The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.
Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.
Unity, if you're not familiar with game development, is a popular cross-platform game engine. Although Unity games can most often be found on PC and consoles, Android games utilizing the engine include Crossy Road, Monument Valley, Lara Croft: Relic Run, and more. Today Unity has announced the Vulkan Renderer Preview, finally allowing developers to use the Vulkan API with their games.
The Vulkan API (not to be confused with the Star Trek planet Vulcan) has been hyped to the moon and back in the gaming industry recently, and for good reason. Based on AMD's Mantle API, it is a new graphics API designed to be cross-platform (much like Unity) and have a low overhead.
There are already a number of ways to test the capability of your Android device's hardware, but one more isn't going to hurt. Rightware has released Basemark ES 3.1 for Android in both free and paid versions. Do you need a paid graphics benchmark? Probably not, but maybe someone does.
Among Android L's many, many features is one that will set game developers' hearts aflutter – support for the recently announced OpenGL ES 3.1. This is the cross-platform rendering API used in many games, both mobile and desktop. Android L's support for v3.1 of the standard brings a ton of new capabilities.
It's 4 a.m., I just read the 6th mention of the same misleading story in the last 24 hours, and it's time for a rant.
Yesterday, several "independent" reports all claiming to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time (does anyone properly credit their sources anymore?) appeared on the web suggesting HTC had just (*gasp*) leaked two new Android 4.3 features: Bluetooth Low-Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0. And it's done so via a public meetup organized by the San Francisco Android User Group. HTC is so careless that they've just published not one but two unreleased features coming in the next version of Android and therefore protected by strict NDAs.
You seen one top-scrolling space shooter, you've seen 'em all, am I right? No, as a matter of fact, I am not. Voxel Invaders is here to prove that. Take a look at the trailer below and you see that the game starts off simple enough. Some nice, 3D-ish graphics adorn an otherwise banal battleground. Or so it seems. Until around ten seconds into the video, when the world shifts and we see things from a whole new perspective.
It's not just a plane change here, either. Voxel Invaders incorporates elements from a variety of different retro and modern game styles for an elaborate experience.
Speaking at SIGGRAPH 2012, a yearly computer graphics convention featuring some of the most prominent names in the business, Khronos unveiled updates for several key OpenGL properties including the specs for Open GL ES 3.0. OpenGL ES is the primary graphics API for mobile device platforms, including Android and iOS. As you would expect, the updates are rather technical, but here's an overview of what we can expect in the future.
Much Better Texture Compression
Perhaps the biggest noticeable change in this iteration is that texture compression has been improved, and the spec now has required support for the ETC texture compression format.
Android app developer Chainfire released an interesting app into the Market recently called Chainfire3D - "an intermediary OpenGL driver." Basically, this app sits between your app and the proprietary graphics driver on your device and can manipulate the commands between the two.
This enables you do some pretty rad things with your device in order to increase efficacy, battery life, performance, etc. For example, you can use Chainfire3D to enable night-mode, which basically only powers the red pixels on your device in order to save battery life (yes, it makes everything look red - see below).
Other features of Chainfire3D includes a multitude of texture manipulations, including the ability to reduce texture sizes and quality (for faster gaming) and unroll textures, which converts non-32 bit textures into 32 bit.
Papaya Mobile, the maker of the popular Papaya game and the social SDK behind it, today announced the upcoming release of the Papaya Game Engine for Android. The new engine is completely free to use and offers a number of benefits to developers looking to write Android games. It isn't available for download just yet, but it should be available shortly.
Before I proceed to the features, have a look at this quick video showing Papaya's 3D aquarium developed using the new engine in about 2 weeks.
So what are some cool things about the new engine?
it lets you write OpenGL 3D applications using PapayaMobile's scripting support.