Dimensional 3 – 3D Open Source Game Engine


Dimensional3 is an open-source 3D game engine often written as Dim3. Apple has chosen Dim3 as an exclusive development engine for Mac OS and described it as “hot game building tools”. Dim3 has access to DevMaster’s 3D engines database.

Written in C++, by Brian Barnes, the engine uses OpenGL libraries for graphics rendering, JavaScript for scripting, XML for data and Simple Direct Media Layer for resolution switching, input, and sound. Dim3 has four main components Engine, Editor, Animator, and Setup that offers the main features of the engine.

The supported platforms for the engine are various, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Game Engine Features

1) The Engine component is responsible for the deployment of applications that runs games created in dim3. The games (or “projects”) created through this engine are cross-platform and only require the proper engine to run on the appropriate platform. All versions of the game can play across the network with each other.

2) The Editor is used to create levels for the game scene by importing various 3D models into it. The Editor supports per-pixel lighting, bump and specular mapping, real-time lighting or baked lighting, particles and other special effects, skeletal animation, and manipulation through JavaScript.

3) The Animator is used to loop animations and add effects to models used with dim3. The Animator uses a skeletal animation system; you can add bones, setup poses for the bones, and to combine those poses into animations which makes character movement simple yet very realistic.

4) Setup is a utility that allows the developer to change all other settings in the project, for example, the HUD, network, or particle settings.

5) All the maps, models, artwork, sounds, and scripts required to create a game in dim3 are contained in the data folder. Each game contains up to 3 data folders. Non-editor data is in standard formats: PNG, WAV, and mp3. A demonstration “game” is added to dim3, which spectacles most of the engine’s capabilities.

Games Developed using Dim3

Beats of Rage is a tribute to Sega’s Streets of Rage series. Initially developed by Senile Team, the resources for game are taken from King of Fighters series and has a pseudo-3D field. Players can choose between Max Bacon, Mandy Bluegard, or Kula Gem to defeat the forces of Mr. Y, who has taken over the city. Beats of Rage supports two-player mode, characters in the game always face left or right but are capable of three-axis movement.

Source Code

The C++ source code of the Dim3 engine is accessible from Google Code Archive.

Here's our list of top five game programming books you should read.

Game Engine Black Book: DOOM: v1.1

The book Game Engine Black Book: DOOM: v1.1 is just a masterpiece from Fabien Sanglard as it describes not only the details of how the code works, but also some interesting history and trivia. The description of hardware capabilities, audio/video interfaces, and design decisions behind them is quite interesting.

If you're not a programmer the book is still interesting - it explains lots of neat tricks, plenty of photos, quotes, and backstory about how the game was developed.

Game Programming Patterns

With over 85% 5-start reviews on Amazon, readers agree that Robert Nystrom's Game Programming Patterns is a must have for any software developer. It has a crystal clear look at how to be the benevolent architect of a very complicated software/game without getting lost.

The author presents the architecture of a game in an easy to understand matter not from an academic perspective but from experience. The book contains code examples written in C++, well organised and written so cleanly that it feels like pseudo-code.

Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

With Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Michael Dawson builds your knowledge from the ground up. This book not only is easy to understand and teaches well, but it is focused on the very subject to learn C++ for game programming.

When it comes to game programming, C++ is the name of the game.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

This is highly recommend book for anyone who likes history of videos games, or just likes good stories. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made captures the complexity of game development that anyone can pick up and enjoy.

If you have even a passing interest in gaming be sure to pick this one up. (reader's comment)

Foundations of Game Engine Development - Volumes 1, 2

The volume 1 of the book discusses the mathematics needed by engineers who work on games or other virtual simulations. The volume 2 explores the vast subject of real-time rendering in modern game engines.

The book is packed with great C++ code snippets and examples. You have tried-and-true methods that can be incorporated into any game engine and source code is not specific to any API or framework.

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M. Saqib: Saqib is Master-level Senior Software Engineer with over 14 years of experience in designing and developing large-scale software and web applications. He has more than eight years experience of leading software development teams. Saqib provides consultancy to develop software systems and web services for Fortune 500 companies. He has hands-on experience in C/C++ Java, JavaScript, PHP and .NET Technologies. Saqib owns and write contents on mycplus.com since 2004.
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