Those newer to programming in C++ often fail to understand that compilers like GCC or Clang require a specific link order for the libraries in use or they don’t know what order to pick. Working on SFML and helping out in its community, I’ve had the pleasure to help people fix their linker errors many times and every now and then I’d explain a short rule of thumb one can keep in mind when specifying libraries to be linked. As such I wanted to share it here with you too.
Looking at the last news entry on the NightlyBuilds website, it seems like it has nearly been two years since I last update the Nightly Builds.
One of the reasons I didn’t bother as much to keep them updated was, because we at SFML now have setup a Continues Integration system which allows anyone to download the latest builds for various compilers. Additionally my system still isn’t very automated, so I always have to spend quite a bit of time to get everything ready, especially having to update all the compilers. But I’ve made things a bit easier by rewriting my build scripts, so an update to a new compiler version is a lot easier.
I’ve removed all the older compiler versions (VS 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 RC, MinGW < 6) and now have just four compilers listed:
- MinGW Builds Posix Dwarf 710r0 32-bit
- MinGW Builds Posix SEH 710r0 64-bit
- Visual Studio 2017 32-bit
- Visual Studio 2017 64-bit
Currently I haven’t rewritten the build script for CSFML, so I’m only supporting the following libraries at the moment:
Still not sure where I want to really go with this project, but for now I’m going to use to provide library versions with the runtime lib statically linked, since we aren’t providing those in the SFML downloads on the official website.
And I hope it’s of use to some people out there!
A bit delayed but here we go!
This section only lists games that I was actually able to play for a bit.
This game feels a bit like a mix of Space Invaders and a classic side-scroller. You are a turtle and are fighting against the evil squids, eat fish to be able to fire more fire balls and try to stay alive as long as possible. It’s quite fun and due to the low population of fish can be quite tricky to stay alive long enough. The movement of the enemies is however very predictable, it would be nice if there was a bit more variation in the mix. And it would be really cool if the background was a bit dynamic.
At the momement there isn’t much to see, since Amsel is still in development, but so far you can place tiles and move the blue square around. The goal of the game will be that you manage the colony of the alien planet Zeus. Besides the visual part there is actually already more happening in the background regarding resource collection and management. It will definitely be interesting to see how far this project goes.
You can find more information and downloads on the forum.
Some games don’t have playable versions yet, but feature some interesting videos or screenshots.
Top-Down 2D Game
The game currently has no real title thus the generic “Top-Down 2D Game”. It reminds me a lot of the older Grand Theft Auto (GTA) games and I assume is also the creators inspiration – I’m not certain, but I think he even does use some GTA sprites. The lighting looks great and the AI’s behavior seems quite intelligent already. I’m looking forward to some more progress!
This is not exactly a game, but an interpreter for CHIP-8/SuperCHIP applications, under which also many games fall. It also uses SFGUI for the user interface.
And finally my most likely favorite showcase of the month: K Station. It’s an adventure game with pixel art graphics, lots of humor and set in space. So far there hasn’t been a whole lot more information released about the game. I’ll most certainly keep a close eye on this!
Faunus Fields is an RPG game that evolves around collecting resources and building up your defenses against the wild life and other enemies which try to threaten your crops. While the Kickstarter campaign failed, you can still vote for it on Steam Greenlight. Will be interesting to see how the game evolves.
Even though their Kickstarter campaign (I’ve mentioned previously) failed, they have managed to get finish the game and released it on Steam as well as an iOS app. I am not sure if they are still using SFML or if the moved on completely, but it’s still nice to see that SFML certainly helped them to get the project started.
This game is already in development for nearly two years or at least that’s how old the first forum post is. So far it has in my opinion not gotten enough attention. It’s an awesome looking game and the gameplay so far is really fun! The reason I mention it, is because it got a new build in March.
Maybe this will actually turn into a monthly thing again, who knows?!
As last month this section contains only games for which binary files have been provided, so I could actually try them out.
Cendric: An RGP Platformer
I have run into this one quite a while back and was especially excited, because it’s being developed by some fellow Swiss people. As the title says the game is a mix of an RPG and a platformer. The only playable version currently consists of one map where you can walk around and talk to one NPC and one platformer level. If I understood the game play correctly you could realm around the world and whenever you entered a cave or other places, you’d essentially switch into “platformer mode”. You can upgrade your character with various gear that you either find or buy from NPCs. Since that playable version they have done quite a lot of changes, so things might look a lot different now.
Some people may have enough of Pong clones, but I’ve to say despite it being a Pong game, the art makes it a lot more attractive. The sound effects are spot on (they are apparently from Mario Tennis of Wii U), the music in the menu is great and little details such as the ball’s shadow changing depending on the “height” makes it just an overall great game. Additionally the AI can be beaten, which makes more enjoyable than just being always defeated.
YAPG – Yet Another Platformer Game
While there’s not much game play to see as of right now, the more interesting part is that the whole game is built to be very modifiable. One can create their own blocks, levels etc. and the level editor will be directly included. I hope that we’ll get to see some more in-game content soon!
As the title kind of hints at this is a snake game, but with the head being the SFML logo, but with eyes. The color of the body gets picked randomly when the game starts. Unsurprisingly the goal is to catch as many mice as possible while not colliding with yourself or that water. As most other snake games it’s quite enjoyable to just quickly jump into and play a bit. I hope we’ll see some more changes in the near future.
Some games don’t have playable versions yet, but feature some interesting videos or screenshots.
The game reminds me quite a bit of circular Pong/Breakout, the goal seems to be to move the circle around so the emitted ball will hit the near matching color on the outer ring. The concept was highly inspired by this video. Check it out on the forum.
Blind Jump describes itself as Space Themed Adventure Game with Roguelike Elements. The levels are procedurally generated, the goal is to follow certain way points and should increase in difficulty over time. I like the shown designs so far quite a bit, so it will be interesting to see the final product. Check it out on the forum.
Muffin World is a simple platformers that is not locked into a grid and comes with moving platforms. It’s still in development but the built-in level editor looks already quite promising, Check it out on the forum.
Last but not least is a game that was already featured last month, but didn’t have a name back then. It’s a turn-based strategy game that builds a lot around how you setup your formations. I really like the art style and the idea behind it sounds quite intriguing. Check it out on the forum.
No honorable mentions this month, but they’ll be back in the future!
Due to exams I had been quite busy during January and February and only now came back to look at all the newly created SFML games. However since I don’t really feel like summarizing discussions or important things going on in the community, I didn’t want to make this another SFML News post and thus named it SFML Games.
In this section I’ll only feature games for which binary files have been provided, so I could actually try them out.
I love platformers, so this fits directly into my category. While it’s marked as alpha release the visuals are quite polished, the game menu is very well done – especially the settings screen – and the music and sound effects fit very nice. The only downside is, that after a few level the game gets nearly impossible (for me). My guess is that the game was created while using a controller and has not really been tested with a keyboard, or the developer is just a huge platform player. If the controls get adjusted this could easily turn out to be my favorite game of the month. Check it out on the forum.
Next up is SF-SpaceG a small game that reminds me of Asteroids, but goal here is to fly around and get all the checkpoints while avoiding the asteroids. It is kind of strange that the deceleration is a lot slower than the acceleration, plus when you destroy an asteroid it doesn’t go away, but only stops moving and turns red. Additionally it can be quite tricky to figure out whether you’re moving or now since all the asteroids around you are movie as well. The game can be quite fun, but it needs quite a bit of work to get there, especially with the visual feedback. Check it out on the forum.
Not exactly a game, but I guess it’s a start to some game. Fury3D is a simple 3D rendering engine written in C++11 and modern OpenGL. It uses quite a few various libraries, but the demo runs and looks quite nice. Check it out on the forum.
Some games are not yet playable but have some interesting screenshots or videos which I’ll provide here.
Our Dear Paper Fighters
Unfortunately at the time of writing this the link for the download was unavailable so I didn’t get to try it out. The video looks very nice and little narrative popups are quite funny. It feels a bit bullet-hellish which I usually don’t like, but it think this could be quite enjoyable after all. Looking forward to being able to play it. Check it out on the forum.
Unnamed turn based strategy game
The goal here is to fight win two consecutive battles in a row against another army. From the provided screenshots it seems like quite a bit of the mechanic is already implemented. Check it out on the forum and if you want to see more screenshots and vote for a name, check out this thread.
There isn’t a whole lot of information on the project, but it should end up as a top-down horror game set in a psychiatric ward where other patients will try to kill you, while you explore the unknown parts of the facility. Check it out on the forum.
A simple puzzle game where you have to bring the scrambled pieces back in order again. Check it out on the forum.
While not published exactly in January, I’ve picked out a few games that I just felt deserved a mention here.
It’s a two player game created by Nexus and few other people during the overnight contest at Devmania. The snowmen’s labor union is attacking you and you need to coordinate the building of a defense wall made out of gingerbread. Unfortunately I didn’t have a second player to really test it, but it looks nice and has some fun elements to it. Check it out on the forum.
This game has been in development for quite a while now, but it’s so great and Elias Daler, the developer behind it, is very open with all the tech he’s using. It’s a top-down RPG like game with an interesting mechanic called recreation. Checkout the forum thread for more information, it also contains among nice screenshots a lot of very interesting C++ discussions.
I’ve gotten rather quiet here on this blog, but I’d say it’s a good sign, because that way I could spend more time on helping get SFML where it is now. After nearly one and a half years SFML has finally reached version 2.2!
A lot in the SFML source code has changed, though I think the biggest change is not the source itself, but that SFML is now managed by the SFML Team and that with the team new guidelines had to be set in place. Laurent has maintained SFML for a long time alone with help from the community and Marco (aka Hirua) for the OS X parts, but with real life getting more and more time consuming the development slowly but steadily stagnated. Realizing that development was nearly at a stop, he placed Jan (aka Nexus or Bromeon) in charge. This worked relatively well, but the main issue wasn’t solved: SFML is a rather complex project by now and with so more and more users willing to use it, it becomes rather impossible for one person to do all the work, discussing on the forum, writing code for all modules, organizing issues, updating the website, etc. and with such a workload it becomes easy to deny many feature request and keep things as easy as possible. After I had started a discussion on Rethinking the definition of “Simple” we could clear many things and the solution was the birth of the SFML Team.
We all would’ve loved to release SFML 2.2 as fast as possible, but there were just too many issues piled up to go and release a new version, while a lot was still broken. We first wanted to implement multiple features, but then decided to focus on just the Window Focus feature and fixing many other issues. After 177 closed issues the 2.2 milestone has been closed the source code has been tagged. This can essentially be seen as the release, however for many you can only call it a full release if you also provide binaries and as of today, they are online:
The website now also features Contribution Guidelines, a Code Style Guide, explanation on our new Git Workflow, the full Changelog with nice links to all the issues and nearly the most important page Frequently Asked Questions. The FAQ page already holds answers to many, many, many of the common problems which can arise with SFML and we as a team believe that it will reduce the amount of redundant questions and help all the new users advance faster. Next to these new pages we also added a button to the now official SFML IRC channel on irc.boxbox.org and made a lot of changes to the website in general.
With the Holidays coming up soon, there probably will be not that much development happening, but we already have a possible roadmap setup for SFML 2.3 and this time, we’ll make sure it won’t take as long anymore. Stay tuned and Happy Holidays!
Believe it or not, but here’s a new SFML News post. About half a year is it since the last news post, to all the regular followers of the SFML News I apologize. Writing the SFML News is a time consuming thing and with my internship my focus has been heavily shifted toward web development, but as you may read further down, SFML hasn’t been forgotten.
Given the huge gap, I’m sure you’ll understand that I won’t be presenting all new projects, but well see for yourself, the list is still huge. And because of that I decided to put the other news bits first.
And I’m back with my weekly based SFML News! Given that it’s just a bit more than two weeks, there thankfully isn’t as much content as for my last entry, but it’s also not like, nothing had been going on.
Dead or Run
seobyeongky has created a small network racing game and by racing I mean running, not driving cars. It looks interesting and the sound effects are taken from various places, thus it’s kind of fun if you recognize them. I’m not sure if there’s a hidden executable somewhere, but I couldn’t see one on the forum. You can however still enjoy the video below or if you understand Korean, you could also take a look at the source code.
I’m back from my relaxing vacations in the city Lisbon and the topics are piling up, so get ready for a longer read! But first a picture from my vacations to make everyone jealous. 😀
It looks like, this is going to be one of the longest news entry so far, mostly due to the Game Jam, which alone gave me nine projects to present and write down my thoughts about them. But as long as you’re not going to lynch me, for delying the release, I’ll keep writing those news articles and if you really feel like supporting me, there’s some strange orange button on the right side… 😉
Our first project is a simple platformer developed by datMoka as his second project. If you expect something to start and finish in a minute, you’re wrong, because the levels aren’t that easy. I really hope datMoka is going to keep polishing things and fixing some minor issues.
So if you like a bit of a challenge, then Uoke’s Recovery might be something for you. Fun fact: Since I wondered what Uoke could mean, I quickly Googled it and the game’s forum post come up as forth result.
While having this article lying around for a week or so, with parts already written, this game got an update to version 1.1, which now even includes a working patcher.