultimate 3D for Game Maker ends right now. Just like this post.

With friendly regards,
Christoph Peters
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Gandalf20000
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Well, this is good news and bad news. The good news: NO MORE SPEED ISSUES!!! The bad news: We have to start all over, and U3D 3.0, which as you have stated, will be free from Game Maker, isn't out yet...
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Ben
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He may release for C++. I have offered him my services to help you all along with the new version if needed, trying to get you all settled with new versions. Of course, he'll be busy for a while with U3D 3.0, seeing as he is rebuilding it ( however his ideas are top notch IMO ).
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Eansis
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I remember you telling us this before, this is no shock to me ^_^

I just hope that when GM becomes compiled, you won't change your mind and start all over again :D Hey, if you want to return to GM when GM becomes better, I'm all for it, but it might be much work. :music:
Edited by Eansis, Jul 1 2008, 10:38 PM.
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Things will not calm down Daniel Jackson. They will infact calm up.
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Gandalf20000
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There's just one question that goes through my head. Would there be DLL support for the stand alone U3D?
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Ben
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@Gandalf20000 - DrBest isn't even sure if there is going to be a stand alone U3D. There will be dll support if he makes it, but its really quite early to ask for things like this.
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Reikyrr
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Whell im hoping that this time you can adjust the editor to the engine not change the engine to work with the editor
~Inspirational quote~
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Ben
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If he decides to make a stand alone U3D, the goal is to adjust the "editor" to the engine. The main problem he had with game maker was that he had to structure his library around it, which in turn makes it in turn harder to maintain. And plus, he had to keep going and doing those stupid interfaces for game maker which took much time up. Think if he just had to work on the engine? Much more would get done and faster.
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harkathmaker
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Good choice, I say. Game Maker has limitations I'm feeling daily now. Hopefully this summer I will switch to making games in C++ or Java. :cow:

In terms of competition, how will U3D 3.0 relate to other professional engines?

Also, about the number of finished projects... I have a very complex game in the works, and I might post it soon, but have been waiting for it to be really good. I'm sure there's other people doing the same thing. :dunno:
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Ben
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I don't think Dr Best's goals are to compete with any other engine. And seeing as U3D 3.0 isn't complete, it'd be pointless to benchmark it at this time. Although, I would say it could evenly match major open source engines, such as Irrlicht and Ogre3D, as they use custom vertex and index buffers and render triangle lists, whilst Dr Best ( I believe ) uses the IDirect3DVertexBuffer9 and IDirect3DIndexBuffer9 structs, which offer some speed gain.
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Linkin
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@ Dr.Best

If you do decide to do a public release of Ultimate3D 3.0, will it still be free?
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Dr. Best
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That depends on how much money I will have during my study. I would prefer to make it free.
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Electricity
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Even if you did make it free you can expect a donation from my side ;)
Anyway why did you remove primitive management?
And its nice that you switch to C++ BUT will it feature a BasicC++.cpp file? :rolleyes:

And i have been trying to learn C++ but the ressources i found only featured basic stuff like variables and arrays.
Do you know a ressource i can use?
Edited by Electricity, Jul 2 2008, 04:59 PM.
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Rixeno
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Wow, it's funny, you know it's going to happen some day, you just don't know when :P. Then again, this might be exactly what I needed to go back and try to learn C++, I'm getting VSC++ right now because I heard it's one of the best free systems. I'm hoping to know enough to make a game by the time you release Independent U3D3.0.

So like Gandalf20000 said, it's good and bad news. Bad because, well, it's discontinued for GM, and good in the form of it's still being "continued" but for a more versatile system.

Question: Would it still be possible to use U3D3.0 for GM if someone's able to write all the functions? Or is that too much to ask? :P Doesn't bother me though, I want to upgrade from GML to C++.


NOTE TO SELF: Wow, I guess in a way, if it wasn't for U3D, I might of been stuck with GM for my life... Wow, I'll just finish my big GM project and then C++ here I come :medieval:
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Dr. Best
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I never said that there will be a release, which can be used through C++ directly. What I said is the following:
Dr. Best (I hate to have to quote myself)
 
For this reason I am considering several ways in which I may release Ultimate 3D 3.0. The one, which seems most likely at the moment is that I will use it to make a game making solution myself someday. It would be based upon an existing scripting language. Probably either Lua or Python. It would not be meant to be as easy to use as Game Maker, but it would be still quite user-friendly. The other two ways in which I may release Ultimate 3D 3.0 are either as closed-source library or as open-source project. Currently I do not think that I will do this though.

This should answer your questions.

Electricity
 
Anyway why did you remove primitive management?

The whole idea was not as good as I thought initially. The memory consumption is high and culling can not take place. The performance gain, which results from the reduction of draw calls, does not compensate these disadvantages. Ultimate 3D 3.0 will have instancing, which could be seen as a nice replacement for primitive management.
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