Friday, June 20, 2008

Notable 3D Game Engines – Part1

This series contains list of game engines explore by me during the implementation of our STF game engine,

Panda3D – Open source game engine (use BSD license) mainly based on C++ and Python. Engine is smart and has narrow learning curve. We got most of the ideas to our project from this game engine.

http://panda3d.org/

Torque Game Engine – One of the best and full featured game engine. I try to select this engine for our game “Special Task Force” but it is not success because of the license problem. (STF is an open source game project, so we need to release all the source codes with it, but TGE license may not allow this.) Compared with other commercial game engines TGE is low cost 3D game engine (US$150 per programmer) but it had some wider learning curve.

http://www.garagegames.com/pg/product/view.php?id=1

FPS Creator – Product from “the game creators”. Using FPSC anyone can create FPS (First Person Shooter) game without any coding. FPSC have drag and drop environment to create games but I notice several bugs in the system. One of the Sri Lankan computer game “TOPIGALA” is build using this software package. FPSC is developed using Dark Basic and al the source codes are available in FPSC Home page. (But do not try to build this game engine using released source code, if you build FPSC from released source code then some of the features like bots collection detection may not work properly, to work them properly you need to install several add-ons to Dark Basic compiler)

http://www.fpscreator.com/

Genesis3D – Another 3D Game engine for Windows platform, it similar to Doom Engine. There are several game titles are available with this game engine and most notable one is “Special Force from Lebanon based paramilitary group”. The engine is fairly OK but it had some wider learning curve. This game engine is free and source code is available to download.

http://www.genesis3d.com/


Truevision 3D – TV3D is one of the excellent game engine I have seen. TV3D is easy to learn and support for Delphi, C++, VB, C# and VB.NET. TV3D SDK is available to download and the engine is well documented. PlanetX is a suitable world editor for this engine and it is released as a commercial product.

http://www.truevision3d.com/

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Special Task Force Game – System Implementation

Implementation of our new 3D computer game “Special Task Force” has been started and all the development related news are available at Special Task Force Developers Center (STFDC) at http://stfgame.wiki.sourceforge.net/.


All the applications (including libraries) in this project are published according to the specifications of GNU GPL. All the documentations, guides and text files are protected using GNU FDL, and all the models, images, voice files and music files are protected using Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Home-produced USB Sound Card

In this project I’m build USB sound card using single chip and it produce good audio output and compatible with Windows 9x operating systems and Windows NT family operating systems (I am not tested this circuit with Windows Vista and chip manufacturer say it is worked with Mac OS also) This is a plug and Play device and device driver is not required. Special feature of this sound card is its built-in HID controller. Using this HID controller user may be able to control Windows Volume control using 3 buttons located on the sound card. These buttons are used for Volume Up, Volume Down and for Audio Mute.



This device is based on Burr-Brown’s PCM2904 USB CODEC chip and it produces stereo output. PCM2904 operates using USB power (self powered) and external power adapter is not required.


I think this device is ideal for USB headphones or mini-speaker modules. My implementation is 10x9 cm. I spend Sri Lankan Rs. 1500 for this circuit.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

13W x 4 Audio Amplifier with Surround Sounds


This is my new audio power amplifier which is based on TDA8511 power amplifier IC. According to the datasheet this IC produces 13W per channel (with 2R load) and single TDA8511 chip contain 4 inputs and outputs.

Other than TDA8511 this amplifier use TA8184 for tone controls and LA2610 for surround sound processing.

To obtain the high sound quality and good separation I use separate amplifier module for each tweeter and woofer in both left and right channels. (That’s why I’m select TDA8511 for this project)

For the test run I couple this amplifier with my JVC DVD Player and it produces extreme high quality audio output.

Front Panel controls available in this amplifier are,

  • Volume
  • Bass
  • Treble
  • Balance
  • Surround Sound On/Off
  • Loudness Switch
  • Power On/Off

Some of the calculated technical specifications are,

  • Output Power : 13W x 4
  • Supply Voltage : 15V Single Rail
  • Total Harmonic Distortion : 1%
  • Bass Control Range : -12.5dB to +12.5dB
  • Treble Control Range : -12.5dB to +12.5dB

Friday, June 6, 2008

Open Source 3D First Person Shooter – Special Task Force

We start new open source game project known as “Special Task Force”. It is a FOSS project and hosted at sourceforge.net. At the moment project is in planning stages. Some of the finalized features of this game are,

  • Based on OpenGL 2.0 Graphic Technologies.
  • Support Python 2.3 Scripting
  • Use BASS sound system for audio
  • Use ODE (Open Dynamics Engine) for game physics
  • Support Multiple weapon configurations
  • Support for downloadable missions
  • Implement using Borland Delphi and C++Builder

Still we are collecting information and getting ready for the implementation, Source code implementations are planned to start at the mid of June 2008. For more information please checkout http://sourceforge.net/projects/stfgame

My PIC16F73 base Digital Alarm Clock


In last two months I developed some electronic devices using Microchip microcontrollers. First device is an electronic alarm clock using PIC16F73 and 4060 timer chip. This clock has 2 programmable alarms and it is working successfully in last two months continually.

I design this alarm clock using CMOS chips; due to the fact that power consumption is very low and may be able to operate with 3 penlight batteries. At the moment this device is working with mains power (230V AC) and has battery backup facility.


Size of the entire device is 11x11x4 cm.



As shown by the photograph device have 3 push buttons and 1 SPDT slide switch. These push buttons are used for,

  • Alarm Mute / Mode Selection
  • Hour Set
  • Minutes Set
SPDT Slider is use to select “Clock Run” and “Alarm Setup” modes.

This system use following chips for its operation,

  • 4060 – Act as an oscillator and divider
  • 4027 – Toggle clock single and to control 1Hz clock pulse.
  • 4017 – Divide by 10 counter
  • PIC16F73 – Main control system
  • 7805 - +5V regulator

Microcontroller is programmed using MPASM and it is the most critical part of the implementation. (I spend 1 week for this)

I got seven segment display module from old satellite receiver and to build the entire system I spend Sri Lankan Rs. 500.00.

Welcome to My Web Log

Hello, welcome to my web log, in this web log I mostly discusses about technical subjects related to computer programming, digital electronic circuits (specially related with microcontrollers and control systems) and some mechanical implementations.

This is my personal web log, so some non-technical stuff are possible to appear in this space.