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By RobHutchinson on 13th Jun 2010 @ 01:36AM
I’ve not updated the blog for a while, but it’s not because nothing has been happening - far from it! In fact, Kitae is still being developed full steam, as well along with other projects which I’ll go into in a minute. This new release provided to the testers today contains a bunch of new functionality that I’ve been meaning to add for a while now. You can now toggle visibility of layers on the scene dock, which allows you to build even more complex scenes without having to fight to select the correct actor with the mouse; this can be seen in the shot below.

Kitae now has a simple storage management mechanism, which deals with a large amount of the grunt involved with cross-platform support for storage devices (namely the storage dialog on the 360). Kitae’s main Game class KitaeGame now has a link to a Store object, which allows you to binary serialize simple flat (graph-less) data classes and contains a mini basic value serializer. It will serialize most of the base types (int, float, long, etc) and some of the commonly used types (Rectangle, Vector2, etc) but will not serialize custom data types. This can be used in the following way in Kitae:

game.Store.SaveFlatObject(myData, “filename.dat”);
game.Store.SaveFlatList<T>(myList, “filename.dat”);

I’m willing to bet, most people can get away with this in their XNA games. Of course, you won’t be serializing complex save state data like this. But for arcade games that basically have option data and maybe some highscores or record times, this is all you will need.
If you do need to serialize more complicated data, you can of course simply use the Xml version of the same function:

game.Store.SaveXmlObject(myData, “filename.dat”);

Simple? Hopefully this will speed up the time it takes people to implement data storage for their game cross-platform. As well as these features more bugs are getting squashed and some of the long-standing issues are being addressed.

Additionally, there have been a couple of new examples since I last posted on the blog, one which shows you how to use this new storage class and one that creates emitter based animated sprites.

And finally a side note about the other projects I'm working on related to Kitae:

When I originally started work on Kitae about a year ago, the goal was not to write a saleable product. It was always simply to build an engine that I would feel comfortable building games on top of, and to provide integration in such a way that doing so could be achieved as quickly as possible.

Every, maybe, 2 months or so in the development of Kitae I come up with some new crack-pot idea for a game. I now have about 5 games in the pipelines which are all yet to be finished and they are being written in tandem with Kitae. While I don’t like having 5 unfinished games sitting there, I think this has greatly improved the quality of Kitae, mainly because it constantly introduces me to things I’ve not yet thought about or missing functionality/functionality that needs work in the engine. Probably the best side-effect of this is that I’m continuously using the Game Editor during Kitae’s development. While it’s not perfect yet, so much of the functionality in the editor is there because I’ve been annoyed by some quirk or have needed some specific feature. Upshot is that these games are basically driving the development of Kitae, that and the bugs the testers are finding.
One of these games I’ve been developing is now roughly 75% complete and I’m expecting to complete work on it in the next 2 weeks. Once it’s nearly complete there will be more information available here and I’ll be uploading it to Indie games for peer review. This will most likely be the first finished game written with Kitae.

As always, if you still want to be part of the beta test, sign up today, there’s plenty of time to participate.

For more updates, follow NullCity on twitter: http://twitter.com/NullCity.
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.