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S2 ENGINE HD is a complete general-purpose software kit for developing and running videogames or other virtual-reality applications such as architectural walkthrough, physical simulations, etc... From single users to architects, from indie teams to semi-professional or professional game teams, all can take advantage from S2Engine HD technology power for producing games, serious games, architectural walk-throughs, realtime animated sequences, simulations and so on...

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Hi guys, New S2ENGINE HD 1.4.6 version is close to releasing. This is one of the best and biggest update I've made for S2ENGINE HD. Many important features have been added and a lot of bugs have been fixed.

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In this post I'll show you some of the major updates:

OCEAN SYSTEM

The ocean effect has been greatly improved using a multi-threaded realtime FFT solution for simulating realistic waves. Also shading has been improved introducing displacement maps, a new foam simulation system, crhomatic aberration of refraction, Subsurface scattering of waves. Now you can set a lot of params for best customizing your ocean!

preview_1_4_6_06

ROADS TOOL

In this version much time has been spent for roads editing/creation.

Terrain adaption has been improved, curve road segments using splines has been updated: Now you have more control on road shape. I've worked a lot for improving roads intersections and fix some issue. Ttracks now are composed by spline segments.

preview_1_4_6_02

New mesh deforming tool, using splines, has been implemented for creating, for example, fences.

preview_1_4_6_05

The road system has been extended for supporting also rivers: A new shading system which perform river foam and density has been added.

preview_1_4_6_07

LAKES

In the new S2ENGINE HD lakes can be created in a very easy way. They have a specific shader, similar to ocean shader, for simulating water with foam, caustic, refraction and reflections. Lakes also have a volume that takes into account subwater shading and physical objects reactions.

preview_1_4_6_03

GAME MACHINE TOOL

GameMachine tool is one of the major features introduced in this version. It will replace the old Event-handling tree system. It is a node-based system for visual editing of game object logic and animations.

preview_1_4_6_09

The system is based on a Layered Finite State Machine, a new resource that can be loaded inside an object. Every layer is associated with an animation channel (that can be masked) of the owner object and is composed by states and transitions between states. In any moment an object is in a state that changes basing on events generating transitions to other states.

States are associated with an animation and execute Actions. Animations can be blended when transition occurs. Actions perform specific operation basing on their type and can use/store variables defined by user. A wide variety of actions will be available for performing all necessary object logic operations.

When run the game simulation the editor shows, in realtime, the current state of selected object, transitions between states when an event occurs and variable values. In this way debugging logic is greatly simplified.States and transitions are showed as a graph composed by connected nodes.

RENDERING

Weather system

Many improvements has been made in weather system technology. A new rain drops shader has been implemented: now rain is influenced by wind and has effects on all objects simulating drop splashes. A new type of decal with a specific shader has been introduced: puddle. Puddles react basing on the amount of rain in the scene:

Projected cube-map environment reflections

New type of cube map reflection shader has been implemented in addition to the already existing Sphere-map environment reflection : Cube-projected. This new type of environment projection better fits box-shaped locations (like indoor rooms) allowing more coherent reflections of the environment.

Others

  • Time Based Lod transition mode added (as alternative to distance based lod transition)
  • Added new Tone mapping options in SpecialFX editor section
  • improved Bloom and LensFlares postoprocessing effects
  • Improved Bloom post processign effect
  • Improved Lens Flare postprocessing effect
  • Improved surface reflection shader
  • Improved Depth Based Occlusion Culling
  • Improved terrain tessellation (expecially for large terrains)

INPUT

A new, more pratical, input mapping system has been implemented that lets to easly assign keys, buttons, triggers to user defined labels that can be managed inside GameMachines or scripts.

Xbox Pad support also has been introduced.

CUTSCENE TOOL

Cutscene tool has been extended to support all teewnable object and scene parameters.

Other new types of track as been added:

  • Events track that lets you to send events to a GameMachine.
  • Object Instancing track that lets you to instantiate objects on fly during cutscene playing
  • Time track that lets you to change the cutscene time speed.

preview_1_4_6_11

Now selected track curves are showed as splines into a Curve View that lets you to easly modify keyframe position/value and track curve shape.

EDITOR PLUGINS SUPPORT

Now editor can load external plugin modules as extensions to its functionality. Plugin can be implemented using Visual studio S2ENGINE HD C++ SDK.

An already produced plugin is

Building Generator

With this plugin you can build any type of building from houses to skyscrapers. The tool lets you to set how many floors building must have, roofs type, windows type, balcony type, textures and many other customizable parameters. Like all other editor plugins it will be furnished separately.

OTHER BUG FIXES / IMPROVEMENTS

Hierarchy system

Scene Hierarchy management system has been greatly improved. For example you can now easily drag&drop; items directly inside scene, on an object node, to attach them to it.

Others

  • Added specular/reflection intensity modulation for each single material layer taken from layer normalmap alpha channel
  • Added FBX file importing.
  • Added possibility to assign materials to every single mesh object LOD
  • Added material shader quality level parameter. Quality of material can be Automatic (based on object LOD) or choosen as high, middle, low.
  • Added alpha masking for every layer of materials, based on alpha channel of layer diffuse texture.
  • Improved ambient light clippers. Now clippers are indipendent from ambientlight and can be shared between more than one ambientlight.
  • Added support for 16-bit heightmaps importing (TIFF format).
  • Improved FXAA anti-aliasing
  • Optimized decals generation/update
  • Added "AlignToWorld" option when placing/moving objects
  • Added editor object material list dialog as alternative to drag&drop; for changing object materials.
  • Added Drag and Drop of textures directly from texture browser into material layer frame
  • Improved Materials drag and drop. Now you can view material selected during dragging.
  • Now you can also delete objects in relationship with others
  • Now editor shows selected object logic relationships with other objects as lines connecting them.
  • FIXED some Physics joints issues
  • FIXED crash at engine startup with NVIDIA Drivers 334.89
  • FIXED some Realtime Local Reflections shader issues
  • Added OnlyOnRoads parameter in Decal class object
  • Added Pick Color button in Paint terrain tool, for choosing the color to paint directly from terrain color mask
  • SOLVED ISSUE: Terrain smooth fails at the borders, also when importing heightmap.
  • Added possibility to drag keyframes in daytime timeline.
  • Further General Optimization of rendering subsystem.
  • Added support for INTEL HD 4000 graphics cards.
  • Improved Particle System shading: now particle systems receive shadows from the sun.
  • Improved ParticleSystem swinging effect
  • SOLVED synchronization issue on AMD Radeon drivers
  • Added LoadFX, saveFX and restoreFX buttons in FX postprocessing tool
  • Added "Show In Explorer" command inside project browser (for showing files inside Windows Explorer folders).
  • Recompiled with Visual Studio 2010
  • SOLVED ISSUE: Sometimes vertex ambient occlusion on models isn't updated after computing
  • SOLVED ISSUE: In the model/animation tool If you add a node not beloging to current selected mask to the list of lock nodes editor crashes.
  • SOLVED ISSUE: Slope parameter in paint layer doesn't work.

NEW PRICE SYSTEM

With S2ENGINE HD 1.4.6 version a new license system has been adopted.

No difference between BASIC and PRO version, the basic engine/tools and the C++ SDK will be sold separately. No Royalties or additional costs after you have released your game/product. All future minor updates (1.4.7, 1.4.8, etc..) will be free, while Major updates (1.5.0, 1.6.0, etc..) will be sold with 50% discount for 1.4.6 owners. Editor and SDK updates will be sold separately.

The following is the price list that will be offer:

  • S2ENGINE HD 1.4.6: 9.99
  • S2ENGINE HD SDK: 9.99
  • S2ENGINE HD updates: 4.99
  • S2ENGINE HD SDK updates: 4.99

Plugins will be also offered separately with price starting from 19.99€ (depending on the plugin).

Comments
abdullahsaleh20
abdullahsaleh20

The new features sound AMAZING, yet, i dont think anybody will pay even 1$ for this, UE4 and Unity 5 are free...You have to offer something new, not just re-inventing the wheel and selling it as something new. S2 has to provide something NEW to convince people to pay those €19.99
... thats my opinion, Good Luck !

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Genocyber
Genocyber

That's not entirely true, UE4 still takes a 5% royalty cut, which is still somewhat substantial.

Offering an engine without any royalty stings attached and at this low price is quite competitive but without any kind of comparable eco-system (marketplaces/launcher content/forum content) and the huge community the other engines have, might be difficult to leave much of a footprint in the already crowded engine scene.

Though that said, the competitive pricing model and impressive engine features are certainly a good start.

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bugbuster77 Author
bugbuster77

Agree with you. the "No royalties" frees users from the duty to remain linked economically to engine supplier. You pay 10€ at start and then you are FREE to do what you want with this engine. And yes, Eco-system need to be produced, I agree.

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vfn4i83
vfn4i83

Not crowded enough, I must say and the price is really good; I wonder if it still rendering in openGL, that would be amazing?

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Guest
Guest

What are the platform support possibilities?

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bugbuster77 Author
bugbuster77

For now PC Windows.

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Guest
Guest

Sooo... S2 sounds a hell of a lot like Source 2... god help you if it is... This is Valve's Source Engine 2... how can you profit from it?

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StevenPicard
StevenPicard

I would assume that you are just joking. You seriously think he has Source 2 source code and is selling it as his own? This engine has been in development (with the current name) for quite some time.

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StevenPicard
StevenPicard

The new features do look amazing, the visuals look great and your pricing looks very reasonable. I've watched all your videos in the past (hope you add some more) and I was very pleased with what I saw. When I downloaded your engine in the past onto my Intel HD 4000 it never started (didn't realize at the time that support wasn't yet included.) I got a new gaming laptop and I will be trying your old beta on there to see how it runs. I am anxious to see how it looks on there (and now on my old laptop.) :)

I did have some questions:

* VR Support? and not just Occulus, I would like to see Razer's OSVR open source driver supported (this will allow you to support a lot of VR\AR and Input devices without having to include them individually.)
* Cross Platform? Are there any future plans for this?
* Scripting? Is all scripting through the "Game Machine Tool" or is there a language like LUA included?
* How is AI incorporated?
* Will the road editor support train tracks, dirt paths, etc.? Perhaps even streams in the future?
* This version has been in the works for a very long time (I admire your perseverance) but will future updates take this long to release? It would be more encouraging to see bug fixes and features come out more frequently.

Also, your forum is very depressing (sorry, but true.) You may want to purge that and start fresh with updated tutorials, as well and be active on there.

With the great visuals, features and price this engine is very appealing to me and might have a very good shot in the market. I look forward to your answers.

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StevenPicard
StevenPicard

Okay, my question regarding the road editor was due to me not reading your post thoroughly. :) Sounds like rivers are supported.

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StevenPicard
StevenPicard

I could not get the current version (1.4.5) working on my new gaming laptop either. Well, the screenshots are nice, features sound good and the author is obviously very talented. However, I think the key to success for this engine is to test it on as many computers as possible and actively engage with customers and potential customers. Maybe the author will eventually get enough free time to answer questions but, regardless, I am playing with the Skyline Engine and it is a lot of fun.

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