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Offline Chris Sinclair  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, March 7, 2012 7:15:34 PM(UTC)
Chris Sinclair

Joined: 3/7/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1

Hi,

The company I work for is in the process of porting our application framework to Android from Silverlight using Mono for Android and we're looking for a 3D engine to employ for it. While there's some information out there, I can't quite figure out how exactly the development process is for DeltaEngine for Android. Would it exist as DLLs that we can reference in our Visual Studio 2010 Mono for Android projects with which we can just build/deploy via VS2010 as we currently do? Or does DeltaEngine exist as a fully self-contained development/build environment outside VS2010 (like Unity) where we'd have to adapt our code to work within the confines of DeltaEngine's application model? I've also read some stuff about having to upload our projects to an online build server to package the Android app, what's involved with this? If this is the case, can we still do all our development in VS2010 with Mono for Android projects? How does testing work with the Android emulator?

I know it's a bunch of questions, and maybe some of them aren't known yet as it hasn't been released. But we're trying to figure out what direction we're going to develop. I guess the bottom line is, if we're already building/developing Android apps via Visual Studio 2010 using Mono for Android, how will our development process change if we wish to utilize DeltaEngine? Thanks for your time and good luck on DeltaEngine's development!

-Chris

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Offline Benjamin  
#2 Posted : Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:28:27 AM(UTC)
Benjamin

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the questions and kind words.

Originally Posted by: Chris Sinclair Go to Quoted Post

The company I work for is in the process of porting our application framework to Android from Silverlight using Mono for Android and we're looking for a 3D engine to employ for it.


The Delta Engine might be a fit for you, but it also might not be. First of all we are still in beta and for example 3D content is not yet available to import in the ContentManager (3D functionality is however available in the code). Also a user of the Delta Engine will not come in contact with Mono for Android, so if you want to use that directly you can do so outside of our engine. We do currently however use Mono for Android on the build service to deploy on Android. Each user wanting to deploy his application needs a Mono for Android license, see Marketplace for details: http://DeltaEngine.net/Marketplace

Originally Posted by: Chris Sinclair Go to Quoted Post

While there's some information out there, I can't quite figure out how exactly the development process is for DeltaEngine for Android. Would it exist as DLLs that we can reference in our Visual Studio 2010 Mono for Android projects with which we can just build/deploy via VS2010 as we currently do?


Well, the Delta Engine is a Windows centered Open Source game engine and we have the vision to do everything from within Visual Studio without the exact knowledge of all the subtle platform and framework difference, which can be overwhelming for smaller development teams.

Originally Posted by: Chris Sinclair Go to Quoted Post

Or does DeltaEngine exist as a fully self-contained development/build environment outside VS2010 (like Unity) where we'd have to adapt our code to work within the confines of DeltaEngine's application model?


No, we are not like Unity, the source code for the engine is available and your code is used to build for any supported platform. There are limitations (e.g. you obviously can't PInvoke a Windows Dll on Android, iOS or WP7 because it does not exist there), but as long as you use .NET code your application should run fine on all supported platforms because we try to find ways around the limitations of each platform.

Originally Posted by: Chris Sinclair Go to Quoted Post

I've also read some stuff about having to upload our projects to an online build server to package the Android app, what's involved with this? If this is the case, can we still do all our development in VS2010 with Mono for Android projects? How does testing work with the Android emulator?


The good thing about the Delta Engine is that you can download it and use it freely on Windows. You can also test out all tools, including the Launcher to see how things would work on other platforms. As described here a bit (will be extended over the next few days) the Launcher is used to build and deploy an application for a target platform: http://DeltaEngine.net/Wiki.Launcher

But again, we are still early in beta and except for our internal teams and some selected testers no one has access to the full build service yet. We will enable the Marketplace beta license in the next few days, but this in no way a finished and working product yet. For example we currently do not have an easy way to debug code directly on the device (some internal game teams had the opportunity to do so, but they almost never made use of it because it is so cumbersome).

Also "the Android emulator" (I guess you are referring to the Android Emulator from the Android SDK) is completely useless for game development because it is way too slow and it does not really help you to test anything. It is much more useful to build and test your game directly on Windows or use our own Delta Engine emulators when they become available to figure out all the global issues. Then whenever it makes sense (some teams like to build a mobile version daily, others maybe every 10-30 minutes, others maybe only after a month of work and testing) you can deploy your application to any supported platform and see if it all works out there as well, which is very important for usability testing and input.

Originally Posted by: Chris Sinclair Go to Quoted Post

I know it's a bunch of questions, and maybe some of them aren't known yet as it hasn't been released. But we're trying to figure out what direction we're going to develop. I guess the bottom line is, if we're already building/developing Android apps via Visual Studio 2010 using Mono for Android, how will our development process change if we wish to utilize DeltaEngine? Thanks for your time and good luck on DeltaEngine's development!


Some people like to work close to the metal and have full access to the platform, especially our Soulcraft Team needs an expert on Android to make sure all the latest platform features and subtle differences are supported well for the product. We currently do not have the resource to support those cases globally, but since our mission is to simplify the developers life we have this on our agenda.

Currently our main target group is people that do not have any experience with mobile platforms or they like Windows .NET development much better than the "close to the metal" approach with all the knowledge of the platform differences, languages (Objective-C, Java, C). For example I know Objective-C for iOS or Java/C for Android, but I do not like to develop with the inferior tools and I feel totally alien on other platforms, while I can quickly code something together on Windows. We can currently provide an easy way to just build something on Windows and focus on the application or game itself, make it fun and then just deploy it with one click via the Launcher. This is something other engines do not provide and it is hard to explain especially since there is Unreal, Unity, and now even CryEngine out there, which all do allow mobile development. In addition there are many direct engines and technologies (like Mono for Android) that allow to work with a platform directly. But even a very simple Unity game needs much more knowledge of the target platform, limitations, texture formats, platform (e.g. in order to build or deploy an iOS game with Unity you need a Mac) than is required for the Delta Engine. Whenever a solution says it is "cross platform" it usually means you can share a lot of the code (the business layer), but there are still platform differences and you certainly need to make sure all your content and assets work on the target platform yourself. At least I am not aware of another solution outside of HTML/JS that tries to be really "cross platform".

I guess I have talked enough about this, the bottom line is: We are in beta and still experimental and we have a different vision than most other technologies out there. We like to focus the programmer on the hard enough task at hand: Making his game the best experience it can be by testing and improving it the best way possible, which is in our opinion with .NET under Windows. Then we try to take away most of the pain porting it to other platforms, currently some things won't fully work yet, other things might never be fully possible and might have to be tested and customized by the programmer, but we will find out together with the users of the Delta Engine Cool

Edited by user Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:34:57 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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