We are happy to announce the release of ShiVa 2.0 beta 7! Please join us in testing the new Multiplayer Server, the revamped plugin system, and the first chunk of the material editor!
While beta 6 added a large number of small modules like SoundBank, AnimBank, PixelMap, and RenderMap, we are taking on a couple of true heavy weights for beta 7: Plugins, multiplayer, and materials.
ShiVa 2.0 now has a fully functioning plugin module that allows you to build multi platform libraries directly from inside the editor. Our script editor is now also capable of loading and editing native code files, such has .h and .cpp. In essence, you will never have to tab out of ShiVa for any of your coding needs starting with beta 7! The option for using an external IDE such as Visual Studio, Xcode or Android Studio still does exist of course, and we provide projects and solutions for all these IDEs as well as generic makefiles.
The plugin structure has also changed quite a bit. It is now much easier to include 3rd party libraries thanks to the new Framework system. If you want to learn more, please have a look at our plugin documentation. Another very cool feature of the new plugin system is initial HTML5 support for Windows and OSX. Yes, that is correct: You can now use native code inside your web applications! The feature is still WIP and has known rough edges, but we would very much like all of you to try it out and give us lots of feedback.
In beta 7, we are also officially retiring the old ShiVa 1.9.2 multiplayer server. The new replacement binaries run on Windows, Mac and Linux, and come in both 32bit and 64bit flavors. Unfortunately, these servers do not entirely work as a drop-in replacement, because there have been several fixes and changes to the client side that requires you to recompile your game with the latest ShiVa engines. On the upside, we took the opportunity to change a lot of things under the hood which will make the server binaries more versatile in the future. Stay tuned for more updates soon!
For the beta period, we have also decided on removing any registration requirements for the server binaries, which means you can deploy them anywhere without unlocking them first with a computerID/activationKey combination. We hope you make good use of this! Please recompile your clients and start testing your multiplayer games with the new server binaries as soon as possible.
More than Textures
This release also includes the first chunk of the material editor. Materials from ShiVa 1.9.2 can be loaded by the module, edited and assigned to objects, just like you used to in the old editor. The terminologies for certain features have changed a bit, but we are confident that you will feel right at home after a few minutes. Please understand that we are still working on making PBR materials as easy to edit as Standard materials, which means it does not ship in beta 7. However we will include it in one of the next betas.
Beta 7 comes with updates and bugfixes for our engines to make them compatible with the latest versions of iOS, Xcode, Android Studio and Visual Studio. For instance, our WinRT port now builds in VS2015 update 2+ by default, which means the UWP project we were talking about in beta 6 is now finally available to everyone at a click of the export button - no special project modifications necessary. iOS 10 support and Android 6/7 have been added as well.
Note to Windows 32bit users
The download version of ShiVa 2.0 beta 7 for Windows includes only the 64bit version. We recommend to use this version if possible, as it allows you to make bigger and faster games through more accessible RAM and better utilization of modern hardware. Furthermore, you will need a 64bit OS in order to compile and test our new HTML5 plugins!
There are only a few reasons to stick to 32bit, which include:
- your Windows OS is 32bit only, in which case you should think about upgrading
- you need to maintain a game with 32bit-only plugins where you don't have the source code to, so you cannot recompile
- you run on old, underpowered hardware - in which case your computer is probably more than 10 years old, a netbook or early atom-powered tablet PC
For these edge cases, we do provide a separate download link on our beta page. Everyone else, please enjoy the 32 additional bits!
More Betas coming soon
The list of unreleased modules for ShiVa gets shorter and shorter. There are only a handful left: Debugger, PBR, Terrains, and Animation. Please make good use of our bugtracker, as ShiVa's stability and smooth operation depends a lot on accurate beta tester feedback. If you have already reported on our system, please check whether your bug has been fixed with the new version and close or bump the threat (add a note) when appropriate.
Download from the beta portal
We ask you once again to download the new beta version from our portal at http://beta.shivaengine.com. While we technically could have delivered this update using our in-editor update service, providing fully-features packages guarantees us that everyone is using the same software base, which will make bug reporting and debugging easier for us.