New Game Development IDE from BBC

A new game development IDE, Homura has just been released as a joint venture by the BBC and Liverpool John Moores University. It's been written as an Eclipse Platform plug-in application which aims to simplify game development by providing an integrated toolkit which gives a graphical user interface to many tasks which would normally be code-based. This includes direct editing of spatial files, asset management, 3D camera systems and bezier curves, as well as debugging capabilities.

The core of the framework is an API that allows you to easily construct web-compatible, hardware-accelerated 2D/3D games titles which can be distributed in a cross-platform and cross-browser manner. The core library covers everything from managing game state and screen transitions to asset management and particle generation. Also included are additional libraries including the jME (Java Monkey Engine) on which Homura is built on top of, offering rendering functions, input handling, collision detection and audio and model loading. A physics library and further user interface libraries are also available.

The Homura source code is available under LGPL, and has set of demo games included to demonstrate how to get started. These demonstrate advanced shader support, sprite animations, algorithms for detecting puzzle patterns, and a range of 3D effects such as a dynamic time-based weather system.

Find out more at the Homura website.

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