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I've not posted for a while, so I thought I'd drop in a quick update before I snooze. I'm now on to the final hurdle for an alpha release of Kitae. Kitae in it's current form has now been in development for about 9 months maybe? I'm hoping to get a working version 1 release up and out by end of January or February 2010. As such, to keep up with that schedule I am aiming for an private alpha and maybe even a public alpha release for early December.

As of writing, Kitae now has at least the basics of everything I wanted it to have in version 1. Obviously there's a few holes, I've not implemented Bloom yet, although I have spent a lot of time getting the effect system working nicely in the past few weeks, so that's all in place now. However I am noticably reaching my target feature list for V1. Kitae has never intentionally been a composite of other game editors on the market, there is obvious overlap with others, but I've basically built in the feature set that I've always wanted access to for writing 2D games. I've been writing 2D games on and off for about 12 years now, and I consider myself to have a reasonable understanding of the developer needs for such games. However this method of development will undoubtably lead to feature holes. That's fine - I expect that, once V1 is out, I'd like to spend a good portion of my time implementing any user feature requests for stuff I think makes sense, and fits into the framework.

What's left is mostly clean up. I need to spend about a week writing documentation for the Game Editor. But expect documentation to be a bit sparse to start with, I'm only one man, and that's what the forums are for! On top of this, I've written down about 40 minor (ish) issues in my fat black book of features/bugs that I've been scribbling in as I've worked on this project. I'd like to resolve a large amount of those, and those that don't get resolved I'd like to transfer to the nice new Forum bug tracker. But after that I'm going to be putting out a release.

I've not advertised Kitae in any way shape or form, and this site is fairly low traffic at the moment, yet I've still had about 10 test requests via the Members section. I'd like to get a good few more than that before alpha, so if you're interested in testing. Please submit a request.

Effects
I've spent most of my time recently getting the effect system up and running. So far you've got easy access to Guassian Blur, Refraction and Saturation pixel effects out of the box. That list will extend to a few others including bloom in V1 or very soon after. Of course you can write your own effects and snap them into your game at runtime. Although the refraction effect is based on that supplied with the XNA examples, so you can quickly and easily create all kinds of sworl and distortion effects at design time by specifying a texture to use for displacement (a default is supplied).

All effects in Kitae are post processing. Which means they do carry an overhead. My own tests, on both the XBox360 and my slightly out of date PC suggest this is fairly negligible on the kind of games you're likely to write in Kitae. However it does mean you can apply them at both the layer and scene level. So they are essentially post layer/scene processing, which gives them a great flexibility. Additionally, you can attach as many effects as you wish to any layer or scene. For example, you could apply both a refraction, 2 x blur and desaturation all at the same time on an individual layer. If you apply no effects, layers are rendered directly, so you don't incur the overhead of rendering to an off-screen buffer.
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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.