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By RobHutchinson on 18th Apr 2010 @ 11:32AM
Protean IDE is a legacy application which I'm no longer supporting. However, I still want the application and its source to be available to all. It is provided here for any one to use.

Please note that Protean IDE crashes under Windows Vista/Windows 7 due to an incompatibility with a third party control that Protean used. The menu system in Protean is broken when using Aero, if you launch Protean directly under Vista/Window 7 and access a menu the application will crash and you will have to open task manager and manually terminate the process.

If you want to use Protean under Vista or Windows 7: First install the application as normal, then browse to the folder where you have installed Protean. Right click the Protean.exe file and select Properties. Under the Compatibility tab select "Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 3)" then turn on the "Disable desktop composition" and "Run this program as an administrator" options.

Since there is a work around for anyone still using Protean, we will not be fixing this issue. Protean is very old and no longer supported.

Software Requirements
Protean explicitely requires version 1.1 of the .NET platform to run on a client machine. You can download these here if you do not already have them.

- Microsoft .NET 1.1
- Internet Explorer 5.01+

System Requirements:
- Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1+ installed. (See above).
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
- 256Mb+ of RAM.
- 500Mhz 100% windows compatible Processor.
- Microsoft Windows 2000 (Latest service packs REQUIRED), Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 98 or Windows ME. (Windows Vista/Windows7 supported under compatibility).
- For Blitz Basic support, Protean requires a registered version of Blitz Basic. Protean does not work fully with the Demo version of Blitz Basic.
- Recommended resolution of 1024x768 or above.

This is the final version of Protean compiled by me. V1.4, it is completely free for all to download. This version can be used with all versions of Blitz Classic (not max). So enjoy!

File: ProteanFinal.exe (2.55 MB) - Version: 1.4
Icon Image Last Updated: Sunday, 15 May 2011 10:21:32
MD5: F35B7123A5A9FFCEE575C10A4E7C794
SHA1: FA70C62679DAE1AFCC4BC56BAA47C61BC4947F8

The full Protean source code! Please read the licence before making modifications or distributing works based on the source. There is a readme file in the archive that I highly advise you read, as it contains information about compiling Protean, and where to go from here.

[Not Currently Available]
By RobHutchinson on 15th Apr 2010 @ 09:37PM
Well it's that time!

The very first Kitae Alpha version 0.5 has been released to a select few beta testers. More testers may be added over time, and if you would like to test Kitae and grab yourself a free licence for the final version of the engine, please sign up and fill out the form over at the Members section of the website.

Anyway enough about that, to mark the occasion, here's a nifty particle effect from the latest example:

The one really cool thing about this example, is there was absolutely ZERO user generated code, everything in this example can be produced with the mouse alone through the Game Editor. The example will be bundled with the final version.
By RobHutchinson on 12th Apr 2010 @ 12:06AM
Kitae sports a variety of complex scene transitions using pixel shaders. These transitions run at very high speed on reasonably modern hardware and can be invoked with very minimal effort. This allows you to smoothly move from one area of your game to another with ease. Simply create two scenes, for example a main menu and an options menu, and then make a call to StartTransition as shown below.

game.StartTransition(mainMenu, options, new TimeSpan(0, 0, 2), InterpolationMethod.Cubic, new RadialWiggleTransition());

Transitions can be checked and stopped at any point, and the engine will leave your game in a state showing the destination scene. Scenes, layers and actors all still continue to update and render whilst the effect is in operation so animations still show through the transitions.

Supported Transitions

• Banded Swirl
• Blinds
• Blood
• Circle Stretch
• Circle
• Circular Blur
• Cloud
• Crumble
• Disolve
• Drop Fade
• Fade
• Line
• Pixelate In
• Pixelate Out
• Pixelate
• Radial Blur
• Radial Wiggle
• Random Circle
• Ripple
• Rotate Crumble
• Saturate
• Shrink
• Slide In
• Smooth Swirl Grid
• Swirl Grid
• Swirl
• Water
• Wave

All of the above transitions can be seen in the video below:

By RobHutchinson on 11th Apr 2010 @ 11:44PM
I realise it's been a while since I've posted, I've been very busy with various projects, including Kitae. Fear not, much development time has been sunk into Kitae over the last few months and it appears to be coming together very nicely (barring some nasty PC laptop graphics card issues).

Anyway I wanted to share the latest feature of Kitae: Scene Transitions. Kitae now sports 30 unique transitions out-of-the-box. All ready to use with a few lines of code! Thanks to the great work done on the WPF-FX project, I've managed to convert the transition shader effects to XNA and build them as re-usable content into the engine. We've got swirl effects, circle tranistions, disolves, pixelations, saturations, water effects, blur effects, you name it, it's probably there.

Here's a video of the transition example which I'm planning to release with the engine:

Sorry for the poor framerate on the video, YouTube seems to have made a bit of a mess of it. Fear not, it runs at a nice 60FPS solid @ high resolution.
Thanks to Eifion Bedford for the fantastic photos, his work can be found here.
Additional information on Kitae's transitions feature can be found in the Kitae Transitions section.

Alpha Testing
Kitae will be entering Alpha Test phase hopefully in the next week. For anyone that is interested in testing, please read the FAQ.

By RobHutchinson on 09th Apr 2010 @ 06:55PM
Using the Game Editor, you can add sound effects to your modules with ease. Once added to a module, the sound effect can be accessed at run-time and played at will. Additionally, sound effects can automatically be triggered during certain events, such as frame-replay in an animated sprite. This allows you to always play sound effects when your characters perform certain actions. For example, you might want to play a 'punch' sound effect when a fighter take a swing, or a 'scream' sound effect when the main character dies. This reduces the amount of event programming you have to perform.

Video will be supported but not directly handled by Kitae.

By RobHutchinson on 09th Apr 2010 @ 06:54PM
Kitae provides a built-in physics engine that supports rudimentary 2D physics and collision detection. While not as powerful as full physics engines such as Farseer, the built-in physics can be used easily and are sufficient for most games and particle effects.

• Gravity.
• Wind.
• Drag.
• Friction.
• Attractors and repellers.

Other Engines
If you really need that extra physics power, Kitae was built with other engines in mind. It is fairly straightforward to add these engines to your project. Kitae provides access to polygon collision data created in the Game Engine, which can be used to build rigid body geometry in 3D party engines.

By RobHutchinson on 09th Apr 2010 @ 06:44PM
Kitae is a rich, rapid development 2D in 3D game engine for use with the Microsoft XNA platform. Kitae provides a rich application development toolset that supplements Visual Studio or Game Studio Express, allowing you to concentrate on the design and logic of your games without having to worry about the grunt work. Kitae is feature rich, allowing you to create just about any game you can imagine with relative ease. Kitae is not a Game Maker and is not designed to remove programming from the equation. Kitae is a powerful asset management system and middleware engine that facilitates modern 2D game development for both Windows and XBox 360.

Screen Shots

Here are just some of the features that the full release version of the Kitae Framework will support:

• Full 2D in 3D engine. Supporting sprite scale and rotation.
• Built around a powerful module system. Modules house your game assets, level and setup.
• One of Kitae's most powerful features is that it handles the entire lifetime of your graphic assets.
   • Graphics are added to the Game Editor and saved against your modules.
   • Graphic frames are automatically mapped and fitted to larger textures for optimal rendering performance.
   • Frames can be padded and edge doubled automatically to assist with filtering problems inherant to 3D.
   • Game Editor has tools and features for extracting tiles from larger tiled images and screenshots.
   • The Game Editor can be we used to quickly cut and extract sprites from screenshots.
• Modules are created in the Game Editor and can be easily loaded and unloaded at run time.
• UI driven scene management. Build and setup as many scenes as your game needs.
• UI driven layer management. Add as many layers as you require to scenes.
• Layering effects allow you to create breathtaking effects with ease.
• Supports additive, multiplicative, alpha, block, subtractive, inverse, min and max blending modes.
• Supports refraction and other pixel shader effects on a per layer or per scene basis.
   • Post processing effects such as blur, desaturation and convolution can be added with ease.
• Use the simple built-in physics engine or add external engines such as Farseer with ease.
• Global geometric collision detection.
• Actor system makes creating animations, sprites, emitters, text, huds and menu systems a doddle.
   • Tile map actors allow the creation of tile mapped levels.
   • Collision detection against tile maps is performed geometrically.
   • Sprite actors can be used for sprites with no animations, such as decals.
   • Game Editor supports texture splatting through a simple easy to use actor painting mechanism.
   • Animated sprite actors can be used for sprites with frame based animations.
   • EmitterActors provide particle emitter systems for your games.
   • Controller system allows you to easily snap built-in and custom functionality into your actors.
• Custom font rendering mechanism provides fast bitmap font rendering.
• Fonts can be entirely created through an easy to use user interface and wizard.
• Camera system supports multiple cameras for easy split screen and picture-in-picture effects.
• Camera system supports pivoting, scaling, and rotation making it easy to follow the action.
• Engine supports global game speed, allowing you to create stunning slow motion effects easily.
• Automatic handling of resolution independence with separation of screen resolution and render resolution.
• Choose from stunning ~30 transition pixel shader effects to switch smoothly from one scene to another.
+ Many many more features.

Release Information
Kitae is currently under development and will be released in the near future.

For more information about the Kitae feature set, click the links in the Item list on the right.
Null City Software
Null City is dedicated to developing top quality sofware products for Windows PC, XBox and Windows Phone. We specialise in games and .NET applications & components.